Live bait tank

Discussion in 'NORTH CAROLINA LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by MERUSS, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. MERUSS

    MERUSS New Member

    Messages:
    46
    State:
    nc
    So it's Sunday at about half time of the Bears Saints game and my buddy calls and says he finished work on the live bait tank. We have been constructing on it off and on for a couple of weeks. He says to me "we need to get bait to see how well it works." Of course I point out that its only an hour before dark, it's raining straight down, and the tempurature is 33 degrees. He tells me that should not be a problem and he will be by in a few minutes to get me. I explain to my wife that I am going to get bait with my buddy at which time she tells me I have lost my mind. Anyway four fools my buddy talked in to this venture end up in the Yadkin river at 6pm headed for Bucks steam plant. We chunk nets for about 15 minutes and guess what... nothing, zipp, nada.
    Well now he says lets go to High Rock we'll get bait there for sure. Again I point out that it is now dark, raining, 32 degrees, and were all wet. He says can't stop now so off we go. We arrive, launch the boat a second time; but as luck would have it we did find abundant bait. It tooK maybe an hour and a half but we filled two 50 gallon live wells with shad one in the truck and one it the boat.
    So with the boat in tow and many baits we head for his house at Norman, when we wonder how were going to get the bait from the boat to the dock at his house. NO Problem we again launch the boat this time at stumpy creek and motor in the rain to his house to off load bait. Then we trailered the boat unhooked the trailer at the landing and drove the truck to his house to off load the bait in the live well in the truck.
    I am glad to say we have about 400 baits in the new live well. Which brings me to why I wrote this. Since the investment in this bait is monumental; any suggestions on keeping it alive. Right now we have 2 large air stones and were running a trickle or freshwater continuosly, we also added about 6 cups of salt to the tank. Helpful hints needed.
     
  2. Rookie12

    Rookie12 New Member

    Messages:
    1,324
    State:
    Kannapolis, NC
    A lot of guys do this same thing as amatter of fact. I visited a guy up on Lake Norman that live back in Stumpy Creek that does the same thing. He would go to High Rock and get bait and transport it home in a homemade tank that was fed oxygen by a medical oxygen tank ran through a large air stone at the bottom of that tank. He had another tank at his house that he would store the baits in, several hundred at a time. He had an aerator and filter system in it and would change the water every week or so and he kept baits alive a long time doing this. I would say to keep them alive, you need to have good clean aerated water on them at all times. Chuck some bread crumbs in every once in a while to give 'em soemthing to munch on and they should be fine. Remember if using city water to ue something to take out the chlorine. Better Bait and Shad Keeper work well. Both are made by surelife. Salt will help to keep 'em tough and protect their slime coat as well. Good luck with it. see ya
     

  3. miichael

    miichael New Member

    Messages:
    380
    State:
    North Carolina
    if you plan to keep shad alive for any amount of time you need to build a filter box. Use polyfill to filter out the scales and etc. from water. I use a 500gph bilge pump to pump water in my homemade filter and then let the water drip into the tank. without a good filter system bait will die within a few days if they make it that long. keep water clean, cold, and air in it and you should be able to keep bait for a long time.
     
  4. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,803
    State:
    North Caro
    Name:
    Mac
    Well timed subject. This past Monday I acquired a 135 gallon holding tank for bait, which I placed on my deck next to the lake in the shade. I have a continious flow of approximately 200 gallons per hour of lake water, with a pipe overflow and a bottom clean out drain. Will this flow give me enough oxygen or do I need to add an oxygen supply? Also, does anyone know how many blue backs or shad I can safely keep in this tank? Will the fish scales drop to the bottom or will they float on the top and go out the overflow pipe? If you see something I forgot, please feel free to advise me. Thanks Mac
     
  5. billcatfish

    billcatfish New Member

    Messages:
    1,571
    State:
    evansville Ind
    from what i have seen they will float around in the water an get stuck in there gills an kill the shad that is one of the things that kill the shad the fastest keep the water clean
     
  6. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,177
    State:
    NC
    Rusty, afte reading your post, I thouht Mac had given you a call!!

    You and Mac both sound like you have a good bait tank system. Mac's is better only because I know where it is, and can sneak up on it in the dark from my boat!! :big_smile:

    "...does anyone know how many blue backs or shad I can safely keep in this tank?..."

    I have read the rule of thumb for shad is one per gallon. Of course that varies with temperature. In cold weather you can probably get by with more if you have a good filtration system. In warm weather the ammonia is harder to filter out of the water.
     
  7. mudkip

    mudkip New Member

    Messages:
    645
    State:
    SC
    Is your tank is round, square tanks don't do well for bait that is easy to die like shad and herring. Might need more than a trickle and get the current so if flows around the tank to get the bait all swimming in the same direction--less collisions and less scale loss. Salt is good. Large tanks don't usually need filtration if the water exchange rate is high and the temp is kept down. Most of the bait guys I know bury their tanks in clay and gravel to help with insulation. Even those guys have trouble keeping bait for long time in the hot summer months. Hope this helps!
     
