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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well Dang -- This baitfishin can definitely have it's drawbacks - huh? I got all kinds of really cool advice, suggestions and gems of wisdom from my new found fishing friends here at BOC :)
So, in preparation for my big baitfishing expedition, I caught about a dozen perch, sunfish and bluegill and put them in a 5 gallon bucket with an small aerator I picked-up at walmart.
Wake-up this morning to a gentle breeze of about 38 miles an hour and my perch are dying. Ok - so the wind put the kibosh on going fishing -- but can anyone tell me the secret to keeping perch alive for a couple of days? Thanks :)
 

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I find that if the water gets to warm they die fast. During the summer I will freeze 20oz bottle full of water and throw one or two in there to keep the water cool. Also make sure you use water from where they are caught.
 

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I'm going to buy a fish basket to keep my bait in while I'm fishing, but right know I NORMALY USE 2 5 gallon buckets that I CHANGE the water out every so often ...I give up on trying to keep shad alive, I just catch'em as I NEED THEM, BECAUSE THE WILL LIVE FOR A WHILE on a hook that way...GOOD LUCK !!!!!:good:
 

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I find that if the water gets to warm they die fast. During the summer I will freeze 20oz bottle full of water and throw one or two in there to keep the water cool. Also make sure you use water from where they are caught.
If I am not using them right away I will get some dechlorinator and change the water and the frozen bottles are a must if it is 70 degrees +. I have kept over a dozen gills in a 5 gal for 2-3 days before.
 

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A dozen fish in a 5 gallon bucket is very cramped. Try using a large cooler or anything that will hold more water. Use lake or river water, not chlorinated city water. Change the water regularily right after you catch them; they puke and pee out a lot of contaminates right after you catch them. Keep the water cool; keep in shade and/or add frozen bottles of water. Try adding some shad-alive or any other bait water conditioner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ahh ha -- Now I know exactly where I blew it -- I had added a bit of clean water from the garden hose before I put in the aerator hose AND I didn't keep them cool. I suppose adding a bit of convenience store ice to the bucket would be more detrimental than frozen bottles of ice huh?
Should have known - I couldn't even keep a gold fish alive when I was a kid :(

Anyway -- Thank you guys for your words of wisdom -- I really do appreciate it . . .
 

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Here is your problem(s), while chlorinated water is a problem, with an aerator it disipates pretty quick, i would say water temp and volume are your two biggest factors in killing your fish. My suggestion would be get something Minimum 30 gallons for 12 or more fish say up to 20 bluegill around 4 inches. 5 gallons of water just aint enough, and you need to keep your water below 75 degrees, ideally around 70 is better, but at 80 or above the water looses its ability to hold oxygen. Hope this helps, I had a 100 gallon stock tank (cattle trough) that I used with air stones, and a aquarium filter. Worked great, i just dont try to keep bait anymore. Dont have the time. If you have any more question shoot me a PM
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the feedback guys -- It's lookin like tryin to keep my baitfish alive until I'm ready to go catfishin is most definitely going to be way more trouble than is is worth -- I will probably just try catching my baitfish same day as goin fishing . . . Thanks again :)
 

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Randy, since you've decided to catch your baitfish the same day as catfishing...... here's what I do:

I go to our local reservoir, armed with some puny trout hooks, some zebco 33 poles, and a fistful of nightcrawlers. There are ALWAYS a ton of kids running round down there, so I recruit em from wherever I can get em. I hand every kid a fishing pole, a pinch of nightcrawler, then show them how to catch the perch. Before long, I've got perch running out my ears & the kids are having way too much fun.

Then it's off to the catfish hole with my baitbucket full & a smile on many faces.:cowboy:
 

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For what it's worth, it's pretty simple to keep them alive, and I actually agree that the chlorinated water isn't your biggest problem, it was just the temps and air content. I've kept 150 minnows alive in a 90 quart tupperware container, and didn't dechlorinate any water, and I kept them alive for a week.... before my pump quit...:angry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What a great way to get a bucket of baitfish -- most importantly, the fun and memories those youngins have fishin is just immeasurable -- kudos to you man . . .

