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Thread: How to: Making a portable bait tank

  1. #1
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    Default How to: Making a portable bait tank

    G asked me about this so I decided to post up some resources for him and all of you. There are several ways to go about it depending on what your needs are and how you will use it.



    Budget bait coolers:
    This is for the shore based fishermen who don't have the money to buy a custom bait cooler, or the guys who want to make a small portable cooler.

    5 gal bucket
    The simplest portable ones are 5 gal buckets with battery aerators. That's what I use when I'm creepin around the concrete and have to be mobile. Sometimes the 5 gals is way too small. For that reason I have an 8 gal, and usually carry 2 buckets with me. Nothing is more googanish than going to the trouble to get live bait and then having it die on you.

    That being said, here are the ways I usually go about solving a problem like this:

    1. What are my bait objectives?

    2. What is the primary bait I will be dealing with?

    3. Where will I be fishing?

    4. Do I have a source of constant salt water handy to change out the ammonia and waste, or will that be difficult?

    5. How much bait do I need at one time (that's why I sometimes have 2 bait buckets, keeping the bulk of the bait hidden somewhere accessible in deeper water.)

    6. How involved does this need to be?
    Simple is best, and different answers to the above will cause you to design or set up different systems.

  2. #2
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    Default Portablle bait cooler

    Cool video from youtube.
    Remember that water weighs 8lbs/gallon. You don't want to move your tank around that much from your vehicle. If you're making one from a cooler, it might be a good idea to use a cooler with wheels or strong handles.


  3. #3
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    Default How to make a minnow tank

    You can use this for your leftovers at the end of the day or bring it around with you, depending on the size you choose.


    How to Make a Minnow Bait Tank


    By Charlie Rainer Gaston


    Minnows are small fish. Swimming in schools along the banks and coastlines of freshwater and saltwater rivers, lakes and ponds, minnows are prey to larger fish such as the bluegill and largemouth bass. Minnows are easy to store in a tank and can be kept alive if housed in the right environment and under the correct conditions.


    Instructions

    Difficulty: Moderate


    Things You’ll Need:
    • Holding tank
    • Water tank lid
    • Drill and drill bit
    • Spigot-style drain
    • Epoxy
    • Hose
    • Aerator
    • Bubbler




    Step 1

    Purchase a bait-holding tank with at least a 20-gallon capacity. Situate the tank in a kitchen or bathroom where a facet and an electrical outlet is available.




    Step 2

    Use a drill bit to drill a hole and install a drain. Mark the bottom of the tank and drill the hole. Install a spigot-type drain plug in the hole. Seal the drain plug with epoxy. Allow to the epoxy dry before continuing.




    Step 3

    Run a standard water tank hose from the drain to the bait tank. Fill the tank with water. Adjust the water output so the right ratio of cold to hot water is used. (Use a thermometer to check the temperature if necessary.) Once the tank is filled, it is not necessary to continually check the water temperature. It can remain at room temperature, which is generally around 75 degrees F.




    Step 4

    Install an aerator to oxygenate the water. Place the aerator pump inside the tank and allow the hose to hang over the side of the tank. This will allow the system to draw in air through the hose. Tank aerators generally operate silently and are small in size.




    Step 5

    Attach a bubbler to the inside of the tank. Bubblers create turbulence and current, which minimize stress and may increase the lifespan of your minnows.




    Step 6

    Cover the tank with a water tank lid, which is available at pet stores, filter stores and online.

    http://www.trails.com/how_35634_minnow-bait-tank.html

  4. #4
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    Default Bait tanks for kayaks

    This comes to us courtesy of the great guys at www.kayakfishingear.com

    Check out their site when you get a chance.

