Preserving Skipjack

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Jeff Trembley
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Preserving Skipjack

Post by Jeff Trembley » January 9th, 2013, 12:05 pm

The last time Michael Hogue's Girlfriend and I went fishing together, we decided to catch some jacks in location A to fish with in location B. But for whatever reason some just inexplicably poop out and die.

Throughout much of our discussion to improve the process, we hypothesized that immediately after catching the SkipJack, they may benefit greatly by hooking them behind the head with a large hook and giving them 10 feet of line beside the boat. We pulled our only skipjack around for over an hour after he was caught in our attempt to catch others. When we decided to leave, we unhooked him and put him in our setup. He responded VERY well and was immediately ready to go when we arrived at Location B.

What we think:
Some of you have access to 250 gallon tanks on the boat that is obviously more conducive to their survival. Some of you have secret recipes of water flow, oxygen and salt. Regardless of the setup, we believe that there have to physiological reactions to the stress of being caught and yanked out of the water. Perhaps the negative effects of that stress will dissipate and be cleared of the Jack's system if he is able to work it out on a free-line beside the boat for at least 30 minutes before he is placed into the transport container (of any kind).

In essence, it would be like a cool-down lap for an 800 meter runner after a grueling/stressful race. It would be like a 30 minute break after a two hour test to collect yourself before moving to the next activity. Just a few thoughts. I wonder if any of you have had similar thoughts? Perhaps this could be incorporated into the routine and we could do a pseudo-striper soup scientific study on this.
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Jason McClure
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Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by Jason McClure » January 9th, 2013, 12:29 pm

interesting theory!

Tim Edwards
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Location: Verona Ky/Norris lake

Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by Tim Edwards » January 9th, 2013, 8:00 pm

Jeff,

Do you have any pics on the tube setup? When I fished NSBA I had very good luck with the striper tubes but haven't seen anyone use tubes on jacks. I have heard of it but would love to see some pics.

THX Tim

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Shawn McNew
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Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by Shawn McNew » January 9th, 2013, 8:34 pm

It actually dawned on me today how pelagic fish respond to being trapped in a small container. Putting a 15" skipjack in a 50 gallon super bait tank is like putting a 4" threadfin in a paint can. But even worse, skipjack are a very rigid swimmer with a relatively inflexible body as opposed to a gizzard shad. They continually swim and need to be able to continually swim forward. If the container will not allow them to turn, as in the radius of the shortest side of the tank is less than the amount they can curve their body to turn, they will poop out.

I caught a jack yesterday and kept it overnight in my big boat tank. I put it in the shop tank today and studied it for a while to watch it swim. Very interesting. Even in an 8' diameter tank, he would run into the side once in a while.

Todd made an interesting relation of salt to keeping jacks. You want the salinity of the water as high as a jack can stand it because it will increase the density of the water and help them 'stay up.' I haven't played around with the maximum salinity tolerable by a jack, but you'd want it as high as you can get it.

some things to think about.

I talked to Ron V. last week about building a skipjack tank. I think a 50 gallon ROUND tank with central filter/high flow dual venturi will outperform anything else comparable in size. Anybody interested in a Super Skipjack Tank?
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Tim Edwards
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Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by Tim Edwards » January 9th, 2013, 9:47 pm

Chef,

what's your view on tubes for jacks, have you ever used them??

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Tyler Early
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Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by Tyler Early » January 9th, 2013, 9:49 pm

We could have used that 1 jack today.
EarlyRiser

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Michael Hogue
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Location: Knoxville, TN

Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by Michael Hogue » January 9th, 2013, 10:06 pm

Chef, if you can figure out a recipe for the Souper Skipjack Tank that is close to that size and works well I'm in!

I think Jeff and I were onto something by putting the bait out to the side of the boat. He seemed to do much better in the tank than previous jacks that I had caught and immediately placed in there. However, part of me wonders if the injury/stress caused by placing the hook in his back and dragging him around for a while didn't cause him to be worn out/less lively once we got to our fishing spot though. I wonder if you had two tanks on your boat if you could place them in one for the first 10-15 min and see if they would purge a bit before placing them in a second tank. :?

I plan on doing some more experimenting with jacks this spring/summer. Maybe a way to continually refresh the lake water in a bait tank would be beneficial? I'm not sure how salt would play into doing it that way though. I asked Todd once why he thought they were so hard to keep. His response was something to the effect of "because the devil makes them". I think I'd have to agree. :lol:

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Shawn McNew
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Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by Shawn McNew » January 10th, 2013, 11:01 am

I have used tubes, and designed a couple about 10 years ago. One of the tubes I made was a wire mesh tube with plastic door screen on the inside, weights on the bottom and flotation on top to hold the jack nose down in the bait tank. I never got the balance right and gave up early on that.

I built a mini tuna tube that hung over the transom and had an 1100 gph pump. It functioned well, looked super cool, but I think because of the thing you're talking about with the lactic acid issue, they didn't have enough room to work out the stress of being caught.

My buddy built a larger tube that we called the skipjack bong. It was a 3' piece of 8" pipe with an inlet and an outlet it was plumbed with a 1500 gph pump and could be run open or closed. Success was very limited, every time we took a load of jacks somewhere, they were all beet red. That project got dumped.

I built a box that had 8 individual compartments that were 2" x 18" and a pump that forced water through the compartments. It could be run out of the river, or recirc'ed out of the bait tank. I never got the lid to seal good enough. It was 1/4" plexiglass and was too thin. I wish I had kept it but I took it apart to salvage the screws out of it. I had cut the wood on a panel saw, so all the pieces were perfect.