Thanks for sharing that with me :)
 

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If your that worried about chlorine get ya a power drill and an egg beater or just go nuts with a handheld mixer and beat the water a few minutes . Helps get dissolved chlorine gas out . Reall I recommend 50-60 degree water and 50-100 gallon holding tank . As for an aerator just drop the 30$ on a water pump for koi ponds and the like . Drill some holes down a length of pvc cap the end and run 1/2 inch hose from the pump to the pipe and ya got yourself a spray bar and enough capacity to hold quite a bit of fish . I use the same set up but with a big old freezer with a lid filled with water to keep dozens of bait crappie alive , which in my experience die easier than perch .
 

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i have good luck keeping them alive,,i have a 100 gallon stock tank in my temperature controlled garage that i have a pond pump that pumps into a bucket with filter mesh in it and some holes in the bottom...i still change about 5-10 gallons of water a week out,,but i find that lil bit of work keeps them alive..i have perch in my tank that i have had since last year..water temp is right at 68 degrees..the hard part is when i catch my bait,the pond water is way warmer,so i have to take the time to bring down the temp before i put them in my tank,,so i made a 30 gallon that has a bilogical filter and has natural pond water..i just start mixing water together,,let them in the 30 gallon for a night then put them in the big one,,helps clean them out from the dirty pond water and the bacteria from the biological filter takes care of all the waste-that and i usually keep whatever bullheads i catch in the 30 gallon...dont need them tryin to eat my perch
 

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Bigger tank, cooler water and bilge/water garden pump. I use water straight out of the garden hose since it is nice and cool and add in a cap full of hydrogen peroxide per 10 gallons of water or a few drops per gallon this removes the chlorine from the water and is a hell of a lot cheaper than the aquarium stuff or better bait. I usually keep 200-300 4-8" black perch and bluegill in a 110 gallon tank with no problems. One thing that does help is to switch the water out with fresh once the fish get it clouded up. There gets to be so many scales and feces in the water its hard on the fish.
 

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we fish for catfish alot i think the best way to get perch is with a 4 leaf clover trap if you have a safe place to put it in a body of water with out it being stolen i would say just put it in the water wail you fish thay will stay live in the trap for a long time and just use the ones you need so their is really no wast and you can throw back the ones you did not use. we make are own here ill have to put a picture up in a few days to show you what im talking about or google 4 leaf clover trap
 

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I got one of those big white bait tanks at bass pro. We kept 30 nice little perch in it for 3 days before we could go fishing. They were perfect. I didn't ice them or anything probably should have. The airrator doesn't draw to much I have a small lawn mower batterie that will keep it going for that time no problem. Good luck.
 

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Most importantly, keep the water cool. Once I was waiting on a buddy to show up so we could roll out to the dam. It was late summer and I didn't want my perch to die so I put them in the ice chest. I put way too much ice in there, and an hour later when we left I thought I had killed them all. But as soon as they started warming back up they were just as lively as ever. Second, you might consider a bigger bait bucket if you want your perch to keep for more than 6 or 7 hours. A dozen perch in a 5 gallon bucket is a pretty packed house especially with only a small bubble box aerator.
 

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I just used my little 28 quart Coleman cooler with about 3 dozen 2 inch bluegills and they survived a whole day. It was city water treated with U2 livewell treatment and I had a frozen 2 liter bottle in there. The cooler was outside in the sun for about 7 hours before nightfall. I didn't even run the aerator.
 

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hay randy if you can get your hands on a 55gal plastic drum and cut the top off and then you can put your bait in that I have had no problem keeping 3or4 dozen bait in mine just put a water hoes in in and turn it on and put fresh water in it every other day and put air to them and keep it in the shade
 
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