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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help me out here guys (gals), I am about to do it. I have read online about doing and seen some ideas. But would like very much to see what you may have done and what you have seen. What has not worked, I will be mainly keeping finger mullet alive and shrimp too.

Thanks, look forward to this thread, going to be doing this very soon so all the details and help you can provide will be great......:popcorn:
 

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Allright BW, here you go. I've been there and done that and it works GREAT. I found it to be CRAZY to pay $50 for a bucket with a bubbler on it, and decided that there had to be a better way....

I came up with this thing to use on my 'Yak. Best part is, I only have about $15 bucks in it..:cool:

Go buy whatever cooler you like, and a bubbler...



Screw the bubbler to the side of the cooler, making sure not to penetrate the inside. Drill a hole for the hose, above the water line in the cooler.



Secure the stone to the bottom with a big dab of GOOP!. Don't attatch the hose until the GOOP! sets.



This one will keep a couple dozen shrimp or mud minnows all day.

I have a 5 gallon water cooler done the same way, that I use fishing on the pier, it'll keep finger mullet, 3-4 small whiting, or several pogies, just change the water when it gets nasty. A drop bucket takes care of this task.

This trick also works well in a boat situation with a 48 QT, and a 12V aereator. Build it the same way with boat-type hoses and fittings. Use a small bilge pump, and you can make it re-circulate constantly with new water from overboard.

Everyone ALWAYS asks about my bait buckets, and I've even had one STOLEN, they work so well! :rolleyes:
 

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One thing about the container is that you may want vent it manually or permanently. If you don't let the CO2 out, you just end up suffocating them. So you will need to open up the top every once in a while and don't fill the container with water to the top.
 

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RR, I've noticed that the airstones get clogged up after a period of time and do not work as well. When I swap to a new one, the difference is amazing. Can you remove the stone from the goop to replace it?

Justinfisch01 finger mullet can be kept alive, but it takes a lot of work. It basically involves a 100-200% water change per hour: meaning, if you were to keep two dozen finger mullet in a 5 gallon bucket, you'd have to change out 10 gallons of water per hour (drain half and refill with fresh seawater every 15 minutes). This works for peanut bunker and other delicate baitfish, too.
 

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I have a 72 QT Rubbermaid oval storage bin with an external mount recirculating 750GPH pump...It will keep 30-40 finger mullet alive and well all day,as long as you keep them cool..I place those Blue Ice blocks in there and keep the lid on to shade fromd direct sunlight. No water chang needed...The MAIN key to keeping mullet alive is,1st Dont over crowd them and 2nd..The tank cannot be SQUARE..The sides need to be at least rounded somewhat..Mullet are stupid and will beat themselves to death running into the tank walls. They need to be able to swim around and around without hitting the walls.
 

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RR, I've noticed that the airstones get clogged up after a period of time and do not work as well. When I swap to a new one, the difference is amazing. Can you remove the stone from the goop to replace it?
Yep, the whole stone/glob of goop peels right off...;)
 

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They sell

a setup at BassPro that you add to a Coleman cooler and make it a livewell, that if you want to just do something fast. If you want to make one that is Bigger then that. Go here www.virginicatfish.com/livewell.htm He did a pretty good job, and this would keep alot of things alive. I use 5gallon buckets and also have a 30gallon livewell.....and for both i use the Keepalive infusor...This has kept everything alive, it puts out little air bubbles into the water and also a flow of water....(i also use the stone Aerators when i need too) but those don't work nowhere as good as the infusor. The more air you get into the water, the longer your bait will last. You are looking to a make one with the Spray bar above the water, these are okay but nowhere as good as the keepalive. Mullets are pretty hard to keep alive (but it can be done) water has to be change and cool, and you must also have a flow of water(not to fast). What ever you decide on, It depends on the bait you want. For bait that schools (swims) you need a oval livewell. Or they will run into the corners and kill themselve after awhile, for bait that just sit there. Then a cooler will work fine, I do alot of livebait fishing (The only way to go) There are some site on the internet that have plans on how to make a pretty good livewell. So you might also try looking there again. Oh another reason to keep the water cool, cold water will hold more air. And don't forget about changing water, when baitfish get stress you have more Ammonia in the water....This will add to more bait dying.....so whatever you do, make sure to have alot of air, flow of water, and keep water cooled and changed often....:fishing: what barty uses is the same setup that the site shows, that i listed
 

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Realistically, I don't think you need an airstone. The only two reasons I can think of why you would need one is 1) smaller air bubbles and 2) to hold the end of the airline down near the bottom of the container.

Reason 1 can cause problems in some fish as they tend to swallow the smaller bubbles and end up floating.

Reason 2 can be remedied in a number other ways.

The whole reason for a bubbler is to cause the water to circulate from the bottom up. The O2/CO2 exchange happens at the water's surface. This is why barty's use of a water pump works. It's actually better than a bubbler because of the higher rate of circulation. But the trade off with a pump is that it consumes more power than a simple airpump.

Another thing you may want to consider are Bag Buddies



They will act as a mild tranquilizer and help keep the bait from stressing out too much. These are often used in shipping live aquarium fish and may be found in many local aquarium stores.
 

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You didn't say if this is a home bait tank, or a portable one, so no idea on what size you are talking about.

If it's portable, we keep finger mullet in a five gallon buck every fall, mainly what we use for bait.

1. You need an air pump.

2. You need to change the water in the bucket every hour or so.

3. You can't keep more than a couple dozen finger mullet alive in a five gallon bucket.

Any of those three get out of whack, they all turn into croakers quickly.

If it's at home, I've tried finger mullet in a 96 quart cooler, and they last a few hours at best.