    Bait Tank / Live Well How-To
    http://kayakfishinggear.com/baittankhow-to.aspx

    *********************************

    Some more instructions from e-how:

    Homemade Kayak Bait Tank

    Contributor
    By Mark Grady, eHow Contributing Writer
    Article Rating:


    Using live bait greatly increases the likelihood of catching fish. With kayaks becoming a popular platform for fishing, it is no wonder that innovative people have come up with ways to keep bait alive on them. It is not too difficult to build a tank that will keep your bait alive and fresh. Such a tank should be used only with sit-on top kayaks that have a tank well behind the seat.
    1. Tank Considerations - Choosing a tank is a matter of fitting it in the kayak, availability and personal choice. Some options are a 5-gallon bucket, plastic storage container or cooler. You'll need a lid on the tank to keep the bait from jumping out and to keep water from splashing on you. The tank needs to sit on the bottom of the tank well to prevent the kayak from becoming unstable from the added weight.
    2. Plumbing - The hardware should be plastic and stainless steel to eliminate corrosion. Look for 1 1/2-inch plastic tubing, PVC fittings, stainless steel screen, stainless steel hose clamps, a small bilge pump and an adjustable flow spray head.

    3. A T fitting must attach the plastic tubing where it enters the tank. The T should have a valve on one arm that can be opened when pumping out the tank and closed for normal operation.
    4. Electrical - The simplest way to turn the pump on and off is to have connectors you plug in and unplug. A waterproof toggle switch available at boating centers will look nicer and be easier to use when underway.

    5. The wires for the pump will have to be cut either way and the connections must be sealed with liquid tape.
      You'll need a 12-volt battery for the pump. This should be a small and lightweight rechargeable battery. Read the pump's information for amp requirements. The battery has to be kept in a waterproof container. A waterproof plastic box attached to the tank or a dry bag will work well.
      Spend a little more on the charger and get one that will shut off when the battery is charged to prevent overcharging, which will shorten battery life.
    6. Putting it Together - Decide where you want the overflow to be. It must be high enough that you keep sufficient water in the tank for the bait. About 3 inches from the top is a good starting point. This will allow plenty of water in the tank yet far enough from the top to prevent the water from sloshing out. Put a stainless steel screen on the overflow inlet to keep the bait from being washed out of the tank.

    7. The spray head can either be above the overflow or below it. If the spray head is above the overflow, the water will get aerated as it enters the tank, but will be noisier.
      One end of the tubing will be attached to the pump and the other end will attach to the T fitting that goes through the bait tank. It needs to be long enough to allow the pump to hang in the water alongside the kayak and be put into the bait tank to pump it out at the end of the day.
    http://www.ehow.com/way_5762361_home...bait-tank.html

  5. #5
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    Default Feedback about aerators and cooler setup

    Bear in mind that if you do this a lot you have to figure out a way to use batteries efficiently.
    That's one of the biggest challenges I faced, and now I look for aerators which use regular d or c batteries. A car battery is the most efficient. At one time I was using a motorcyle battery as well and found that to be great for an all-day trip. Once you start using car batteries, you want the deep cycle marine battery types. You have to ask yourself what the reward to weight tradeoff is, and if it's worth it to drag all that extra weight along.



    Some comments from others:
    Those aerators work well I have one that runs for 3 or 4 all night trips with one set of cheap dollar store batteries. I get about 10 more hours out of premium batteries,but can buy four sets of the cheap ones for the same price as one set of premiums,so you get many more hrs. of use for the same money.

    I just hang mine on the clips on back from a bungee wrapped around the bucket I use but recently purchased a bunch of five gallon bait bucket lids from ebay with a snap open lid and hole for hose and clip hanger onthe side,

    I'm building a new one for bait gathering out of a 120 quart 5 day cooler and a 12 volt extra boat areator with a powerbar style spray bar,can plug it in on the pickup,van,car, boat,camper,etc.

    Gonna try to rig it up so that I can flip a valve to either fill,empty or recirculate the water,the idea being to drop a hose in the water and suck the tank full without having to move it by hand then recirculate the water while bait is present then toss a hose out on the ground and flip the valve to empty it,then carry the empty cooler into the garage for storage or till needed again.

  6. #6
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    Default Portable livewell kit

    Portable livewell kit

    This looks like a decent deal. They sell you just the hardware for $19.95. I'm not sure about this though as there is some price confusion, so I can't endorse it yet. Calling the # gives you the kit for $19.95 where ordering it on the website costs $24.95.

