New bait tank?

Discussion in 'LOCAL SOUTH CAROLINA TALK' started by mudfishmusic, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    I want to be able to hold a combination of bream; shad; and/or herring. I'm currently using a 14 gallon keep-a-live. It's a nice system but it seems to be maxed out at about 3-4 dozen bait fish. I'd like to be able to put 5-6 dozen 5 inch baitfish in the tank on friday and fish until sunday. I think I need something at least 20+ gallons. It has to be a system with good water and air mix and that can be kept cool. It probably needs a filter system as well. I'm not going to plumb it through the hull of my boat if I can help it and surface temperatures are so hot during the summer anyway so I don't think it will have a fresh water intake. I've shopped the net and there are several options ranging from about $375-$500. I'm not saying I want end up spending that much but that's still a major investment in my book. I just wondered what you guys were using and how you rated the performance. I've used coolers, drums, and all sorts of other containers in the past. I've also tried several different air sytems. Many have done the job but none have been perfect. I was thinking about just building a custom box out of treated plywood, closed cell foam; and fiberglass but I'm not sure and I don't want to blow my budget without doing my homework first.

    What works best for you guys?
     
  2. tufffish

    tufffish New Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    State:
    Texas
    find a 35 gallon plastic barrel and cut it out as needed. you can but one that had soap or something non toxic for about $10 all around here. then put your areator in and you are set.
     

  3. Cutbait101

    Cutbait101 New Member

    Messages:
    281
    State:
    south carolina
    I run a 30 gal baker tank,bought it around 20 yrs ago.it has served me well,can hold 5-6 dozen herring for a couple of days.the high end tanks imho are worth it.but if you have the time you can make a nice tank yourself.hope this helps lawrence
     
  4. RiverKing

    RiverKing Active Member

    Messages:
    2,232
    State:
    Yellow Spr
    I use a 30 Gallon Grayline Tank. So far so good, seems like the filter gets dirty real quick though. But, it is unusual to have a shad die on me, i have kept them in the tank for 4 days
     
  5. catfishinsc

    catfishinsc New Member

    Messages:
    507
    State:
    SC
    You've already got the keepalive pump, so just get a bare tank in the size you want and transfer your pump. I think you can even buy the keepalive tanks by themselves without the pump.
     
  6. Sunbird

    Sunbird New Member

    Messages:
    781
    State:
    Sandy Run,
    If you do the 'cut the barrel in half' tank idea I would suggest that you find a larger barrel and put the little one inside the big one and fill the area between the two with spray foam. Keeping your bait cool will go a long way to their preservation. Don't add ice to the water to keep them cool. Most ice cubes are not well water and can have detrimental chemicals that will kill your bait. Freeze bottles of water and just drop it in and let it float. Baitfish like cool to cold water. If your tank temperature gets above 80 degrees they will start to struggle. Also make sure there are coverings placed over any hardware you put in the tank. Baitfish will bury themselves in cracks and crevases and die. Hope this helps!:wink:
     
  7. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    State:
    NC
    Listen, skip the homemade bait tank system and buy a real bait tank. Creek Bank and Super Bait Tanks are two top of the line tanks that will give you years of service. Homemade tanks are fine for someone who fishes occasionally, but if you are a serious angler you need a serious bait tank. :wink:

    Even if you have to save for a couple of months, deliver pizzas, or sell your blood, buying a real bait tank is an investment that is worth it in the long run. :big_smile:

    The homemade deals are a compromise; plain and simple. Homeade tanks are worthless if you ever try to sell one, while a brand name tank holds some of its value. :big_smile:
     
  8. crclhuk1

    crclhuk1 Member

    Messages:
    291
    State:
    Central, SC
    I second the post by Dieter..... Super Bait Tanks are worth their weight in gold and their name says it all. SUPER reliable, super strong, and superbly well built. I have a 25 gallon in my boat, it holds bait for days, I used to have two of them, the other was a 50 gal, but SomeBIRD man bought it from me. Shoot Sunbird a pm and see how he likes his.. A homemade tank might be cheaper, but you'll spend more in the long runnnnnnnnnn.
     
  9. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Have to weigh in with Dieter on this.The one you are proposing to build will weigh a ton also.35 gals is going to be about min for 5 dozen anythings.Temp is THE most important thing.Cooler water holds more oxygen period.I did read somewhere that a clear top is best for the bait so light gets in.Thats probably based on fact because most boat companies now have plexiglass tops on the built in baitwells.Get the water down to 72 or so and use one of the popular additives for slime coat protection and waste removal.If you dont have a fresh water pickup then a strong filtration system and aereator are needed.Good luck.:big_smile:
     
  10. RiverKing

    RiverKing Active Member

    Messages:
    2,232
    State:
    Yellow Spr
    Reason I went with the Grayline tank is cause SuperBait Tank II and the Creek Bank Tanks look like the filter area takes up have of the tank. Half of the tank of for the water, the other half is for the filter. On the Grayline the whole tank is for the water, and the filter area is in top in a seperate compartment.
     
