Bait Tank

Discussion in 'Boating' started by sccrstar011, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. sccrstar011

    sccrstar011 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    State:
    Virginia
    Back in 2004 I built my own 12' Jon Boat and am finally getting a trailer for it so I can start using it more often. I will use it primarily for catfishing and I am looking into a bait tank. I really don't have the money to buy a fancy one seeing as how I'm a poor college kid. I was thinking about just buying a small 12-15 gallon cooler and slapping an aerator in it to give the bait some bubbles. I was wondering what you guys think of the cooler/aerator set up. I know that some people think that a bilge pump is a necessity, but I will only be keeping the bait for 7-10hours at the most. You think that I will that this is feesable for my boat and set up? Here is a link to the picture of my boat http://www.catfish1.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=22700&d=1174628748 . I plan on ripping out the middle seat and building a bigger console to house my battery and the bait tank. Any tips, tricks, and or help would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    I've done something similar to that... just make sure you have some sort of pump to exchange the water in and out of the well so there's not so much ammonia build up in there...

    I've got 2 of the 80 +/- hr aerators on it and it works for a little while, but i'd rather be able to have a pure oxygen system hooked up in to it... I've found one for 100 that uses the disposable bottles of O2... but i don't have the $ for it yet to upgrade my system.
     

  3. criggster

    criggster New Member

    Messages:
    66
    State:
    Virginia
    Please do tell where did you find one so cheap? I looked at a few that used air stones, but they were over $300!
     
  4. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    Its a company called Oxygen Edge, its their D model, for 99.75 you get the regulator, stone, tubing, pretty much everything but the disposable O2 container which you can pick up at almost any hardwear store for a couple bucks...

    Look them up online, since i'm not allowed to post the link to their site. they are a pretty good company.
     
  5. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    The most important consideration in keeping delicate bait fish like shad and herring is to be able to remove the scales and debris that the shad put into the tank. Unless you can do that all the oxygen and temperature control in the world will not work. Other bait fish like minnows and pan fish will survive in anything from a bucket to ultra bait tank setup.

    Oval or round tank, as large as possible.

    I use a 30 gallon, glow in the dark, KeepAlive shad tank with double stage foam filter in my jon boat but any tank that has a filter stage in its pump system will work. See the archive section for great ideas on home made tanks with filters.

    Limit amount of bait in tank

    Don't dump shad from the cast net into your tank. Dump them into a 5 gallon bucket of lake water and rock salt. Let them puke, piss and shed a few scales. Then put the best in the tank with a small dip net. Keep the weak, damaged or dead ones on ice for the first cut bait.

    Remember if you have a bait tank that brings lake water into the tank you are pulling water off of the top 2 to 3 inches of the lake. This water is very warm in the summer. You must keep the temp of the bait tank low for the bait to survive. I do not pull in lake water. My water exchange consists of a siphon hose and a bucket. I will siphon off 5 or 10 gallons and replace it with fresh lake water every two to three hours if I have a lot of shad in the tank. I use frozen 20 oz. Coke bottles and float one to two in my tank to keep the temp low. Buy a cheap aquarium thermometer and you will not have to guess.

    A little rock salt in the bait tank will help keep shad alive.


    Following these rules I have kept good sized shad alive for over 24 hours.
     
  6. crome

    crome New Member

    Messages:
    328
    State:
    ilm,nc
    david does the two round filter on your keep alive work good for you? i've got a 30 gal.that i bought 3 years ago,and it never did work to good, i ended up making a filter basket for it,and it's a night and day difference now.atleast no more pulling the pump to clean the filters !....i can go get my bait in the late afternoons now for my morning trips,and not have to worry about baby sitting my bait anymore.i'll see if i can find a picture.
     
  7. Team StrayCats

    Team StrayCats New Member

    Messages:
    244
    State:
    florida
    I use a 72 QT. cooler with a round bubble box that runs off a 12 volt auto battery. I have had up to 60 blue gills in there for a couple of days with only 4 or 5 dead. I keep it in the back of my 17 ft center console boat. I just pull the plug and drain it in the bilge and pump it out. By the way you did one heck of a job building that boat and i mean one heck of a job. I wish i could do something like that. I couldent even build a tooth pick. Good job.
     
  8. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    Mine works great but you have to keep the pump running to keep shad. Minnows and bluegill will do fine if you run the pump every once in a while.

    Many factors in making it work.

    Limit baits in tanks

    Only tank bait in excellent condition

    Clean filters after every use.



    The most that I ever keep live bait is 24 hours so I do not know about how it would do for longer periods of time. For sure better filters make for better bait tanks. I had planned on upgrading mine sooner or later. I do like the tank design and the glow in the dark feature though.
     
  9. crome

    crome New Member

    Messages:
    328
    State:
    ilm,nc
    i like the shape of the tank too,i did the two large filters around the pump,but if they did need cleaning during a trip,it was just a pain.
     

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  10. BAMA_CAT

    BAMA_CAT New Member

    Messages:
    474
    State:
    Boaz,ALABAMA
    any web sites for where you can get one?
     
  11. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    I have one coming from Keep Alive ( search shad bait well). I am getting the 30 gall insulated w/a KA1100 and the dual filter. How mnay shad can it hold without killing them? Site says like 20 lbs.... To me that is a flat out ton of shad... OOoops! that would be 2,000 lbs...:embarassed::roll_eyes::eek:oooh::lol:
     
  12. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    Not to be evasive but it depends on the size of the shad, the temperature of the tank's water and how often you exchange water in the tank.
    Many aquarium books will tell you that one inch of fish per gallon is your rule of thumb. That comes to 30 inches of shad in a 30 gallon bait tank. Now that's just 10 3 inch shad or 3 10 inch shad.
    Over the years I have found that a well filtered aquarium you can double or triple this number. It depends on how long the fish have to be in the tank, the temperature and the ammonia levels (controlled by water exchanges). Under this new rule that gives you 60 to 90 inches of shad in a 30 gallon tank.

    Recently I had shad of assorted sizes from 3 inches to 5 inches in my tank.
    Best guess was around 45 inches of shad and two 5 inch blue gill. All were in top shape when put in the tank. All had been dipped in salt treated water prior to hitting the bait tank. I had cup of rock salt and 12 oz. of stress guard in the tank water. We fished all night and I used around half of the bait. That left about 24" of shad and two blue gills in the tank. We had to come in a little early but we fished again the next night. 24 hours after catching the bait I had lost only two shad and those were the biggest ones.

    I want to make a drip down filter like the one shown above just for the ease of cleaning.