Homemade bait tank

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by JimmyJonny, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    I've always had problems catching bait at night. Nothing is worse than taking forever to get some bait out fast for the cats. Going early to catch bait isn't always a option. So far my idea consist of just a 5gal bucket and a pancake air compressor. I've rigged up the air to slowly release bubbles into the water. I wont be spending any money on this project but I can make something out of nothing so I'm going to give it a shot. One good thing is that these good old boys around here have old barns just filled with all kinds of things to use. If yas would send me some ideas or if it will even work. Bait= bluegill, bream, sometimes crappie.
     
  2. SSgt Fishslayer

    SSgt Fishslayer New Member

    Messages:
    1,241
    State:
    south carolina
    you know what works great. a watering trough for horses or cows. it is big enough to give them room to move and keep them lively. might take a bigger bubbler, but they work well. you need a good filter on it as well, but you can keep bait alive longer in one of these large water troughs. if you dont have rom for something that big, you can use a 55 gal washtub of large trash can.
     

  3. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    Nice idea. I assume you need to cover it then ? I would think coons and cats might get into it or the fish might jump out. I'm also worried about the city water (bleach). I was also wondering if I should be concerned about what the holding tank is made of. Dunno if I can get a trough but I'm stalking my friends dog washing tub. Its good sized, just deep enough, and its oval shape keeps the bait and water circulating better without bumping into corners. I'm pretty sure my friend would know who to come looking for if he saw his trough gone and a 5gal bucket sitting there instead, LOL.
     
  4. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper New Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    State:
    Dallas, GA
    One simple method that worked well for me in the past was to modify a cooler. You can mount a portable bubbler ($20) for transporting and then use a standard A/C aerator at home. I have kept bluegills alive for 10-14 days or so using this method and it is insulated, which is a plus. Depending on the size of the cooler, you have to be careful of the ammonia and wastes, which can build to a toxic level. A periodic partial water change solves this. After a few days their stomachs are purged and water changes are not needed as often. It is very simple and practical.
     
  5. primitivefrn

    primitivefrn Member

    Messages:
    786
    State:
    collins mo
    A chest type deep freeze will work, all you have to do is plumb it. for a pump and can rig a filter. you will have a lid to. should get one for hauling it off.
    Jim
     
  6. Grimpuppy

    Grimpuppy New Member

    Messages:
    3,556
    State:
    Concordia, KS
    I use a cooler tub. The ones you see at the convenience store in the summer. They are full of ice and bottled soda or gatorade. I got my hands on one. I don't know how many gallons it is but I would guess maybe 25. It also sits on a base that has wheels so I can move it around the garage. One other thing is it has a drain at the bottom. I use my air compressor in the garage. I turn my regulator down as low as it will go which is 20 psi. Even lower would work, but that is as low as mine will go. I have a piece of 1/4" air hose that I poked about 7 holes in and put a bolt in the end. I drop the hose in the tub and hook the other end up to my air compressor. I have had 2 dozen perch alive for 3 weeks before with no problems. I also have put my catfish in it on late nights out fishing. I have had seven 5 pounders in there at once before. They were in there 3 days before I cleaned them and they were still alive.

    If you use a pancake compressor, it will run constantly. My 60 gal compressor runs quite a bit when I use it for bait. I would say it kicks on every 30 minutes.
     
  7. yeppa

    yeppa New Member

    Messages:
    636
    State:
    Topeka, Kansas
    Just make sure your compressor doesn't discharge oil with the air, some of them do. Also NEW galvanized may cause you some problems. It can be neutralized by washing it out by vinegar. Older tanks that have been outside a while, should be ok. Depending on what your town puts in the water, you will probably have to use a clorine remover that you can get in a pet store. You MIGHT get away with letting the water stand for a day or two before you add fish. GOOD LUCK.
     
  8. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    Yea , I thought about that also Mark and didnt see a way to make that work. Even with a regulator and evaporator on it won't work. I ran my mouth on the post before actually thinking it through. I'm going to have to buy a fish tank pump for now to areate it I guess. I want a battery one but thats more darn batteries that I cant afford. I'm close enought to the house to catch any bait and keep them alive in ice water. My main goal (for now) is to catch, transport to the house, then keep them alive at home. I havent seen any airators that I can plug in at home then swithch to battery power for fishing ( havent looked to hard either ). You all have been throwing great ideas at me so plz keep it up. So far I like the cooler idea because I can move it around easy and make a cut board out of the top. I will also build a large home tank hopefully next year so plz send all your ideas big and small. Thanks alot guys !!!!
     
