Livewell capabilities in my center console

Discussion in 'Boating' started by bigblaze, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. bigblaze

    bigblaze New Member

    Messages:
    738
    State:
    NC
    I have a 19' center console equipped with 2 round live wells. the pump supplying water to the livewells is a 800 gallon per hour pump. The livewells have an overflow tube that drains the water.

    My problem is keeping shad alive for a long period of time say 3-4 hours.

    My question is does any one else use this kind of set up for shad. The shad died pretty quick and one thought is even though the water was well aerated and circulated, the livewell over flow tube was not enough to filter the scales out....

    I'm thinking of drilling some small hole in the lower portion of the overflow tubes to help get rid of the scales but don't want to if there is another way....

    anybody have any thoughts....thanks in advance...
     
  2. Creek6

    Creek6 New Member

    Messages:
    55
    State:
    OK
    I have the same problem in especially in the summertime. You might check the actual flow of the livewell pump. I have a 750 GPH pump, but that measurement is made at the pump and the rate of flow goes down significantly if the water is pumped any distance or up. I bought a bait tank last summer that filters the water but it is still hard to keep shad alive unless I lower the temperature of the water by adding ice.
     

  3. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    The problem is in the design. It's not enough for it be aerated.
    If you are having alot of scaling your aeration is probally beating them to death. The water should enter the tank in a way that it keeps the water moving in a circular motion and it not be a spray or just a diluge of water.

    Just like in an aquarium. You dont want a strong infusion of water, you want a gentle infusion. Large air bubbles are of little use in aeration. they rapidly rise to the surface and disperse the oxygen. The small bubbles take longer to surface therefore they infuse more oxygen into the water.

    Aerating bass and bait are two totally different concepts.
    But even the pro bassfishermen have some pretty high tech livewell setups these days complete with oxygen infusion systems.
     
  4. bigblaze

    bigblaze New Member

    Messages:
    738
    State:
    NC
    Mark, there is a nozzle at the top of the livewell. I have turned the livewell head so the water shoots out at an angle thus allowing the water to circulate. The nozzle is almost under the water so the water sort of cascades into the tank rather than violently pouring into the tank...
     
  5. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Keeping shad alive in a live well is difficult at best.Mark as usual is correct in that you want a gentle flow of water in a circular motion.Do you run the pump continously?Drilling holes in the bottom of the overflow tube is going to drain your water out.The key thing is temp.Add ice, non chlorinated if you can get it, and some salt or better yet the proper amount of "Shadsaver" which you can buy at Basspro or from the catalog.I use the Power Bubbles aireation unit continously on my live well,along with ice,Shadsaver and fresh water frequently and have pretty good luck with shad and herring.They are going to shed some scales and I don't know how to get rid of that problem but the scales arent critical as long as the water is cool and oxygenated sufficiently.:smile2:
     
  6. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    I second Jim's thought -- using a livewell to keep shad in just isn't going to work.

    You really need a dedicated bait tank with a filtration system of some sort. Consider a Grayline, Blue Water or other similar tank. Here's why:
    * In the summer, you have to keep the shad at a cooler temperature than the lake or river you're fishing on; continuously pumping in fresh water from the lake won't cut it, as the shad are quite stressed already and the warm water just makes it worse. Cool water holds more oxygen and will keep them alive a lot longer. This time of year, however, it shouldn't be a problem to use a livewell -- in fact, that's what I've been doing for the last several weeks with water temps locally around 48 degrees; I have no trouble keeping shad alive for 4 to 6 hours.
    * Additives like Bait Saver and Shad Saver can't be used when you're pumping in fresh water continuously. The additives help calm the shad, remove impurities from the water and generally contribute to the health of the bait fish.
    * You need some way to get the scales out of the water, and relying on overflow from a livewell pump won't do it. The problem with the scales is that the shad will eventually breathe them into their gills, which can block the gills and cause them to suffocate.

