Salt is the answer

Discussion in 'Livewell and Bait Tank Review' started by bnt55, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. bnt55

    bnt55 New Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    Northern KY
    If you ever wondered why your shad wont stay alive and keep getting red nosed then you arent using salt. I went to tractor supply and bought a 50 lb bag of pure rock salt for $5 and put a cup in my homemade bait tank prior to putting in a dozen large shad (4"-8"), I didnt use anything other than salt and the difference was remarkable. After 4 hours of fishing in the hot weather, the shad were so frisky I could barely catch them in the dip net and they were flippin all over the boat while I was trying to hook them, let me tell you this has never happened before with just regular tank treatments of bait medic and it only cost me pennies!! I was using the dip net to get the ammonia bubbles off the surface of the tank water and they still werent getting red nosed, with the other stuff they would be red nosed and lethargic in 2 hrs tops.

    Does this mean that all your bait tank will need is salt...probably not but I would definately use it as the base for establishing a healthy bait tank environment. Just my $.02

    Good luck fishing
    Bill
     
  2. martygreen

    martygreen Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,224
    State:
    Rock Hill,S.C.
    Salt is the ticket and you can buy you a bottle of Foam Off to keep the foam away,only takes a drop,the salt helps reduce stress on the shad and protects the slime coat from them loosing scales
     

  3. Rusty

    Rusty Member

    Messages:
    752
    State:
    Spickard Missouri
    What if I wanted to put some gills in with the shad . Will the salt bother them?
     
  4. Bambu

    Bambu New Member

    Messages:
    244
    State:
    S.C.
    i use non-iodized table salt, 3$ for a 25lb bag at sams club, disolves alot faster. you can use coffee creamer for a anti-foam it works great, but be careful just a little first time i used it the water clouded, live and learn. if you can get it well water works good but you need to get some air into before you put the shad in.
     
  5. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    Sounds like good ideas, I will have to try all of it out
     
  6. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    Your bream are fine in the salt. We use herring but now and then I catch a few gills and put them together...no problems.

    -Jim-
     
  7. 72hdflh

    72hdflh New Member

    Messages:
    262
    State:
    West Salem, Ohio
    I'll definately have to try this, Thanks for the tip.
     
  8. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Thanks Bill for sharing the salt idea. Will give it a try. Will this salt cause any damage to your bait tank over prolong use?
     
  9. plainsman

    plainsman New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,187
    State:
    minnesota
    I tried salt on minnows. During hot weather they were dying between the bait shop and lake, less than a mile. A little salt in the bucket kept them in good shape till I got to the lake to put em in the lake and have constant fresh water. It also helped with temperature shock. They stayed alive longer at the lake too.
     
  10. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Be careful what kind of salt you buy...

    "rock salt" (the kind you might buy to freeze homemade ice cream) has a lot of stuff in it besides salt. Like rocks. Things that will be left over in the bottom of your bait tank when the day is done. You don't want that.

    I think what bnt55 bought was actually "stock salt" (pure salt, made to be added to livestock feed, bigger grains that table salt but still dissolves pretty quick). You can also use pure water softner salt (not the pellet kind, just big hunks of pure salt, doesn't dissolve as fast but is similarly cheap, way under $5 for 50 lbs.)

    Usually add 1 cup of salt per 10 to 15 gallons of water.

    It does several things to the fish that seem to help them survive, among other things it apparently does something to help them take oxygen out of the water easier.

    Cool (but not too cool, within 10 degrees of the lake) clean water, a good filtration system, some salt, a little bit of Better Bait if you have it and being careful to not overcrowd your tank are the keys to keeping shad alive. One 6-inch shad to a gallon of water is about as much as you want to add - more than that and you'll need to change the water frequently.
     
  11. bnt55

    bnt55 New Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    Northern KY
    Good advice from Mr.T (as always). Like I mentioned from my earlier post, this is just the beginning to a good bait tank system but it brought my sub-par tank up to grade and allowed me to have friskier fish. Another change that I have made on my last trip out was using water from the hose to fill my tank, adding shad keeper to take care of any harsh chemicals, and then add the salt before the trip so that the motion of the vehicle helps with the dissolving process. I think (for me) the hose water helped in 2 different ways, first it allowed me to use water that is around 65 degrees which helps on keeping the bait cool without extra ice bottles, and secondly it is CLEAR water instead of murky/muddy river water and I can visually keep count on my numbers, and I guess for the record the shad like it too:wink:
     
  12. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Watch your water temperature carefully - you can go about 10 degrees cooler than the temperature of the water where you're catching your bait; any more than that and they'll get red-nosed on you and die in a hurry.

    Frozen bottles of ice are a good way to cool the water but keep an eye on how much you cool it.
     
  13. gunner1

    gunner1 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    State:
    New York
    A good source for the salt is Wal-Mart. They sell Morton water softener salt that is 99% pure. It comes in a BLUE heavy plastic bag and weighs arounf 40#. It only cost like $5 too!
     
  14. ATTICUS_BUDDY

    ATTICUS_BUDDY New Member

    Messages:
    68
    State:
    mn originally now NC
    thats a great tip i will definately try that out. thank you
     
  15. flatheadhunterx

    flatheadhunterx Active Member

    Messages:
    1,374
    State:
    South Carolina
    I use rock salt that you use to make ice cream and been using it for yrs with no problem, even put it in my fish tanks. also when adding ice or frozen bottles be sure to use some chlorine remover or the chlorine will add up quicker than you think it will. also you can use some stuff call anmo lock it breaks down the amonia and keeps the water from foaming.
     
  16. getthenet

    getthenet New Member

    Messages:
    264
    State:
    ohio
    i also use the non-iodized salt got it at the feed store he said that is what the fish farms in the area use
     
  17. dust777man

    dust777man New Member

    Messages:
    536
    State:
    SC
    Thanks for the info on using salt.Had a few questions about it myself.
     
  18. opposum

    opposum Active Member

    Messages:
    711
    State:
    Missouri
    I just bought a bait tank this year and haven't had any problem keeping the shad alive. All I put in the water is salt. They occasionally get a little red nose, but not that bad. I use 2/3 well water and 1/3 lake water.
     
  19. kcgmatt

    kcgmatt New Member

    Messages:
    26
    State:
    MO
    Thanks to everyone for all the tips. Great info!
     
  20. BobbyLee

    BobbyLee New Member

    Messages:
    858
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohio
    Great info everyone. Thanks...