bluegill in a cooler

Discussion in 'LOCAL PENNSYLVANIA TALK' started by jconna, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. jconna

    jconna New Member

    Messages:
    154
    State:
    PA
    How long does everyone keep their bait before fishing? I'm in a roomate situation so can't really make myself a good holding tank at home. Has anyone ever tried keeping say 50 gill in a cooler with an aerator for a day or so? I'm going fishing tomorrow evening and am thinking of catching bait tonight if possible and putting the cooler in the basement, but I don't want to waste them if they won't make it. What's everyone elses methods for keeping their bait?
     
  2. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Messages:
    10,914
    State:
    missouri
    Jeff keep the air runnin and you should be fine. Also if the start coming to the top a little ice won't hurt in this heat. Just be careful and don't shock them with to much though.
     

  3. BigBird

    BigBird New Member

    Messages:
    2,104
    State:
    Charlotte, NC
    I found all was needed was an aquarium pump from wally world and a little ice. For me the aerator type pumps heated up the water more and required closer monitoring of temperture.
     
  4. great pappy cat

    great pappy cat Active Member

    Messages:
    728
    State:
    P.A
    A cooler will work good.If you dont have a plug in airater yet invest in 1 with 2 air lines. You can get them from wall mart for like $11 in the aquarium section.The colder the water is the more o2 the water will hold but dont over due it if you put your bait imediately in 10 deg warmer water it will shock and kill them.When you get to the river slowly temper the cooler water with river water to acclimate them.The 1st 2hrs is when they will secreet the most crap. Keep changeing the water when it gets cloudy and you can keep bait for weeks
     
  5. jconna

    jconna New Member

    Messages:
    154
    State:
    PA
    I was looking in the member library and saw a few pretty simple ideas for bait tanks. I'm thinking that I can probably find room for one of those big rubbermaid containers and hook it up with aerators and a filter. May not be perfect but should hold them for a few weeks at a time I would think. Tonight it will need to be a cooler though....Thanks for the quick responses from everyone. Now go out and break a few necks this weekend :crazy:
     
  6. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    Just make sure you keep the water temperature cold. Add half a bag of ice first, then add the other half when you get ready to go. /SIZE]
     
  7. Fishing Addict

    Fishing Addict Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    Spring Church, Pa
    I just set up my rubbermaid tank, had a heck of a time getting it to th point where it would keep anything alive. When I first set it up I couldnt keep 6 fatheads alive, they were dead in 24 hrs. I set the empty tank out in the yard where the sun could beat it for bout a week to bleach it without having to use anything to harsh, also got a sponge filter 2 wouldnt hurt, from a pet shop, the sponge filter needs to be put into an established tank/cooler with baitfish for a few days for the bactieria to take hold. Also a dual outlet air pump like the above mentioned with a 18" air stone. Once I did all this I set the tank back up used bout 5-6 gallons of water from a cooler of gills I had, then filled the rest up with fresh water. Put a few shiners in first to see if they survived, week later they were still kickin, added bout a dozen good sized gills in last night so far so good. Lots of trial and error, but I think I finally got it. My tank is self sustaining , It automatically changes the water and refills itself daily. My job doesent let me monitor the tank for a few days so I had to come up with a way the tank would take care of itself, A pond pump set up on a timer runs long enough to empty bout half the water, when the pump kicks on it lowers the water level which inturn turns on a float valve for a toilet, when the pump it done with its cycle and the tank fills the valve shuts the water off when the float rises with the water. Hopefully this with save you the headaches that I had, but all worth it when you have all the bait you need at a moments notice, ready for when you to go cattin.:wink:
     
  8. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,341
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    I keep a 16 Gallon tote in my garage. I bought it at Wally World for $6.99 and bought a aquarium pump there also for $6.99. I put about 12 gallon of CREEK water in it - no tap water! I've kept Bluegill in it for weeks at a time. I change the water every 3-4 days and feed the Gills some maggots or worms or something if you have them for more than a couple days.
     
  9. ste6168

    ste6168 New Member

    Messages:
    622
    State:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Not to go against anyone else, but when referring to bait tanks I see so many, almost everyone else, say not to use tap water. I dont understand. This is my set up. A 20 gallon plastic bin (i call a keg bucket becuase it is perfect size to keep a keg in), a maxi-jet 600 aquarium pump to circulate the water, and an air pump to add oxygen. I fill it with 15 gallons of water straight from the tap, that I change when it becomes too murky. I dont use any ice, heater, filter, or special chemicals. I personally do not see any problem with using tap water. With this setup I can keep 20 gills easily for a week. Sure, someday I would like to get a better setup, but this works fine for now :wink:
     
  10. Fishing Addict

    Fishing Addict Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    Spring Church, Pa
    Is it city water,or well/spring water?
     
  11. ste6168

    ste6168 New Member

    Messages:
    622
    State:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    city
     
  12. Fishing Addict

    Fishing Addict Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    Spring Church, Pa
    Most of the time, city water is treated and chlorinated so much bait fish wont survive in it. I also have city water and I havent had any trouble keeping bait either. I think it depends on where the water co. draws their water from and how much its treated. I've been different places where you could actually smell the chlorine in the water.
     
  13. River Hobo

    River Hobo New Member

    Messages:
    207
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    And don't forget to feed them :tounge_out:
     
  14. DIESELkat

    DIESELkat New Member

    Messages:
    1,931
    State:
    PA
    Thanks for the info. Ive been experimenting with some things and this thread has been a great help. I have a pond at the house that is loaded with gills and I would always take a fly rod down and catch a bunch before heading out, but now all I have to do is transfer from the holding tank to the bucket and head out.
     
  15. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    I really don't try to keep my bait alive for such a long period of time. Most any of these setups will work for over night or even two. By that time its time to go fishing again! Good luck with your tanks.
     
  16. jconna

    jconna New Member

    Messages:
    154
    State:
    PA
    Just an update.......And, Well, I'm tired. It's been another long nite. Still not used to these all night fishing trips yet, but the cooler thing definitely did the trick. I was worried last night when I got home with the bait (approx 30). They weren't looking very good and I wasn't even prepared for them yet. Was one of those if you want to fish the pond, you need to get up here and meet the people that own it. Anyway....I had nothing long term planned or set up, so I put some ice and a battery powered aerator in a 5 gal bucket and headed to Wal Mart. Picked up a pump w/2 outlets, 2-8" airstones, and hose. Oh, and some chlorine remover chemical. I set the cooler up (50qt) marine which sets higher than it does long. Had to wait an hour for the airstones to soak so I loaded it up with 10 gal of water (tap/city) and added the choline remover treatment. Added the fish an hour later along with some ice and they were still as good a new when I used up my last one this morning. Approx 35 hours and they were perfect. Don't know how long they would actually last in this setup, but they were definitely full of life for as long as I had them.