Need some bait tank help

Discussion in 'Livewell and Bait Tank Review' started by bnt55, May 19, 2008.

  1. bnt55

    bnt55 New Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    Northern KY
    I decided to make my own bait tank for shad I net on the Ohio River, needless to say it was a good idea it just hasnt worked out well. I will post some pictures to give you an idea of what I am up against. For starters I fill up the tank from the river and put in this stuff called baitfresh by bassmedic (turns the water greenish color)supposed to keep fish alive, then start the aerator/pump then add shad. The only problem is that the shad will not stay alive more than 30 minutes. What am I doing wrong?? The pump runs nicely and there are bubbles blowing out of it from the plastic tub air pickup on top the tank. I would like to get this tank working since I dont want to buy another. please help the season is almost upon us..
     

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  2. bnt55

    bnt55 New Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    Northern KY
    Here is another picture of the tank....can anyone say 7-UP YOURS!!! :smile2:
     

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  3. FLATHEAD STEVE

    FLATHEAD STEVE New Member

    Messages:
    1,772
    State:
    DESMOINES IOWA
    If I were you I would try this stuff called shadkeeper most large sporting retailors sell it and get rid of the that green stuff, I use AQUASAFE with tapwater and can hold em for two weeks....."just tried it with shad to see if it would work"...it is illegal to use live shad in IOWA..LOL!!!!
     
  4. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Messages:
    2,090
    State:
    Kansas CIty, MO
    Just add salt. Also you will need to change the water after about 30 min. of them being in there. Shad like to lose scales. You need to keep them in nice clean water.
     
  5. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    i put the shad into my boats livewell for 10 mins or so while constantly pumping fresh water into it. Then i put them into the shad tank, this gets rid of all the scales that the shad are gonna loose and also gets the ones that are gonna die right off outta the way.
     
  6. bnt55

    bnt55 New Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    Northern KY
    what about putting them into a five gallon bucket so they can lose their scales, poop or whatever else they do then dip net them into the bait tank? I really need to recirculate the tank out of the river because changing the water is a pain in the butt. Speaking of changing the water, how far do I drain the water down in the bait tank to add new water? do I then add more salt since there is new water?

    thanks
    Bill
     
  7. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    You're wasting your time without some kind of good-quality filtration system - you can stir the water and put bubbles in it till the cows come home and your shad still won't live. Salt might prolong the agony by an hour or two but that's all.

    The reason commerically made bait tanks like the Creek Bank, Blue Water, etc. work so well has little to do with aeration and a lot to do with filtration. Unfortunately, the complexity of those filters is a big part of the reason those tanks cost so much.

    If keeping your shad alive is that important to you, invest in a good quality tank. If not, skip the tank entirely and put your freshly caught shad in a plastic bag on ice - if you're going to use your shad for cut bait, that'll work just about as well as having them alive, and it'll work better than fishing stiff dead fish out of the bottom of your bait tank.
     
  8. martygreen

    martygreen Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,224
    State:
    Rock Hill,S.C.
    Yep you need to add a good filter to your tank that will clean the scales and such out,it would be even better with activated charcoal or a bag or two of zeolite,this takes the ammonia and stuff out.
    You may also be shocking the shad to much,you cannot change the temp on them very fast going from good cold water to room temp water or higher.
    You may also look into adding an oxygen infussor on your pump,i could not tell exactly what type you had and also get the water going in a circular motion so the shad can school properly
    I also use Shadkeeper and water softner tablets or rock salt,plus the foam away,you dont wont foam to build up on top of the water
    Hope some of these tips help ya out,I used homemade tanks for years as well with fair sucess for a day trip but not much longer than that,I finally broke down and bought a good tank,Super Bait Tank 2,best on the market in my opinion,now I can keep them for days instead of a day,with very little water change,just clean the filter and zeolite bags and back at it
     
  9. gottagetabigun

    gottagetabigun New Member

    Messages:
    248
    State:
    OKLAHOMA
    i put shad in a 5 gallon bucket for 5 min or so and then put them in my tank. i made my own filtration system by putting my pump in a cast net container which has several holes in it. then i filled it up with gravel from a railroad rightaway. i use shad saver and i change my water every couple of hours. i have great sucess with this method and minimal costs.
     
