New Bait Tank version 2.0

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by catfishcentral, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    Keep Shad Alive and My Bait Tanks​


    Shad are delicate little creatures as we all know and several things are needed in order to keep them alive. First cool water. Insulated tanks are a must unless you’re fishing in the winter. The water that you fill your livewell is surface water that is very warm and in turn, stresses the fish more by raising their metabolism. The cooler the water, the slower the metabolism of the fish and in turn calms them down. Now surface temps in the summertime can reach 90 degree’s so an insulated tank will do no good unless the water has been cooled down. The easiest way I’ve found is frozen two liter’s of water. They’re basically free and reusable. Non- Iodized salt helps promote the slim coat on your fish. One cup for every twenty gallons will do the trick. Now that you have cooled the water down, added your salt, you must remove the scales and crap that shad produce. Shad stress so easy that you must remove the pollutants before they die. They will cut their gills on the scales that fall off them and choke on all the crap that they produce when they stress.

    I’ve been looking for quite some time now for the “prefect bait tank”. I’ve always wanted a round tank but all I’ve ever found is one’s that are non- insulated or the highend 400.00 to 800.00 bait tanks that some places sell. The last few years I have been using a 120quart ice chest along with my filtration and air stones to keep LOTS of shad alive for my catfishing.

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    Now for the new improved bait tank. I was in a store the other day and found a keg ice cooler that held 108 quarts/ 27 gallons. It was on clearance for 45.00 dollars so I had to buy it. The lid to it was worthless piece of thin plastic so it had to go. I basically used the same idea that I have on my old bait tank just set up a little different. The bottom of the cooler is a threaded ¾ inch plastic. I bought a threaded ¾ inch elbow that reduced into ½ inch. I ran the PVC up and back into the ice chest with assorted elbows, 4 way, and cap. I took some ½ inch treated plywood for my lid and cut the lid in half to put hinges on. This is all run by a 500 gph bilge pump at the bottom of my livewell. I’ve learned to keep the shad for getting sucked into or plugging the inlet for the bilge to build a wire cage around as not to plug up the bilge. The water is simply sucked up the PVC and runs down onto my filter which pulls all the scales and crap that shad lose when the stress. This setup circulates the water and pulls out all the bad stuff. Air stones are used when I have over 30 shad and have kept over 100 3 inch shad alive with only about a 20% mortality rate all day long. Thirty or so shad can be kept alive for over a week. The rounder bait tank fits much better into the confines of my boat and the rounder the better to keep them shad happy.


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  2. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    In order to keep my passengers happy in the nasty chop on the lake I installed a window seal as a gasket and a latch. My son is much happier not getting covered in shad water when hitting big waves on the lake. It also nice while driving since I don't lose any more water from sloshing around.

    I also after a while didn't like the access for my filter system. It wasn't bad in the old ice chest tanks but cleaning and knowing when the filter needed to be clean was hard with this setup. I decided to run the filter system on the top for better access and I know when the filter needs to be cleaned. I stole a prefect piece of tupperware from my wife's kitchen and just drilled my 1/8 inch holes in the botten for the water to filter through. I'm running a 800 gph bilge now and when the filter gets too clogged the water starts to run over the top of the bait tank lid. I tried using the poly fill batting that a lot of the professional bait tanks use but I prefer the blue fiber filters. They are much easier to clean, cut to fit and last a long time. I run two filters and between the two I keep activated carbon to also help keep the water in better condition. This also with frozen two liters, some iodized salt and coffee creamer the shad will stay alive for at least a week.


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