A little company in rural Kentucky has quietly invented a product that could drastically reduce delayed mortality in bass following tournaments, especially during hot weather.
The easily installed V-T2, with no moving parts, creates an open air exchange when installed in the center of a livewell lid. A three-inch sleeve protrudes into the water, directing air into, through, and out of the livewell, to cool, oxygenate, and remove harmful gases.
Judy Tipton said that she and other tournament anglers developed the simple and inexpensive ($44.99) ventilation system of out a desire “to keep our bass alive and healthy.”
“Even though we often got through the weigh-ins without a dead fishing or penalty, it was obvious that the health of our fish had declined greatly and the prospect of survival was low once they were released,” said the director of research and development for NewPro Products.
Tipton recalled an August tournament on Barren River Lake. “The release area had hundreds of dead fishing floating,” she said. “Anglers were knee deep in the water, attempting to resuscitate struggling fish, and some just poured out their fish, turned their backs and walked away.
“It was horrible. I remember thinking that I am ashamed to be a part of this. As much as I love fishing and competing in tournaments, I was not proud to be a tournament angler that day.”
Realizing that there had to be a better way, she and her associates developed the V-T2. They recognized that a closed livewell system creates water-quality problems by holding heat and harmful gases and limiting dissolved oxygen.
“Aerators are great and needed,” Tipton said. “But to save on battery power, they usually run on a timer. Fish need continuous oxygen flow the entire time they are in the livewell.
“Interval aeration creates a roller coaster of oxygen levels and a very unstable and more stressful environment.”
By opening up the livewell to the atmosphere, the V-T2 utilizes natural processes to cool, oxygenate, and remove harmful gases. Wind and boat movement enhance the benefits.
(This article appeared originally in B.A.S.S. Times.)