  10. allflats

    allflats Member

    Messages:
    251
    State:
    Kentucky
    I no longer try to keep them alive.They dont stay alive long on the hook anyway.I just put them on ice and save myself the headache of trying to keep them alive.I save them bait tank for my bluegills.
     
  11. gottagetabigun

    gottagetabigun New Member

    Messages:
    248
    State:
    OKLAHOMA
    a guide claims after shad has been on ice for two hours your bite decreases 50 to75%. he claims he did studies with fresh shad and shad that had been on ice and that was the decrease in bites.
     
  12. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    Question for you guys.....

    I saw the post where its said you " have " to have a good filtration system. On our 35 gal round tank we use dual aerator ran off a 12v battery, rock salt from the feed store, and the blue stuff ( I forget the brand off hand ). We buy or a lot of times net our own bluebacks and threadfin and throw them in together.

    Now...filters...Ive been told the scales fall off and the fish choke on them, thus killing them. Sounds believable to me....until I keep looking at all the scales floating on top of our water. I have been watching this like a hawk, intentionally for a long time now. Yea, if there is a lot I will now and then scoop the top layer off, but that's about it.

    I'm just trying to figure out why some folks bait dies from choking but ours don't ? Is there something we are doing that other people don't ?

    If we can all benefit from our different methods I'm all for it.
    I myself will never buy a $300-$600 super bait tank.....ok, that's because I cant afford it, LOL. Very often people that have these kinds of tanks get really pissed off when they see our tank doing so well.

    Salt....this is what I've been taught: When bait is moved around it goes into a slight shock causing the gills to contract and this constricts availed oxygen. The salt forces the gills to open returning blood flow and oxygen....IMO its a must for long living bait....1 cup for every 10gal.


    Water temp:
    During the summer if we need cooler water we can drop a 50' or more hose down into the water to pump up the cooler water ; )


    Everyone has their way and what works for them. This is just our way, and it works. We fish 2x a week from 1am to 4pm...every week and our bait does fine. So if someone is making a cheap bait tank, start out simple and add accordingly if you are on a budget.......

    -Jim-
     
  13. gottagetabigun

    gottagetabigun New Member

    Messages:
    248
    State:
    OKLAHOMA
    i maybe wrong but i think its ammonia that has a lot to do with them dying. the blue stuff helps keep the ammonia knocked down. shad naturally put off ammonia. when you start seeing a lot of surface bubbles that means the ammonia content is rather high and its time to change your water.
     
  14. Pillpeddler

    Pillpeddler New Member

    Messages:
    79
    State:
    Kentucky
    I am a complete novice at this but I made an el'cheapo bait tank out of 1/2 of a 55 gallon plastic drum and a large plastic 20 gal. pail. I insulated the space between the 2 and added a circulation pump from Wallyworld. The tank also has a plywood top/lid. When used it I was told by a very knowledgable Lake Cumberland stripper guide to use Shadkeeper and a big handful of water softening salt tablets. We were using "shad" , which were actually an alewife, and were able to keep them alive from 4am until after lunch (about 2 to 3pm), they started croaking then because I didn't have any way to cool the water down and the alewifes are very temp sensitive. The setup worked very well until I hooked up my 12 volt pump up to my 24 volt trolling motor system. ran like hell for 10 minutes then poof....

    My brother made a similar system without insulation and it works well until the weather heats up.

    It can be done on a budget but you have to have a way to neutralize the ammonia and keep the waste and scales filtered out. I dont know if a filter system would help the fish but it sure makes the aerator a lot happier. My system works well for me but I only need it occasionally.

    Pill
     
  15. Steve Douglas

    Steve Douglas Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,899
    State:
    Kentucky
    redneck bait tank/akwalung install
    i needed to do a vid for my akwalung. so i used some materials i had laying around. i designed the akwalung specifically guys that have there own tanks, coolers, tool boxes, or plastic drums. doesnt matter what containers you use to hold the water, its what you do inside the container thats important, the akwalung gets the job done.