Supplemental welding oxygen is better than aerators that only pump air
by, 08-09-2010 at 07:30 AM (284 Peeps)
I have found that the cheapest, easiest way to keep shad not only alive hour after hour in the summer is give them welding oxygen. A surefire way I learned from a friend that transports live fish at a State fish hatchery. The hot water is really not the problem, the problem is the low dissolved oxygen saturation in that hot bait tank water we must deal with every summer. That's the problem and that can be permanently fixed if you want to fix it. How often have you netted shad in 90 degree water in the summer? They don't die in that hot water where you catch them do they.
Don't need any particular brand of livewell either, an Igloo ice chest or water cooler works great, their insulated which is a plus. The shape doesnít matter.
Fill the box with water, add a hand-full of non-iodized granulated cattle feed salt, turn on the pure welding O2 a couple minutes before you throw the net, drop the bait directly into the oxygenated water and change the water a couple times a day to flush out the metabolic waste (CO2, ammonia etc) and that's really all there is to bait keeping. Itís as simple as that.
You can also keep fish (big fish, 75-100 lb) alive and healthy in an ice chest the same way hour after hour, for days if you like. Thatís how they do it at fish hatcheries.
If you got a cutting torch, you already got the pure welding oxygen.
Keeping shad healthy is about how well you can maintain minimal water quality in the box, the box you keep them in is just a box that holds water. I use a plastic 5 gallon can to keep shad in most of the time.
The magic is the welding oxygen, not more air or more ice or more chemicals or special bait tanks.