homemade 55 gallon drum bait tank???

Discussion in 'Livewell and Bait Tank Review' started by billiamcat, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. billiamcat

    billiamcat New Member

    Messages:
    1
    State:
    MO
    How many of you have made these tanks? I am new to catfishing, but am fishing on Truman Reseviore, and fresh shad seem to be a must. I cant keep the shad alive very long, and by the time I get where I want to fish it seems all shad are dead only leaving me an hour and a half or so of good fishing. Anyways I want to put a bilge pump on my bait tank, can anyone else give any insite as too how well this has worked for them. Thanks Billiam
     
  2. MSgtCatfish

    MSgtCatfish New Member

    Messages:
    216
    State:
    Alabama
    Bill,

    You can build a good one from a drum just remember a few things:

    (from an earlier post of mine) A few notes on how I keep my gizzard/threadfin shad and/or blueback herring alive. Good aerator and filter. I have a nozzle to keep the water rotating and the gizzard shad "schooling", if the water and bait ain't circling it ain't good. Add rock salt (box per 30 gallons) to the water, ACR (ammonia chlorine remover), and some shad alive/keep alive (usually blue or green - whatever your flavor). The other thing to keep in mind is water temperature. If you have bait in 70 degree water and swap them to hotter or colder water by more than 10 degrees or so, it shocks the fish and could kill them. I picked these tips up from a buddy who only striper fishes and he has kept his gizzies alive for months on the back of his boat bait tank. Heck one time he drove from 200 miles from GA to AL and from all the splashing on Bama's great interstate roads, lost 3/4 of his water and the gizzies were still kickin'!

    Last summer I kept 3 dozen blueback herring alive for a week while prefishing for a tournament on Hartwell. I threw a bunch back that were still alive.

    Bilge pump - do you want it to pump water into the bait tank? If so, consider mounting it on the outside of the boat and run a hose to the drum to fill it up or just have one that you can carry on the boat and drop it over the side when you are ready to fill up the tank if you don't want to mount one to your boat.

    Hope this helps you out some.
     

  3. TNVOLCAT

    TNVOLCAT New Member

    Messages:
    946
    State:
    Tennessee
    Bill, check out the member library, there's some pretty good ideas in there w/ pictures to boot.
     
  4. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Hate to put a damper on your plans, but if you want to keep shad alive in the heat of summer around here, you're going to need a good tank with good insulation, a superior filtration system and proper water conditions.

    Just adding a pump to circulate water in a barrel isn't going to do much. There's a whole lot more to keeping shad alive than swirling the water around. If you don't filter the slime and scales, they'll choke to death; if you don't add a little bit of air to the water, they'll suffocate; if you don't condition the water with salt, ammonia remover, de-foaming agent and (in the heat of summer) a little bit of ice to bring the temps down a few degrees, they'll stress out and die in no time.

    The reason good-quality bait tanks like Creek Bank, Grayline and Blue Water cost so much is because they're well designed and they work. My advice is to invest in a good bait tank and go catch fish rather than messing around trying to get some cobbled-together solution to work and worrying over it constantly while you're on the water.

    Steve Brown at Catfish Safari in Warsaw is a dealer for Creek Bank tanks; you can get Grayline tanks at The Station bait shop near the dam.

    Oh - and welcome to the BOC. Be sure to stop by the Missouri section and tell everybody howdy.
     
  5. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    First, Welcome to the BOC!!!
    I have a 55 gallon plastic bait tank that is on hold right now. I have a couple above ground cartridge type pump/filters(only gonna use 1 on each when I get a second one) that I'm gonna use for filtration & aeration. I plan on mainly using it for Gills, goldfish, Israelis and maybe bullheads. I plan to start a second one also when I'm able/healthy to get the first one done. I've got a way to keep the water cool, which will get expensive after a while unless I use 1 gallon frozen jugs of water to keep it cool. Once I get it done, I'll get pics of how I did it and the finished product.:wink::big_smile:
     
  6. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Welcome to the BOC Bill.
    Some good advise from these guys and there is also quite a bit of info. in the library section on here with diff. ways of making bait tanks you can look at.
    I have to agree with MR.T, The good bait tanks are expensive for a reason, they work and are money well spent. Stop by and see Jenn at the station bait shop or Steve Brown at catfish safari tackle shop and you wont be disapointed.

    We spend a lot of time catching bait and to only have them die is no fun. If you do decide to make one use a well insulated cooler or insulate the drum if thats what you use and it will help some. Good luck with your new tank Bill.
     
  7. farmer

    farmer Member

    Messages:
    398
    State:
    Osceola, MO
    Somebody had one for sale in the classifieds. I think for $250. It was a Grayline. Thats a great deal. Its less then half the cost. Might want to look into that. Thats what I would do. You would be a lot happier in the end. Hope this helps.
     
  8. Rputman

    Rputman New Member

    Messages:
    16
    State:
    nc
    reposted sorry I double posted the same reply
     
  9. Rputman

    Rputman New Member

    Messages:
    16
    State:
    nc
    Just a little freindly advice. I made a 35 gallon bait tank, I was worrying more about keeping bait alive than fishing I put a large whole house filter on it and was always washing it out. mine had 2 aereators on in it, a tube type and a pump type which I will sell cheap if somebody want the parts minus the drum just to expensive to ship. It got to hot too and was just a real pain in the rump. I invested in a Grey line and havent been happier. I can put 30 gallons of lake water in it. and in about 45 min to an hour it is clear. A little ice when the water temp in the lake gets warm and can keep 40 baits alive all day in 90 degree heat. A few weeks ago I put 40 in it and keep them for 3 days.All that in a nut shell save your money and buy an insulated grey line or good bait tank like you want and go fishing. I personally dont think you need 55 gallons. seems like alot of weight. Mine is 30 and it does fine. I am going to put a 1100 gph pump in mine and think it will keep more shad.