  11. martygreen

    martygreen Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,224
    State:
    Rock Hill,S.C.
    I have a 30 gallon Super Bait Tank 2 and thats the best investment I have made in a while,I have had as many as 12 dozen shad in my tank transporting to tourneys when I pick up some bait for other guys,never had one die yet on me,yea they are rated for 5-6 dozen at a time and they do that with no problem at all,I have kept bait alive for 2 weeks at a time as well in it,Just keep a check on the filter and keep it clean and be sure to use about a cup of salt per 20 gallons,I also mix in a little Shad Keeper.You will not go wrong with a SB2 or a Creekbank,and the SB2s are made right here in Easley,SC,cant beat that.Check out their website.
     
  12. flatheadsalyer1

    flatheadsalyer1 New Member

    Messages:
    439
    State:
    Pickens, SC
    Creek Bank Bait tanks are the bomb. Best money you will ever spend. I had one for 2 years before it got stolen. It was nothing to keep 10 to 12 dozen 5 to 6 inch herring alive for 3 or 4 days. You still had to use keep alive or something like that to treat the water and I used frozen pepsi bottles to control the temp, but that was the easiest bait tank I ever had to keep bait alive.

    Steve
     
  13. Redneck in a Skiboat

    Redneck in a Skiboat New Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    South Caro
    Lawrence, Looks like I have the same tank you do. 14 Gallon Insulated Keep Alive. I can keep 2 dozen herring for 2 to 3 days depending on weather. I actually have it in the garage now running off a 12 volt power supply with 2 dozen small Bream in it that I caught Saturday. I'm on city water so I treated the water with some stuff from the pet store to dechlorinate the water. Only reason I used it was because my kids had it here for there pet fish(a 10 inch largemouth from the neighborhood pond that eats a dozen minnows or gold fish a week). I thought about trying some of that minnow holding treatment in the white jar with the orange label. I don't know about the shad formula for bream, it might have too much salt in it. I also have an aquaruim aerator running in it. I've had to toss 3 floaters in 4 days probally due to the heat. I think my tank is ok for the boat, because I usually fish either a morning or a evening or half a night, but I'd like a better tank too, to keep bait on hand at home instead of freezing unused bait. Good luck in your search sounds like you are getting lots of good suggestions.
     
  14. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    The beauty of this site really is in being able to draw from all the collective experiences. I would suggest trying any of the bait saver products with bream. I've always used either the shad or the bait products and both work. As far as keeping bait at home, I built a livewell out of a 125 gallon livestock trough for fishing tournaments. It comes out of the boat and serves as a home bait tank the rest of the time.
     
  15. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    Thanks to all of you guys for the great input!!!:big_smile:
     
  16. dudley-1

    dudley-1 New Member

    Messages:
    393
    State:
    SOUTH CAROLINA
    On the brand names mentioned theres nothing to wear out on em except the pump.I have a super bait tank II that I bought new in 1998.Still works as good now as it did then.Ive been thru a few rule pumps but other than that(a few wing nuts for the top) thats it.You can find a used tank around the $350.00 range most of the time,just check out some of the striper club websites.Yes they are expensive,but worth it,especially in the summertime.The creekbank has a smaller"footprint" than the vest,if room was an issue
     
  17. RiverKing

    RiverKing Active Member

    Messages:
    2,232
    State:
    Yellow Spr
    SO i have heard no mention of a grayline tank other than me....Are they crappy tanks??
     
  18. dudley-1

    dudley-1 New Member

    Messages:
    393
    State:
    SOUTH CAROLINA
    Matt,the grayline is a top of the line tank too.I know, and fish with a few guys that has the 30 gallon grayline and they work just fine. With this thread,most replies are from North and South Carolina,,that just happens to be where the creekbank and superbaittankII(also refered to as a Vest tank,,the owners name is Ron Vest) are made.I think the grayline is made out west but not sure.A friend of mine had a problem with his grayline once and called and talked to Mr.Gray himslef to help him with his problem.
     
  19. Sunbird

    Sunbird New Member

    Messages:
    781
    State:
    Sandy Run,
    Matt, Graylines are good tanks, I have used them before. But my 50 gallon Super BaitTank II is the BOMB!!!
     
  20. recordbreakin1

    recordbreakin1 New Member

    Messages:
    746
    State:
    texas
    I HAVE NOT HAD ANY LUCK ON KEEPING SHAD ALIVE THAT LONG.THEY SEEM TO DO BETTER DEAD FOR ME.