Keeping bait alive

Discussion in 'NORTH CAROLINA LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by deepwoods, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. deepwoods

    deepwoods Member

    Messages:
    220
    State:
    north carolina
    I have my greatest luck catching bait (shad) in the evening around our dock. For some reason they are not there in the morning. I have tried to catch them the night before and keep them over night for the next morning but they all die. I have tryed a big minnow bucket left in the lake, my fish basket and filling my 158 quart cooler with a "bubble maker" in it. In all cases the shad croak by morning. I know the dead shad willl work as bait for blues and channels. I have found when I use live ones I catch more fish and I pick up both stripers and flatheads. One of my "spots" is a old lake bed in the channel (LKN) that hold all kinds of fish. I even have caught bass and crappie with live bait.

    I have a morning spot to catch bait but it cuts into my fishing time.

    Does anyone have a suggestion or know of a product to store shad over night that works? I can not run my boat bait tank all night. I know there are products on the market (bait tanks) but they are very expensive. I am looking for a home made idea.
     
  2. bnewsom71

    bnewsom71 New Member

    Messages:
    537
    State:
    Mathervill

  3. ncfowler

    ncfowler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,695
    State:
    NC
    Name:
    Jeff
    There are several compaines that make floating bait tanks, They are round and made of a fine mesh nylon net the top opening floats just above the surface. One of the reasons why shad will die is stess, putting them in a small space will stess them out even if they are in the water. using a bigger tank will help. Don't want to spend a ton of money on getting one easy get your self some large pool noodles and pvc make a circle with the pvc and put the pool noodle over it then go to you local fabric store and get some nylon netting used for making laundry bags, you will need to mesure the out side of the circle and add few inches take the two ends of the netting and sew it together doubble stich please, for the bottom you will need to use the same netting material and use the pvc circle once again to make a templet, some seam stitching may be needed to make a pice big enough, after the bottom is stitch and cut out sew it to the bottom of the first pice making a big round bag, now take the opening and from the inside wrap it around the pvc and noodle and hand stitch it together, you now have a floating bait tank. I found it easer to buy one http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_7858____SearchResultscabelas has some as well, or do a search for other brands
     
  4. Bryan8552

    Bryan8552 New Member

    Messages:
    422
    State:
    nc
    Cut a fifty gallon plastic drum in half (about 30 gal) and put a large aquarium aerator in it. Everytime you use it, empty it and refill it with freshwater. Should be ok overnight. In the winter I can keep gizzard shad alive in one for up to a week. I dont know that it matters but mine is blue.
     
  5. jerry9497

    jerry9497 New Member

    Messages:
    512
    State:
    Tobaccoville NC
    in the summer you need to freeze a/some bottle of water and keep the water atleast as cool as they came from working slowly to even cooler. when you pull a net full out of 85 degree water, thats only the top layer of water them fish can dip down to thermalcline and be in much cooler water. they do better in cooler water but you cant shock them either. but if you fill livewell with 85 degree water and it heats up from there it will kill your bait right off.
     
  6. Bryan8552

    Bryan8552 New Member

    Messages:
    422
    State:
    nc
    And I should've said.... fill that tank using a small electric pump, one that has a hose and cord that's long enough to drop it down 10-15 feet deep in the lake where you'll be getting cooler water right to start with.
     
  7. Pier Pressure

    Pier Pressure New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    Mt.Pleasant,NC
    How deep is it right off your dock? Switching to an open system may solve all your shad woes. If you have access to deep enough water, using a 110v pump you can continuously pump fresh water in to keep them going strong. Keeping them shaded and insulated would be a must but may be a viable alternative. If you could pull it from around the cline you would have it made. Let us know how it works out.
     
  8. greggofish

    greggofish New Member

    Messages:
    214
    State:
    Holly Springs, NC
    keeping them alive overnight is easy. You don't need to worry about the temperature at all if you take care of the ammonia and filter the water properly. I keep 200-250 big threadfins alive overnight all the time. They are actually hard to catch the next morning they are so lively...

    Here is the formula do do what I do:

    http://greggofish.com/keepingshadalive.html

    you can go the homemade route....but you will not keep as many alive and you will have to change the water out alot.

    homemade = more work and less bait
    premium tank = less work, more bait and better bait
     
  9. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,177
    State:
    NC
    "...I know there are products on the market (bait tanks) but they are very expensive...."

    I am going to be honest with you here, there IS NOT A CHEAP WAY THAT WORKS CONSISTENTLY! Trust me, is it was easy someone would have brought something to the market and made a fortune.

    Bait is $5-$8 a dozen because keeping them alive IS NOT EASY!

    I will give you the advice someone gave me; IF YOU ARE SERIOUS about keeping bait alive, then buy a Creek Bank, Super, or Grayline bait tank and don't waste your time and money trying to build one. By the time you take all the money you will spend trying to make something work you could have bought a professional one.
     
  10. Shimano

    Shimano New Member

    Messages:
    195
    State:
    North Carolina
    I would have to agree with Wyliecat here. I do alot of tournament striper fishing and keep bait in a 500 gallon holding tank in the winter for months but about a week is tops in hot weather. I use a Vest bait tank or (Super Bait Tanks II for those not familiar) on the boat though. It was about $500 and worth every penny!
     
  11. deepwoods

    deepwoods Member

    Messages:
    220
    State:
    north carolina
    Thanks for all of the input.

    I will say my first inclination (as always) is to attempt to build my own tank out of a plastic barrel and a pump/aerator. Normally self made is my first avenue on most things, sometimes it works out, sometimes I regret not buying a professionally made product. The water off my dock is only 12 feet deep so pulling water out of the lake would still be very warm. I have also heard putting one frozen 16oz water bottle in 30 gallons will keep the temp over night if the tank is insulated.

    I have tried to make a small bait tank before for finger mullet which I had zero success keeping them alive. I gave Tony a call a Perth Tackle and it sounds like he has some tanks that would work and the price is not that bad.

    Also great link to keep bait alive.

    I tend to be cheap if I can get a way with it. Deiter is right, spending the money on an appliance that you know will work probably is the smart thing to do. This situation it feels like I should just buy one.

    Again thanks to all, it really has been a lot of help
     
  12. ATTICUS_BUDDY

    ATTICUS_BUDDY New Member

    Messages:
    68
    State:
    mn originally now NC
    i put a c ouple rock salt pellets in with mine and it seems to work out great keeps them alive all night no problem never keep them longer then that though. make sure you also have a bubbler. good luck hope this helps for you. also experement with the salt to little or to much can effect it. i use 2-3 pellets to one gallon