keeping bait alive

Discussion in 'INDIANA RIVERS TALK' started by duff, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. duff

    duff Guest

    What's the best set up to keep bait alive from place to place. I've had good and bad luck with coolers and other type of bait buckets but what is your best secret to keeping fish alive?

    Thanks, Duff
     
  2. catfishhunter2009

    catfishhunter2009 New Member

    Messages:
    504
    State:
    North Caro
    Welcome to the BOC Duff , this is the best group of people on the internet right here . I use stay alive to keep my baitfish alive also if it is hot out you can take some 20 oz bottles of water that you have pre frozen with you and pop them in there with your bait . Put one in , leave it in till it has totally thawed and then simply through another one in there etc etc . Or you can buy a bubbler system , but if it's hot do the frozen water bottle trick . Hope this helps you out , good luck . :wink:
     

  3. recordbreakin1

    recordbreakin1 New Member

    Messages:
    746
    State:
    texas
    Welcome to the BOC Rayan.I use a big cooler with a power converter and run a big air pump to it.The bottle thing realy helps when its hot because the hotter the water gets the easier it is for it to loose oxigen.I'm in the process of putting a pump on the cooler but the way I use it now will keep several dozen shad and big gills alive for days.
     
  4. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Messages:
    10,914
    State:
    missouri
    Being raised on a minnow farm i'll say that more fish die from shock than anything else. Just a few degrees difference in water temp. is enough to shock most bait. When transferring bait from one source to the other i highly recommend a thermometer and if it takes ice, water from the pond or whatever to achieve the same water temp. by all means do so. Also in a vat or bait tank use well water thats not chlorinated if there is any way possible. If city water is all that you have, buy some of the bait keeper stuff sold in bait shops, it's well worth the money.
     
  5. goneflatheadin

    goneflatheadin New Member

    Messages:
    41
    State:
    cullman al
    I took a 8 gallon tote bucket and mounted a air pump on the side I bought from bass pro shop , you can get them at wal-mart also, I then drilled a hole in the side for the air line , put a 5 oz weight on the air stone at end of air line so it would stay emerged, I can keep 20 to 30 bream alive all night .
     
  6. duff

    duff Guest

    Thanks guys. There have been some good advice given. Last time out we had most of our fish die nearly as soon as we caught it. It was in a boat livewell and a fish basket. Figured most of it was cause the lack of Oxygen but really didn't know. These were gills and other hardy type bait so I was really suprised they died so easy.
     
  7. boombalaty

    boombalaty New Member

    Messages:
    1,536
    State:
    Kansas
    Big rubbermaid tub 8 bucks, battery aerator 8 bucks, Dechlorinator (slime coat is what I use) for water changes 4 bucks, some frozen 2 liters free. I have good luck with this cheap set up. I usually go get bait the night before a trip and I have even had good luck keeping shad alive. If you were going to have it out in the sun just use a cooler instead.
     
  8. boombalaty

    boombalaty New Member

    Messages:
    1,536
    State:
    Kansas
    oh and when I am out fishing I usually keep em in a basket.

    For a good long term tank use a 55 gal barrel (plastic), bilge pump, and some sort of filter media(charcoal) and a foam filter. I think there are plans on how to build a really nice filter to use on a bilge pump in the library.
     
  9. indycatman

    indycatman New Member

    Messages:
    1,002
    State:
    Greenwood, Indi
    i have a 5 gallon bucket and run two aerators on it all the time i am out fishing they stay alive all day and night but that is for bank fishing
     
  10. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    smaller live baits are easier to keep more of. ammonia seams to be the biggest threat. change water as soon as you get to the river/lake. a bubbler will help some but in the heat of summer its rough.
     
  11. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Messages:
    10,914
    State:
    missouri
    Actually i wouldn't recommend feeding bait period. they will only throw this off and cause more water problems. Minnows are kept in vats for weeks at a time and never fed.
     
  12. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    Tim said it right there... Ammonia is deadly toxic!
    You can aerate the water to death, but that don't do anything for lowering the toxic ammonia level that will itself kill your poor bait deader than a door nail.

    In a fish tank, this is what your undergravel biolgical filter would do...
    Bacteria eats fish poo and such, (Ammonia) then the bacteria poops, the bacteria will then turn around and eats it's own poop, turning the ammonia it into "nitrites"... also very toxic... but THEN, lol ,that bacteria eats it's own nitrite poop, except this time when it poops, it's called "nitrates" which is much less harmful... and on it goes.