    Unfortunately, a good bait tank is expensive -- I bought a used 30 gallon Grayline last summer and still paid nearly $300 for it. But it's worth its weight in gold as far as I'm concerned - I can keep shad alive for 2 or 3 days in the heat of summer if I'm careful to change the water and control the temperature.
     
  7. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    T did you mount the tank on your boat.My problem is when I go down for the tournaments I catch maybe 20-30 white perch and get 4 dozen herring.Keeping them all alive in a 35 gal livewell is a hard job.The perch are much hardier than the herring of course.I'm thinking about getting a tank for my truck so I can hold some of them and only carry what I need for 8 hrs of fishing on board.Then I can come back and reload.Doesn't matter where you keep them boat or truck same rules apply.I much prefer live bait up to the moment I use it as opposed to keeping shad and herring on ice.:smile2:
     
  8. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    salt, salt, and more salt
     
  9. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Doc Lange a long time member of the BOC has quite a bit of information on his website about bait tanks.
    I've never seen a budget bait tank that worked, not saying there isn't one. Be willing to shell out some dough for better success.

    http://www.hookedoncatfish.com/
     
  10. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Jim -- my 30 gal tank isn't mounted permanently in the boat; I take it out when I don't need it (like at this time of year). It plugs into a cigarette lighter outlet in the boat and could be used in the back of my truck just as easily.

    For those of you considering a tank: Grayline is a good brand of bait tank (and is the one I have), but Blue Water and Creek Bank are better, with the Creek Bank tank being the "cadillac" as far as I'm concerned. The Creek Bank and Blue Water use an innovative filtration system (my opinion) that works better than the simpler Grayline filtration system. But the Blue Water and Creek Bank are both priced significantly higher than a Grayline. All of the tanks are insulated and can keep your bait alive in the dead of summer with just a little bit of attention from you.

    http://www.creekboats.com/tank_home.htm
    http://www.bluewaterbaittanks.com/
    http://www.graylinebaittanks.com/
     
  11. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Couldn't have said it better - your bait doesn't get any fresher than when the chunk you just cut up still twitches when you stick a hook into it... Plus you have the option of using a whole live bait if you want to. Hard to bring a shad on ice back to life...:lol:
     
  12. bigblaze

    bigblaze New Member

    Messages:
    738
    State:
    NC

    I cant add additives or SALT as they will flow out of the overflow tube....the pump I have is 800 GPH. The pump appears to be pumping more than enough water into it with out concerns of all the water escaping, besides if the small holes I drill are able to filter out the scales and drain off enough water then the opening of the top of the overflow tube will become obsolete.

    The water temp was in the high 50's. I don't think water temp was an issue.

    The nozzle was almost under the water and was pointed at an angle so the water was flowing in a circle....

    The pump is run continuously.
     
  13. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    That's why you need a dedicated bait tank. You add the salt and the pump recirculates (and filters and aerates) the water.

    You certainly might be able to drill holes and somehow make your current set up work this winter and early next spring, but I promise it'll fail to keep shad alive for any time at all once the water temperatures get back up above 70 degrees or so; above that temp and you really have to use ice in a dedicated tank to keep the temperature about 10 or 20 degrees below the water temp if you want to keep your shad alive.

    As I mentioned, I've taken my bait tank out of the boat for the winter and am keeping shad in the boat's built-in livewell, probably similar to the way you're doing it. With the cooler water temperatures and shorter fishing trips (short days, cold at night), it's working just fine for my needs. Some shad do die but I keep enough alive for my needs.

    I don't put the drain plug in and I leave the pump on the "automatic" timer, it runs for about a minute every 3 or 4 minutes. The way my boat is set up, the tank won't drain completely even with the plug removed; yours may not work that way. So water as the new water is pumped in, old water drains out the bottom and takes scales with it. It's not particularly effective at removing scales, but it helps.

    But again, this will only work as long as the water temps are low. After that, I'll go back to using my Grayline tank regularly.