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Discussion Starter #1
Can any of you more experienced bait keepers let me know your thoughts on a bait tank setup for my situation?

I live lakeside and am looking for a way to keep shad alive for longer periods of time(a week or so between my fishing trips). Not necessarily looking for the lowest budget option, but looking for the best functioning setup.

I'm researching whether a tank that is placed on my dock, with continuous flow from the lake(via pond pump and overflow drains), would work as well as a salt treated/filtered bait tank. I'm in Texas, so I know I'll be hard pressed to keep shad alive in summer, unless I place a tank in my garage, which I will likely do.

Will the continuous flow of lake water be enough to keep them alive for a week or so at a time? Would I be better off building a filtered tank with a bucket style canister filter and salt treatment?

Thanks for any input you might have.

Mike
 

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Mike,
If I had a dock I would go with the lake water option. Bait fish need some space to live comfortably, depth not so much so I would go as big as I could in diameter. Must have rounded corners or preferably no corners.
Do not overdo the water flow. Many guys do and the shad don't do well battling current. Gentle in at the bottom- out at the top.
Hope this helps.

...W
 

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How about a partially submerged cage? You could permanently attach it to your dock and you wouldn't be dependent on a pump. I'd reckon it wouldn't be hard to build something like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I’ve got a floating laundry tub type basket I made(2’ diameter) and it does ok if I only put a few shad in it, but they don’t make it over about a day. That and the snakes will get in a floating cage, unless I build a top on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mike,
If I had a dock I would go with the lake water option. Bait fish need some space to live comfortably, depth not so much so I would go as big as I could in diameter. Must have rounded corners or preferably no corners.
Do not overdo the water flow. Many guys do and the shad don't do well battling current. Gentle in at the bottom- out at the top.
Hope this helps.

...W
That’s what I’m thinking. Constant flow should lower ammonia build up and allow me to stock up on shad for weekends and before tournaments. It would be a much simpler design and I think would work well until surface and air temps get to summer levels.
 

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Alot of guys around here get a junk washing machine drum and place it in the lake.its stainless and last forever.i use one for my catfish bait and all my buddies that live on lakes use them for livewells at the docks.
 

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Steven from Georgia
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I know a guy who keeps bream, crappie and white perch alive for days at a time in a submerged cage.

Shad may be more tricky,
If you go for on the dock tank. For the hot texas summer, your going to need to insulate it somehow. Your also going to need cool water. That means your going to need to pump from 8' or deeper.

Ive learned that i can keep several big gizzards alive in my built in 30 gal. bait well on my boat. In the winter I can pump right off the surface. In the summer even if you catch them in 5' of water they'll die fast. If i pump water with a hose out of deeper water they live for a good while.
 
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