Striper Tube and Striper Tube-II are both copyright trademarks of Warren Turner. Warren developed the concept of the striper tube in 1999 while working with his family in a backyard project involving their goldfish pond.
Left: Please enjoy a quick video of Bill Carson, one of our Freshwater competitors going through the various steps of a traditional striped bass tournament, but with one new twist. Instead of tossing the fish in an ice chest, he uses the original Striper Tube@ and after weighing the fish in he releases them to be caught again another day.
How it all Started:
While working on the filter system, Warren discovered several goldfish that had survived in the filter plumbing for quite some time. They had appearantly gone through the very small filter system as new hatchling fry and had gotten trapped. When Warren found them they were several inches long and could not have gotten into the pipes any other way. When Warren saw this he remembered an earlier visit to his striped bass fishing club where Anthony Rayburn, a fishery biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural resources, had asked his club to help them find a new resource of female broodfish for the Georgia striped bass fisheries program. The South Carolina biologists had explained that their number one problem was not being able to capture enough female striped bass to spawn. Now the Georgia biologists were stating the exact same thing; therefore it must be a significant problem. At the time of Anthony's visit to the Striper Kings meeting, Warren began to inquire of the possiblity of fishery biologists using striped bass from club tournaments to get the required female striped bass the hatcheries needed for broodfish. But all striped bass tournaments he knew of were catch and kill tournaments. The biologists told Warren that in a few early studies the stress of hooking of anglers had made angler caught female striped bass not appropriate for broodstock.
Warren and his family had spent several hours watching captured striped bass in large aquariums such as in Chattanooga and had already surmised after noticing that they never actually stoped swimming that striped bass must continuously move to get the oxygen they needed to survive. He knew that some other fish were like this and it now made sence to him because the striped bass eggs must continue to move to get oxygen or they sink to the bottom and suffocate. So if the eggs suffocate maybe the fish suffocate as well if they stop moving through water. After hours of watching them in captivity, Warren noted that sometimes they slow down very slow but unlike the largemouth, he never saw them completely stop for any notable period of time and he also noted that he never observed them back up. These aquariums were several 1000's of gallons and they striped bass had plenty of room to turn as they approached the walls. While biologists could have large tanks in their boats, the average striped bass fiishermen could not give up that much room from their boats and would not used a cumbersome system. Although striped bass needed a lot of room, a live holding system had to work with the average angler to get them to use it. Warren just could not get over the idea that if fishermen could capture striped bass during the spring tournaments and give them to the biologists the problem with broodstock would be virtually eliminated. But to make this a real possibility, the fishermen would need a system that could fit in the average fishing boat, would be easy to operate, and must assist the fish in getting over the handling and angling stress. In other words it needed to be like a recovery bed in a hospital. It needed to be something small that contained the fish without making the fish work and yet provided the required oxygen they needed. But how could that be done?
Now we get to the goldfish. If Warren's theory that striped bass needed to swim to keep oxygen over their gills was correct, then the tank had to be large enough for the striped bass to make turns, right, maybe not! When Warren saw the goldfish he was excited that they had raised some goldfish in their pond. But they were not actually in the pond! When he realized this a lightbulb came on immediately. A pipe (tube) would work for striped bass! It met the requirements of continuous flow of water over the striped bass's gills; but, instead of a large tank allowing the fish enough room to swim around with ease, we could controling the environment by containing the fish into a pipe and then force the fish to face into a continuous flow of oxygen rich water. The idea had potential and when Warren spoke to Tom Curtis , biologist at the South Carolina striped bass hatchery, Tom admittted that it had promise, especially if the stress factor could be addressed!
Thus the project started!