  9. Montgomery

    Montgomery New Member

    Messages:
    257
    State:
    OHIO
    i am a monster aquarium junky. been doing it since i was very small boy. and my no how on that , all applies to your bait tank as well. rule of thumb is for aquariums . water should be circulated at least 4 times the volume each hour. so 50 gallon tank , a filter to pump 200 gallons per hour. but also they say to always over filter your water . cant hurt. but i do suggest buying carbon for your filter . it eats waste and ammonia. and if you set your tank up and let it run. in 24 hours you shouldn't have clorine. the first 24 hours , the clorine leaves and benifical bactiera begains to grow. they keep your tank healthy. one trick i learned to do . is when i bring my bait home . i dont use any water from the river ect. out of the bucket. i net them out ,and through out there water . i dont want paresites in my tank. plus it ruins your water on the spot. i found if you do your bait tank like an aquariium . and you can keep your bait a live and water clean for say a week. your bait will be very healthy and reenergised after being hooked. i swear some times my bait keeps more livlier then when i caught it the first time . just my 2 cents man . but hell i may be wrong about all this . just works for me....
     
  10. ateamfisherman

    ateamfisherman New Member

    Messages:
    297
    State:
    Texas
    just take anair conditioner pump put hose on it. Then go get a hose and minnow bucket put hoses on pump,then get foam rubber put in bucket run hose from pump to bucket and circulate over night it will hold abunch of bait. do not feed it will mess the water up.thanks sam davis
     
  11. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper New Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    State:
    Dallas, GA
    Jim,

    I have used an ac/dc inverter before to run multiple ac aerators during big bait-catching trips. If you had an inverter ($25) you would only need one pump. The catch 22 is that the inverter cost about the same as a pump. The battery aerators always seem so loud and eventually stop working, but they do allow for transport, and I do use them. I rigged the "power bubbles" dc aerator in my boat (Bass Pro #38-463-232-00). I think that it works great and is very quiet and dependable for $38. If you click on my profile there is a picture with the cooler/battery pump on the left side and then on the right is my shad tank that has the "power bubbles" which is mounted in the bow. For years after a flathead trip, if I had enough bait, I would transport with battery aerator. Get home change water, switch to ac aerator, and hit the bed.
     
  12. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Chest freezer is what I have at home and it works great. Matter of fact Jim gave it to me...:0a31:
    I have a 110v oxygen system that I purchased years ago when I had a bait shop. Not sure of the name but there are many available out there.
    You still need a filter system to keep the water clean. Rig a pump up to filter thru some quilt batting and your good to go.
    The freezer being insulated helps keep the bait cool during the summer. During real hot months I sifen about half the water out and replace with fresh every few days if needed.
     
  13. tnkatman

    tnkatman New Member

    Messages:
    846
    State:
    Bluff City, TN
    Jim, I have this set up in use right now, I have a 30 gallon rubbermaid plastic storage box like they sell at wal-mart and I bought a 12 inch bubble stone, air line, an aquarium pump, and an aquarium filter. It's nothing fancy and I probably have $40 in the whole set up but it works and I keep gills and goldfish successfully. I've had goldfish in it for a year and you can keep the gills usually for 1 to 2 weeks. The storage box comes with a lid so I can cover it, this set up works for me. Now I don't have to catch bait everyday before I fish, I can just catch enough bait in one day to do me the whole week.
     
  14. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    jim, the bait tank is invaluable, you will love it. i have had a tank set up in the basement for years. all i use is a plastic barrel, a pump for out door water falls and a 2 liter pop bottle for a filter. the pump runs into the bottle thats hanging on the side of barrel. the bottle is full of filter material and has a slit in it 2/3rds the way up the side. the flow areates the water so no need for an air pump. my tank has held 50 gills(4-7in.) for weeks at a time. just need to change out about a bucket of the water every 2-3 weeks. as said do not feed or the water will get filthy fast! also if you have to set up outside cover it from sun light or it will be green in a days time.

    good luck and enjoy your new tank bro.: tim
     
  15. pinpunch

    pinpunch New Member

    Messages:
    10
    State:
    ohio
    Think round for the tank. Lid with holes. Filter water. Aireate water. Water heater. Transfer pump to change water when needed. Ph test materials & chemicals. Used right this set up will keep you in bait year round. The bubbler & bucket is a good start; much better than a paper bag. I have bubblers, buckets, chest coolers, & rubbermaid containers etc. All the stuff at the top is what I wish I had. The only live bait that needs real care is shad. They die the quikest. They require just a little more than the bucket to keep them alive more than 3 or 4 hrs.:wink::wink::wink: