Keeping bluegills alive for an extended time

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by RiverKing, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. RiverKing

    RiverKing New Member

    Messages:
    2,232
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    Yellow Spr
    I have been catchingn bluegills lately so i can have a good amount of live bait to take to the Ohio River..What is the longest period of time you can keep them alive in a decent bait tank..Also i know they have to eat, what sort of stuff do you feed them, and lastly how often should you change the water out in there tank. All help is appreciated
     
  2. kccats

    kccats New Member

    Messages:
    634
    State:
    Olathe, Kansas
    I'm not an expert on this, but I do know that there is a LOT of great info about that in the BOC Library.

    There are a lot of factors involved in keeping bait fish.
    This time of year, heat is a major factor. You need to keep the water cool.
    They need LOTS of oxygen
    They need plenty of space

    There are a bunch of different bait tanks in the library from bank to boat to home tanks.
     

  3. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    I keep mine in a spring box in the ground with a trickle of water flowing thru it. I've kept them in it all winter long and feed them tuna and cat food. Some of the bream have been in it for a few years along with a few small channel cats. I empty it out every spring, clean the bottom and refill it. When I go fishing I just put some in a 5 gallon bucket until I get to the water and then put them in a basket type bait keeper.
     
  4. kccats

    kccats New Member

    Messages:
    634
    State:
    Olathe, Kansas
    I am unfamiliar with a "spring box".
    Can you elaborate?
     
  5. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    A spring box is an old time refrigerator. It'a basically a concrete box in the ground about 2 feet deep, 2 feet wide and 5-6 feet long. It used to have spring water flowing thru it from the spring that fed the house. It's where the folks used to keep butter, milk, eggs, etc. The spring I had is dried up so I ran a pipe from the house (well pump) which lets just a small amount of water trickle into the box which keeps it aireated and cool. The overflow goes out another pipe into the garden. I am about to install a pump and float switch in it. I can keep about 3-4 dozen bream in it all year long.
     
  6. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    My grandmother had and used one of these until her death. My father had bought her a refer but she wouldn't use it for anything. I think she liked walking down to the creek.

    Back to your question if you have a good bait tank with good O2 and water circulation I would add ice to the water to keep the temp down as for feeding them worms, cat food, tuna, bread and so on. If you don't have O2 for your bait tank they sell water additives both powder and tablets to add for that. good luck
     
  7. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

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    10,362
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    Pretty wild Billie! As far as keepin my water cool. I just keep a few 3 litre bottles of water frozen in my bait freezer and rotate them in and out of my bait tank. As mentioned oxygen and circulation is important.
     
  8. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    If you have a spring to feed off of or a well (so you don't have to pay for water) you can make a good bait tank out of a plastic 60 gallon drum. Just cut the side out of it about 3-4 inches deep while laying on the side, bury it in the ground with just the opening above ground and run a hose into it, letting the water fall 6 inches or so to aireate it. There is a pipe fitting in the top of the drums that a 1/2 or 3/4 inch pipe can be run out of for an overflow. (You want that to be the high side when you cut it.) It takes very little water flow to keep Bream healthy. It will hold bait all year long.
     
  9. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    overcrowding will kill your bluegills in a hurry, keep only what you need.
     
  10. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    I have an old bath tub in the garage. I have an 18 inch airstone in it and I change the water weekly from the hose and have a bag of chemicals to remove the chlorine. I have had fish for 2-3 months with or without food. More food = more cleaning. So I give the worms every few days and then curse the next day when I need to change water. But... I do enjoy handfeeding my pets....some of them never make it to a hook.
     
  11. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    John, I not only have a spring box in the yard; I have an old wooden water tower, like in Pettycoat Junction, that was used to fill the steam engines at the Big Island train station. The same spring that fed the spring box, filled the water tower. My house used to be the Station Masters House. My house sits on a small cliff above the James River, within casting distance. The station was between my house and the river until someone burned it down a few years ago. There is an old cemetery in the back yard that dates back to 1821.