I used to dangle them off of lines when I first started using them for bait. I would dangle 4 over the side on heavy mono with a swivel. When it was time to run, I had 4 buckets to flip them into where they would live maybe 5 or 10 mins...long enough to get to the spot I wanted to fish.

I haven't seen anything new or revolutionary that I would consider a breakthrough. There's no substitute for space.
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Tim Edwards
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Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by Tim Edwards » January 10th, 2013, 8:14 pm

Is it common practice to use tranquil in the bait tank or not for jacks??

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Shawn McNew
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Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by Shawn McNew » January 10th, 2013, 8:24 pm

TimEdwards wrote:Is it common practice to use tranquil in the bait tank or not for jacks??
tranquil and clove oil both work but you have to play with it
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Jamie Townsend
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Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by Jamie Townsend » January 10th, 2013, 9:41 pm

I googled metabolic rate on skipjack and a lot pops up. This is interesting, there us a lot more yo read about also. It does not tell how to keep them alive but I found it al interesting. Last year I noticed our skipjack lived good that we caught and put on the hook. And put back in the tank and took somewhere else.

http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI9737553/

Tim Edwards
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Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by Tim Edwards » January 10th, 2013, 9:52 pm

Hey David, you out there anywhere? How does that 125 Grayline do on skipjacks?

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Shawn McNew
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Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by Shawn McNew » January 11th, 2013, 7:41 am

This has little to nothing to do with skipjack Alosa chrysochloris since it's an American shad article.

There is some info out there.. I read some of it and it's not entirely accurate. I doubt many biologists know as much about these fish as some of us fishermen. http://www.bio.txstate.edu/~tbonner/txf ... hloris.htm It says they avoid turbid water, not true. I have caught them in straight mud when 99.9% of the rest of the lake was clear.

I did notice on the jack I have in the shop that his eyes are biased towards the top of his head, unlike most other fish I've seen. Definitely a thoroughbred surface feeder.
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David Powell
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Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by David Powell » January 11th, 2013, 2:12 pm

TimEdwards wrote:Hey David, you out there anywhere? How does that 125 Grayline do on skipjacks?

Yeah I'm here. My opinions only. I agree with Shawn on space. I Believe space is the most important thing for a jack. The only reason why I have the 125 grayline is cause of its size and shape. I have modified the filtration system some to make it better for jacks but not for filtration reasons. I also believe the less you handle a jack the better it does, just like any other bait fish. When I catch one it goes straight from lake to tank and then unhooked in tank. If i handle them its by the lip only if possible. Also just like any other bait fish time of year matters for there hardyness. Cool water temps Spring, fall, winter, they keep better then in the summer. When it comes down to it though they are just dumb weak fish. I have caught them one day from a spot and they will last all day then take them home and last for days in the home Tank. Then go back the next day to the same spot catch some and they die in an hour. It's a love hate relationship for sure.

Jamie Townsend
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Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by Jamie Townsend » January 11th, 2013, 5:45 pm

Since they are so active and seem to always be feeding I don't think they will ever survive in captivity for extended periods. Unless they were able to feed in the tank like in the wild.

David Powell
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Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by David Powell » January 11th, 2013, 9:07 pm

I once was out and had netted a ton of 2-3" threads to take home to the pond. I then saw some jacks busting and caught 1. I put it in the tank and for 45 min it gorged. It was fun to watch. But not to long after that it started doing the same ole thing, floating to the bottom, getting stuck on the wall nose first, the same things as always. At first things where fine for it. Fine enough it still wanted to eat, but eventually the size of tank still was not big enough for harmony. So then it stressed like they always do. I think there is no reasonable size tank that you can put them in and keep them long term, and reasonable to me is as big as a full size swimming pool. I also think if you want to keep jacks for more then 24 hrs you really need to step back and look at what is important. :D If I have a tank full of jacks I'm going fishing. I wouldn't care about what I was suppose to be doing!

Tim Edwards
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Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by Tim Edwards » January 11th, 2013, 11:00 pm

I have a Vest 100 gallon which is very round, what if there was a lot of current in the water., has anyone used a tank like that??

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Shawn McNew
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Location: Lake Allatoona

Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by Shawn McNew » January 11th, 2013, 11:29 pm

TimEdwards wrote:I have a Vest 100 gallon which is very round
Best jack tank ever made.
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Barry Bertoldi
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Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by Barry Bertoldi » January 19th, 2013, 11:31 am

Shawn McNew wrote:It actually dawned on me today how pelagic fish respond to being trapped in a small container. Putting a 15" skipjack in a 50 gallon super bait tank is like putting a 4" threadfin in a paint can. But even worse, skipjack are a very rigid swimmer with a relatively inflexible body as opposed to a gizzard shad. They continually swim and need to be able to continually swim forward. If the container will not allow them to turn, as in the radius of the shortest side of the tank is less than the amount they can curve their body to turn, they will poop out.

I caught a jack yesterday and kept it overnight in my big boat tank. I put it in the shop tank today and studied it for a while to watch it swim. Very interesting. Even in an 8' diameter tank, he would run into the side once in a while.

Todd made an interesting relation of salt to keeping jacks. You want the salinity of the water as high as a jack can stand it because it will increase the density of the water and help them 'stay up.' I haven't played around with the maximum salinity tolerable by a jack, but you'd want it as high as you can get it.

some things to think about.

I talked to Ron V. last week about building a skipjack tank. I think a 50 gallon ROUND tank with central filter/high flow dual venturi will outperform anything else comparable in size. Anybody interested in a Super Skipjack Tank?
Might be interested! maybe 60-70 gal? or is shape more important than how much water?

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will hackney
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Re: Preserving Skipjack

Post by will hackney » March 2nd, 2013, 1:05 pm

I'm definately in for a Souper Skipjack tank.

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