    BUT your out fishing, so you don't have the benefit of an established biological filter system for your bait fish, but you still NEED to reduce that ammonia SOMEHOW or they WILL die... the bigger your bait, the bigger their poop- Lots of bait fish= lots of fish poop, and the faster the ammonia will build up and kill them.

    Frequent water changes with fresh river/lake water is nessary- and how frequent depends on how much bait fish you have and how big your bait is.

    Next. cooler water holds more dissolved oxygen which your bait needs to survive. The warmer the water, the less dissolved oxygen it can hold (thats why putting ICE in to cool the water helps keep baitfish lively.)

    TIP: if you get your bait somewhere else other than the lake or river your going to fish-don't SHOCK the poor guys with different water temps and different PH levels by changing too much water too fast. (about a third at a time and wait at least 10 minutes between changes)
    When you get to the river/lake or whatever, gradually acclimate the bait fish to that water- and do it BEFORE you stick one on a hook and cast him out into the different temp and PH levels of the lake or river.

    When changing the water, pour the it through a dipnet to sift out chunks of stuff that will cause ammonia level rise faster.

    Another cool little thing to know is that if you catch Gills/bream-whatever you choose to call 'em, notice that they'll poop the most soon after being thrown in the bait bucket.... so ever so often while your bait fishing, Use your dipnet to get all the poopie chunks outta there and change some water - or - dump all the water out and use the SAME water from where you caught them to fill it back up again..
    Also remove any fish that dies or is dying, because- dead fish = high ammonia.

    It all sounds like a big pain in the butt and it IS lol, but nothing beats healthy, lively bait!
    There are creative ways to lessen all the labor of water changes.
     
  13. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    I agree with the water temp points given. I use a regular meat thermometer stuck in a bobber/small noodle to keep it floating. I watch it like a hawk trying to keep bream below 80F and the herring/shad as close to the thermocline temps as possible..this way they don't die from shock as you drop them down.

    Also depending on what bait I'm keeping, I definitely change out my water after catching them because they will purge themselves. They will stress, poop, etc, fairly quick and it's best to change that out. I keep water ready for this ahead of time so its the same temp ; )

    Feeding them... Unless your running bio tanks like I do at home its best not to feed them. My tanks can handle the fish waste, in fact they need it to maintain properly, but just for temporally holding tanks I wouldn't feed them because it will cause unnecessary ammonia buildup.

    If a fish starts to swim funny go ahead and take him out...he will die and then release ammonia too, just throw him on ice for cut-bait. For aerators, find a stone that throws off the smallest bubbles as possible....smaller ones bring in more oxygen and release other harmful chemicals vs bigger bubbles.

    g'luck
    -Jim-
     
  14. old newbie

    old newbie New Member

    Messages:
    179
    State:
    indiana
    tHAT WAS THE CRAPIEST POST i'VE EVER READ ON HERE.:big_smile:
     
  15. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    Thank you lol
     
  16. duff

    duff Guest

    It's been a while since I had chemistry or limnology. Thanks for the refresher course!!!! This is some great info. I forget about amonia and focus more on the temp & DO.

    This should help me craft some type of rig that will crash and leave me with lots of cut bait. Great post guys. Thanks for the tips.
     
  17. CatHunter24

    CatHunter24 New Member

    Messages:
    715
    State:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Looks at the plans in the library and this response is pretty much dead on. If you want to contact me i am finishing up building a 25-30 gal bait tank from a 55 gal drum. Its insulated, filtered and aerated. Just depends on how elaborate you want to go, if you are on a boat or on a bank and if you want something simple and easy or something more permanent and reliable.
     
  18. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    Cold clean water and plenty of aeration (I'm not talking about the battery aerators, I'm talking about the kind that you plug into your car)!:cool2:
     
  19. RonSki

    RonSki New Member

    Messages:
    380
    State:
    Indiana
    So Bill, what do I need to reduce the ammonia/Nitrites in my tank at home. I've got 55 gallons with 20 rock bass in there & I'd like to be able to keep them healthy till I need them. I have aeration and filtration but I've had some die recently and I think it's the ammonia. What do I need to do??