In the perfect tournament, an angler would make five casts, catch five 8-pounders, slip all of them in the livewell and practice his winning smile the rest of the day. In other words, there would be no need to ever worry about culling fish.
Reality, however, means an angler will ideally have to cull early and often throughout a tournament. This lends itself to the possibility of an angler culling the wrong fish or forgetting to cull and having too many fish in the livewell – neither of which is a winning strategy. Plus, there is the wasted time of trying to find the smallest fish in the livewell so it can be replaced.
Luckily, a handful of manufacturers have devised products to aid anglers in keeping their best five bass in a day. Here’s a look at a limit’s worth of those products tournaments anglers have to choose from.
Ardent SmartCull Professional Culling System
Along with reels, Ardent makes a host of accessories for anglers, one of which being the SmartCull Professional Culling System. Basically, Ardent has taken a set of clips and attached a floating, colored ball to them – nothing new there. However, each ball has a set of numbered dials that allow the angler to show the pounds and ounces of each individual fish up to 15 pounds, 15 ounces. It’s a simple, “why didn’t I think of that” feature that ends the hassle of digging through fish to find the smallest one. The system comes with six clips and retails for $39.99. (ardentoutdoors.com)
The beauty of the Cull-Buddy system is storage. The six colored buoys neatly hang in a holder, which can be mounted on any livewell or storage lid larger than 9 inches by 9 inches. The holder is made from a durable PVC-like material, and it’s easily installed with the included mounting hardware. Aside from convenience, the system also means no more loose clips rattling and tangling in storage compartments. The system retails for $34.99. (cull-buddy.com)
Berkley Tournament Culling System with 15lb Scale
For the technology buffs, the Tournament Culling System with 15lb Scale is as cutting edge as it gets when it comes to culling. Along with eight color-coded culling clips, the system includes a digital scale that stores and sorts fish as an angler weighs them. Not only does this help with quickly culling the smallest bass, it will also add up the weight so the angler knows roughly where they stand. Batteries are included for this system, which retails for $44.95. (berkley-fishing.com)
Accu-Cull Culling System
Similarly to the Ardent SmartCull, the Accu-Cull system utilizes dials to note the weight of each individual fish up to 9.99 pounds. Yes, you can actually note the hundredths of an ounce, which is great for tournaments where small fish rule the system. The system itself doesn’t actually come with clips, but it mounts to the lid of the livewell and works with clips you may already own thanks to both numbered and color-coded dials. The retail price is $35.99. (accucull.com)
XTools xCull Manual Cull Kit
Most buoys use a flexible cord, which can get tangled both in storage and when hooked to a fish. The floating xCull buoys are solid plastic, minimizing the problem. The xClips are also easy to use as they don’t have to be run through the gills. While a grease board and pencil do come in the kit, the system is perfectly complimented by the Accu-Cull system. xTools also make the gripNweigh Pro Series Automatic Culling System similar to the Berkley model. The retail price for the manual kit is $18.99. (xtools.us)