  8. mudkip

    mudkip New Member

    Messages:
    645
    State:
    SC
    Mac

    Your tank sounds good. Ned and those bait men usually have a big airstone in their tanks. You selling bait now?:lol:
     
  9. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,803
    State:
    North Caro
    Name:
    Mac
    Mudkip, no I'm not selling bait. This is my own stash and those that are lucky enough to steal some without my pit bull biting their ___! So there D-man. Mudkip, I will be using the tank to store those nice little white perch and bream this spring, summer and fall for mamma and daddy cats. Also, it would be a great place to keep a record cat until the proper state officals arrive to certified it. That way the big cat could eat while we wait on the officals and then I could let it ease back into LKN. Damn, I like the sound of that! Thanks for the tip about flow, I can take care of that.
     
  10. BILLYP

    BILLYP New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Fayetteville, North Carol
    Does anybody know what it takes to sell bait???
     
  11. miichael

    miichael New Member

    Messages:
    380
    State:
    North Carolina
    Ok guys here's the trick to keeping live shad alive. The tank has to be round or else they will get in corner and beat themselves to death. You need to add salt to the fish to harden there scales. Don't be scared to salt them down good. DO NOT USE IODIODE salt. The salt will keep there scales on and also will keep the shad "calm". If your shad are not calm then they will get a real red nose and die from stress. You got to get them scales out of the water. Those scales will build up on and in there gills and kill the shad. Here is a design of the perfect bait tank.

    http://www.bluewaterbaittanks.com/images/filter_system.gif

    The aerated water coming into the tank is pushing down the side of the tank to make a swirl and current. This makes the shad swim in the current which makes them get more oxygen through there gills. If you need any help on making a homemade filter system let me know. Be glad to help.
     
  12. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    i think nc has a law that limits the number of shad one can have in possession. i heard 200 baits, but not sure. so i dont think it would be worth your time to try and sell them. so thats 16 dozen. folks at santee can sell that many in 30 minutes on a good day. so 16 dozen at 7 bucks a dozen would be 112.00. take out the cost of cast nets,gas,and up keep of the tank and you would be better off on wellfare. the guys in sc that sell them are dealing with 2-3 hundred doz at a time. not sure about this but its what i was told by relieable source.
     
  13. MERUSS

    MERUSS New Member

    Messages:
    46
    State:
    nc
    show me a couple good holes i might help you find the bait tank:confused2:
     
  14. Rookie12

    Rookie12 New Member

    Messages:
    1,324
    State:
    Kannapolis, NC
    You have to have a license in North Carolina to sell bait. I think the regs say it is illegal, but I know of one person on LKN that has the license to sell it. The rule is 200 baits per person per day. Including shad and clueback herring. Mac, the rule of 1 shad per gallon is fine, but I cram way more than that in my tank and they do fine, just keep an eye on 'em and keep your water clean and cool. I got a 20 gal. tanks and I've had 45-50 shad in there at one time.
     
  15. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,803
    State:
    North Caro
    Name:
    Mac
    My 135 gallon tank is in and working and is the home of 13 dozen blue blacks from Ned's in SC. The scales I was worried about settled to the bottom and this does not appear to be a problem. Only lost three during transporting them and then moving them into the holding tank. Two of the three jump out of the net and hit my concrete drive and that might have cause their eventual death. I have been informed by others that have holding tanks that they use a wet vaccum or 500 GPH Rhuel pumps to pick up the loose scales. Will give this a try when it becomes a problem. Tomorrow morning will let me know for sure how good my system is. Will keep you guys/gals posted.
     
  16. mudkip

    mudkip New Member

    Messages:
    645
    State:
    SC
    I believe you are getting ready to catch a mess of Striped Baits--I mean Bass:lol:
     
  17. Pier Pressure

    Pier Pressure New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    Mt.Pleasant,NC
    Sounds like lake norman will provide plenty of oxygen for them. An aerator probably wouldn't hurt. Without filtration, sucking up the bottom for scales and poop will need to be done daily (Seasoned bait usually doesn't foul the water to bad). The constant trickle of lake water will keep ammonia and pH levels in check. As long as the temp. of the water doesn't swing wildly, too cold at night and warming all day, they shouldn't be to stressed. How long do you plan on keeping them? Keep us posted on the results.
     
  18. Ketch M

    Ketch M New Member

    Messages:
    6
    State:
    Florida
    Hey Billy I think the main thing you need is customers. LOL
     
  19. BILLYP

    BILLYP New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Fayetteville, North Carol
    I dont have to worry about consumers there are alot of people who rather buy a dozen minnows for 1.75 rather than 2.50 here in Fayetteville. Who would rather pay 2.50 for minnows really. I dont have the time to catch my own so I have to buy them and the cheapest ive found is 2.50 thats for the medium-large. See I could save people .75 per dozen.
    Who wants to buy minnows from me????????????? I should be set up by March (hopefully)
     
  20. mudkip

    mudkip New Member

    Messages:
    645
    State:
    SC
    Pretty sure it takes a commercial fishing license. Also check the zoning where you plan to sell. A good friend of our fishing club was blindsided by some jealous local bait shops because he was selling bait, but I think he found a loophole to slip through. And of course you need a LOT of fresh lively baits!:big_smile: