The Glory Bag Tournament Culling and Fish Protection System
By Capt. Karl Bunch
The Glory Bag Tournament Culling and Fish Protection System in my opinion is the most important and advanced new conservation product for the Bass fishing industry since the aerated livewell became a standard feature in the Bass Boat industry. With so many new products introduced to the Bass fisherman each year many of us are skeptical of which ones are really designed with the bass fisherman and the quality of our great sport of Bass Fishing’s best interest in mind. The beneficial purpose’s of the Glory Bags are, (1) The well-being and protection of the fish as it is being held in a livewell, (2) Opening the livewell lid will not cause excitement in the fish, (3) There is no more chasing fish around in the livewell when culling or removing the fish to the weigh-in bag for transportation to the scales, (4) No touching of the fish after they are placed into the bag, which will help to protect their natural body slime critical for their survival, (5) The bags have a hanging loop at each end, which allows the fish to be weighed in the bag, (6) The bags have a double opening zipper that allows the fish to be placed inside and released head first so that the fins of the fish are not damaged and (7) The color-coded zippers allow culling at a quick glance and also make them compatible with the popular Cul-M-Rite and balance beam systems. The six colors of zippers are; blue, yellow, orange, green, red, and white.
The result of using the Glory Bag system is no damage to the fish and less stress which means less natural weight loss at the scales, faster and safer culling of the fish and no extra holes in the mouth of the fish which could affect the fish’s ability to survive once released.
The man behind the development of the Glory Bags and owner of the company is Tommy Ball; his dedication to help preserve and protect the great sport of bass fishing has led him on this seven year journey in developing the Glory Bag System. The product has gone through eight designs and several fabrics before getting the Glory Bag where it is today.
When I first met Tommy Ball several years ago I asked him what motivated him to develop the Glory Bag System he told me that he fished tournaments for several years and felt there should be a better and safer way to handle and weigh fish. After years of trial and error trying to work out a way to protect the fish, this is the best system he has come up with, as he felt there were too many fish being dropped into boats, chased around livewells, lost overboard, and generally damaged beyond recovery. The Glory Bag Tournament Culling & Fish Protection System covers many aspects of safety for the fish.
It is very important to remember the Glory Bag System is designed to be used with a properly working livewell system of the correct size; it is NOT a substitute for the aeration system. When used properly, with a properly operating livewell the Glory Bag System will protect the fish from excessive loss of slime from its body as a result of being handled by human hands, and give the fish a feeling of security by having its own little area, much like a brush pile does.
The fish that have been tested do not show any fear when the livewell lid is opened like a free-swimming fish in the same situation does. Since you only touch the bags, you do not have to chase the fish around in the livewell and cause it to be traumatized and lose valuable ounces from stress. This also keeps objects from being inserted into the fish’s mouth as in many other weighing and culling systems, the holes caused by these types of systems create another potential for sores and disease that the fish’s immune system must overcome for long term survival. And you can feel confident that you have helped to do your part to preserve the fish to be caught by many others.
The recommended quick and easy steps of instructions for tournament use of the Glory Bag Tournament Culling and Fish Protection System are;
(1) Always wet the bag before using it. I suggest once you have had your livewell inspected by the tournament officials that you put the bags in the livewell with a few inches of water so that when you catch that first fish the bags are ready for use.
(2) The proper way to put the fish in the bag is to unzip one end, hold the fish behind his head with thumb and fingers over the gill plate, place fish in head first and zip the bag up, or unzip the bag about ¾ of the way and lay the fish in the bag and then zip up the bag. Remember you never touch the fish again, once you put the fish in the bag.
(3) Next, place the bag into the livewell, by picking the bag up by the top zippered seam. Usually when you first put the bag in the livewell there will be some air bubbles trapped inside the mesh fabric of the bag. Just push the bag under the water and the air bubbles will escape. This will let the bag sit straight and free float. The fish have complete mobility to suspend themselves in the livewell and not be injured by objects in the livewell or other fish.
(4) Now you are ready to start culling fish. The set of Glory Bags consist of six different colored zippered bags. Therefore enabling the angler to identify the largest to smallest fish, and to know which fish to release when a larger fish is caught. The sixth bag is empty for putting that sixth fish in while culling without having to hold or handle the fish while releasing the smallest fish. The bags have strong loops on each end so that you can attach them to your choice of weighing equipment such as the popular Cul-M-Rite or any other type of scale or balance beam. Remember to always weigh the fish in the bag with their head down, so that you do not injure the fish or damage its fins.
(5) To release your culled fish, pick the bag up by the top and unzip the end that the fish’s head is facing. He will slide out headfirst.
(6) Tournament weigh-in time is also easier and faster. Leave the fish in the Glory Bag’s and put them into the bag that you are going to use to take them to the scales. When you get to the measuring point at the scales, unzip the Glory Bags at the end the fish’s head is facing and let the fish slide out headfirst. You should release your lunker colored zipper bag first, while your lunker is being weighed separately you quickly release the other fish from the Glory Bags, this procedure will actually speed up your weigh-in and not slow things down at the scales.
“I have personally used the Glory Bag System for several years now and I have found that at the end of the day when I release my fish from the Glory Bags they have the same energy that they had during the catch and getting them into the boat! Capt. Karl Bunch”. You can contact me at www.karlsbassinadventures.com with any questions you may have.
The following Maryland Bass Federation members have used the Glory Bags for sometime and would like to share their thoughts and experience using the Glory Bags with you.
“As Conservation Director of the Maryland Bass Federation, and an avid tournament fisherman, I can't say enough about my enthusiasm for this revolutionary new product: Glory Bags. These bags eliminate unnecessary handling of fish after they are caught and placed into a bag, then put into the livewell. When it comes time to cull, I simply hook my scale to the loop at the end of the bag and weigh the fish. No more poking holes in the fish; no more sloshing around trying to catch the fish in the livewell; no more chance of a fish jumping out of the livewell when opening the lid. The fish receive less stress and have a much less chance of injury while staying in the livewell.
Scott Sewell”, Conservation Director, Maryland Bass Federation.
“I was skeptical about Glory Bags when I first heard of them but after the first time using them I am a true believer of their benefits. The fish were not injured, did not regurgitate any shad or craw fish and seemed to be stress free. When released they all swam away peacefully, same as when I was culling with the bags on the water during a tournament. It was easy to do and use the Glory Bags, after they are in the Glory Bag you never touch the fish again and you don't have to chase them around inside the live well. Easy to cull your fish with the different colored zippers, just look in the well pull the Glory Bag out with smaller fish, unzip the end the fish is facing and then just let him ease out of the bag back into the water. This is the best culling and storage system I have ever used, does not harm or stress the fish in any way. Thanks for Glory Bags. Chuck Doran”, Tiderunner Bassmasters, Southern Region of the MBF.
Tommy Ball of Glory Bags would like to share the following message with you;
A lot of water has gone under the transom since our last article in Woods & Waters magazine in June, 2004. We have traveled from the Carolina’s to Canada testing the bags on largemouth and smallmouth; we have even had walleye in the bag. All with the same results, protecting and restoring their energy beyond anything we have ever seen. (Proof for those who need input from science) Again, I give credit to the Lord Jesus, He made them and knows what it takes to protect and restore our fisheries.
It is the same with you and I, God created us, and He alone knows what it takes to protect and restore us. We have all kinds of messages on how to change the world through man and all that has failed miserably, (just look around). God’s message has never changed and never will.
John 3:16 – God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.
Please contact us if you would like more information on our Lord Jesus or the Glory Bag, we love to talk about both.
My prayer is # 1 that God be glorified in our business and that people who are looking for truth and peace in their lives will find it through forgiveness of sins in His son Jesus and # 2 that our Fisheries will be enhanced because of the Glory Bag.
God Bless You
Fishing with Him
To learn more about the Glory Bag Tournament Culling & Fish Protection System (including instructions on how to use the system) you can go to www.glorybag.com or call (540) 872-5300.