I think the problem with the cooler I tried at home is not air, it's water temperature. It's hard to keep water the cooler as cold as the ocean water.

The only thing I've been able to keep large numbers of finger mullet alive in was a 96 gallon trash can on wheels, with a 110 volt recirculating pump (on the end of a pier) where we could add some fresh water now and then. We kept 200 alive in that from dawn to dusk.

If you pull a mullet out of the bait tank and he's red around the mouth and gills, you have a lack of air problem and all your bait is about to go to fishy heaven.

Shrimp last forever in the 96 quart, as long as you don't put any mud minnows in with them, cuz the mud minnows will eat them.

The only way to kill mud minnows is to dump them on the floor and step on them.
 

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And after

you read everyone Opinion, do some research on whatever you decide. Cause i might not agree with some here, and some might not agree with me. All i know is what i use, has work for me for years now. To build something yourselve is alot better in the long run, plus you have the pride of knowing you did it. Also cheaper, but you can make it alot stronger then most pumps that are sold on the market right now. Again all this depends on what bait and where you are fishing. For surf fising i tend to stick to a cooler or 5gal buckets, and changing water is a breeze. For piers and bridges and overnite fishing outing, i take my larger livewell (30gal) and i run two or three pumps. My main pump is the keepalive, then i have another GPH mounted in it for a spray bar. I also have a hose connected to it, and am able to just lower the hose into water and flush all the water out and add new water in, when i need too. Or i have it in someone boat, being 30gal it is kinda of heavy and i also freeze a few two liter soda bottles and put them in the livewell, it will keep alot of bait alive, and you will find out. If you stay to livebait, that your hookup rate will be higher. Lvebait is the only way to go......again thats just my Opinion:rolleyes: and most fishing guide ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
sweet replies. Yes this is going to be a portable tank that I can take on the boat for keeping mainly mullet alive. I have been looking for a rounded "corner" tank but do not want to drop a fortune on one. Most Poly molded tanks are costly. I was thinking of using a cooler and a keep alive sytem difuser. I want to rig a switch to it as well so I can turn it on and off when I need it to run.

I am going to be putting it in a carolina skiff so I do not want a through hull or a recirculator. Too many hoses and do not want to drill. I like the way you all think and the stuff you are helping me with thus far though.

Maybe a smaller trash can would be the best bet here? Since it is round???
 

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Worm

i would also check ebay, i got that 30gal livewell for $40:D and it came with everything:beer: If you do go to ebay, do your search livewell, buckets and drums...But seeing that you want to put it on a boat. I know there are some sites on the internet, that have alot of plans on how to set one up just like you want. I cant remember them offhand, as i am shorebound;) and was just breezing by those:D But do yourselve a favor and Google making livewell for a boat. And you should find something, good luck...and LIVEBAIT RULES!!!!!!:beer: :beer:
 

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I have found that is it hard to keep finger mullet alive for any length of time.
we've kept them alive on the pier all day in 100 degree weather with just an aerator. A lid and ice helps a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have been up and down many sites on how to build ones online. But wanted to ask here (my fella addictives) how they would go about it. Need to find a cheap plastic container rounded if possible, and I think I will use the keep alive system. frozen bottles I was thinking of using to keep the water cool, but then the idea of the frozen drink block is good to use.

Live bait does rule, especially for reds off the little river inlet tip jetty.
 

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I have been up and down many sites on how to build ones online. But wanted to ask here (my fella addictives) how they would go about it. Need to find a cheap plastic container rounded if possible, and I think I will use the keep alive system. frozen bottles I was thinking of using to keep the water cool, but then the idea of the frozen drink block is good to use.

Live bait does rule, especially for reds off the little river inlet tip jetty.
How many of those systems will keep threadfin shad alive? Finger mullet and mud minnows arent hard to keep alive, esp. mud minnows. Take advise from some of us landlocked striper fisherman that use threadfins ;)
 

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How many of those systems will keep threadfin shad alive? Finger mullet and mud minnows arent hard to keep alive, esp. mud minnows. Take advise from some of us landlocked striper fisherman that use threadfins ;)
You got that right them things kill over if you look at them funny. But they must taste like candy cause everything likes to eat them. Anyway when you get your plans together for your 50 gallon drum conversion send them on. I got about half way into to making one when I scanvenged the parts to make a bait tank for my kayak, I think I will try and finish it though before the striper run in the roanoke.
 

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Whitebait or

greenback,sardines and so on...are one of the hardest to keep alive period!! I find using a Sabiki rig to catch them, keep them alive alot longer then a castnet..The net really stress them out alot, but if you have to use a castnet. Make sure you open your net right above your livewell (bucket) and try to drop them right in. If you drop them on the ground then pick them up. Forget it they will die really fast, try not to handle any bait at all till you have to rig it on your line . i also use a dehooker, and just drop them into my livewell. For greenback (thread) you have to have a circular or oval livewell, these bait swim constantly, and if they stop they die. For these guys you need a strong flowing current, flushing dirty water out. Or changing water pretty often thats where the "KeepAlive Oxygen Infuser" pay off. Even in a 5gal bucket you can keep these guys alive, the keepAlive throw a flow of water that you can change to fast or slow. And it puts alot of oxygen into the water, You can also add a GPH to your livewell and rig it up to flush water in and out. But this seem to be the best way to keep these guys alive. There are fishing guides that keep a few 100 of these guys alive all they...They just follow the same rules, large oval livewell, a constant flowing water with lots of oxygen and not stressing the bait too much, why you are catching them....:popcorn:
 

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Yeah i aint talkin just a dozen or so.....were talkin hmm 7-8 dozen depending on size...and no...dont handle them at all until ready to put on the hook.
 
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