New Bait Tank version 2.0

Discussion in 'Misc Fishing Tackle Talk' 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 sale. 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. See pic 1 for the old tank.

    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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    Here's the rest of the pics.
     

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  3. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    Well I only seem to be albe to add two pics at a time.
     

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  4. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

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    Great looking tank Cat, thank you for all the info. on it. Iv'e been needing a new one and the grey lines iv'e looked at as you said are very expensive. Mine is made out of a cooler but as you say they need to be round. Gave me some ideas that won't cost so much. Good job bro!
     
  5. Aquacat

    Aquacat New Member

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    Chris, nice bait tanks. I like your ideas. Shad are sure hard to keep alive.
     
  6. Nobody Special

    Nobody Special New Member

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    I've seen a lot of round, cheap feed tanks at farm supply stores. They're not insulated, but they might be good for a shell on a doityourself project.
     
  7. Abu

    Abu New Member

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    catfishcentral.... Awesome job on the shad tank and thank you for sharing. I am working on something better for my boat than a big square cooler. This is just the ticket, I will be able to keep shad alive as well as any other baitfish I use. Abu
     
  8. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    Hey, I'm glad you guys liked the tank. It is made by Igloo but until a few weeks ago this is the first I've ever seen one. I picked it up at Dick's sporting goods in Wichita, Ks. I'm sure if you went to there website and emailed them they can tell you where you can find one in your area. Its been working much better than my old tank. I've had about 70 2 to 4 inch shad in my tank for three days now with only five lost souls. Thats darn good results. :D
     
  9. OklahomaFever

    OklahomaFever New Member

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    wow that is so awesome... how much????
     
  10. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    I've been meaning to do a little update on this tank. I thought I would post a couple more pics since it's been taken out of the archives.

    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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  11. kccats

    kccats New Member

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    That is one serious bait tank for your boat!
    Nice post!
     
  12. krowbar

    krowbar New Member

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    Nice bait tank. How much did the entire project cost you?
     
  13. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    I'd guess around 100.00. I got the tank on clearance and the blidge pump was the second biggest expense. Everything else was fairly cheap to build.
     
  14. kmcalester

    kmcalester Active Member

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    That looks awesome, now what are you going to do with your old bait tank.
     
  15. catfishcrazy256

    catfishcrazy256 New Member

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  16. dinger66

    dinger66 New Member

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    checked dicks web site but no luck on the cooler any advive
     
  17. cathooked

    cathooked New Member

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    iI made one out of a cooler w/wheels works pretty good too,the next one will be round and spray foam around the inside to keep em kool they wont have time to stress theyll be going on the jugs lol..but im going to make a round one though,yours looks good already give me some ideas,thanx
     
  18. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

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    They are hard to find. After seeing Chris's at the Keystone Gathering last year, I picked one up on Ebay @ $50, but I was watching for about 4 months before one showed up there. If you do a Google search for Igloo Patio Barrel and Igloo Party Barrel you will find a few places selling them, but with shipping it's probably going to set you back about $150 going that route.

    It's a great insulated container for a bait tank if you can find one at a good price. I'm not sure I would give $150 for it though - by the time you are done with the plumbing, filtration, etc you could be well on your way to buying one of the nice Creek or Grayline commercial tanks.
     
  19. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    A couple of years prior to picking this one up at Dicks I saw some at Sam's club and thought that would be the makings of a great tank. I never got around to getting one and they never carried them again. I just happened upon these as Dicks on clearance and picked one up for 50.00. I wish I'd bought every one because I know I could have build and sold every one I bought. I haven't seen them since, but I'm sure some retailer still sells them during the summer months. I'd contact igloo through there website and inquire if anyone close to you will be selling them this year. They make a great base to the prefect bait tank and I'd put mine up against any of those 300.00 to 400.00 tanks anyday as far as keeping shad alive.
     
  20. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

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    I agree with that. The main advantage I see to the commercial ones is that you send them money and they send you a finished product, rather than having to mess around cutting the lid and working out the plumbing / filter system. But figuring that stuff out can be half of the fun, too.

    The only problem I’ve experienced has nothing to do with the tank, but is with my plumbing design. As it is, all of the shad scales and gunk get pulled through the pump before being filtered. It worked fine with smaller shad from the lake, but the pump clogged and failed constantly when we put bigger river shad in the tank. Changing pump brands didn’t help – those bigger scales always clogged the impellers within an hour or so.

    I was looking at a high $ commercial tank at the local sports show a couple of weeks ago, and came away with some new ideas for how to pass the water through a filter before it goes through the pump. There’s a lot of ways to do that, the real trick is getting it to work so that the water still circulates when the filter clogs, and also to not pollute the water too much when you go to change the filter media.

    It would take a lot of words to describe, but I hope to post some pictures of my improved (and final?) filter system in a month or two.