    Buyer beware,, though it does look like a sweet setup for a decent price.


  7. #7
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    Default Last one...

    Buy small coolers for small bait:
    http://www.nextag.com/cooler-10-gall...411DA7FCB525BF


    or a more expensive wheeled cooler for bigger bait.
    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/s_10153_1...&OVKEY=coolers


    If on a budget, you can find used coolers for little or cheap $$ all the time at garage sales. Remember that if putting herring or bunker into a cooler you need lots of water for each one, or they'll die quickly.
    You can only put herring into a round cooler or they will crash into the corners and damage themselves.




    Buy this aerator or one like it, Wally World has them a little cheaper:

    http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/st...9-608f36453f77

    Now drill a hole towards the top of the cooler and run the wires through for the bubble maker. I installed a cigarette light plug to the wires to plug into my three way plug for easy in and out of the boat. I also plugged the drain hole so there are no accidents and dead shiners. Mount the bubble maker in the bottom and viola you have a bait tank for well under a $100.00.







    *Feel free to post up any tips for the newcomers or pics of your own tanks, guys.

  8. #8
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    5 gallon bucket with that mickey mouse aerator will only hold 2 herring ,to transport 12 herring you need at least a 20 gallon well and a 3 to 4 inch air stone which requires a HD 12V air pump.The water should never exceed 60 or they will die. The bass pro aerator will also kill them as the heat generated by the submersible motor will raise water temp to an unacceptable level and kill them. Scales also clog submersible pumps and over heat, clog or jam them.

    Pay attention to what history has taught us or be prepared to relive it again

  9. #9
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    Dark, How do you ever come up with that info. I guess we should all learn from you and use google search more.

    Nice post thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by williehookem View Post
    Dark, How do you ever come up with that info. I guess we should all learn from you and use google search more.
    Nice post thanks
    Yup Willie, Google is your friend.
    (I spent about 2 hours on Google yesterday scouting new fishing spots. Clue me in on me a general area and I'll find where the fish are likely to be. Catching them is another issue, though... )

    I should start telling members to use the search key here as well, because we do have quite a few areas with some comprehensive knowledge. All ya have to do is hit that search key/button, 3rd from the right on the options toolbar at the top of your screen.

    A way to do an advanced search when too many results come up is to put " in front of the term you are using. Sometimes this is too limiting, so it should only be done when a lot of results come up and you want to define it better.

    Hope that helps.













    Quote Originally Posted by finchaser View Post
    5 gallon bucket with that mickey mouse aerator will only hold 2 herring ,to transport 12 herring you need at least a 20 gallon well and a 3 to 4 inch air stone which requires a HD 12V air pump.The water should never exceed 60 or they will die. The bass pro aerator will also kill them as the heat generated by the submersible motor will raise water temp to an unacceptable level and kill them. Scales also clog submersible pumps and over heat, clog or jam them.
    This is a guy you could learn a lot from people. The little pieces of advice he throws out are mere scraps from the vast library of knowledge he's accumulated from decades of fishing and learning the right way through trial and error. They didn't have the internet around when he learned this stuff.

    He used to keep a whole season's worth of herring in ponds in his yard, back when it was allowed.

    If you get a chance to talk to him, ask him what happened the night those temps got over 60, and he and his devoted and supportive girlfriend saved those herring. Great story, maybe he'll share it with us one day...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSkies View Post
    If you get a chance to talk to him, ask him what happened the night those temps got over 60, and he and his devoted and supportive girlfriend saved those herring. Great story, maybe he'll share it with us one day...
    Thats when its time to make the pickled herring ha ha, lol.
    j/k, thanks for all the tips, good thread.

  12. #12
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    What a great read. I'll have to set one up.

  13. #13
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    I had been thinking of using live peanut bunkers for this year and mullet for next season and figuring out how to do it. The container I wanted to use was way to small. Thanks for the info dark and finchaser it was real helpful.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSkies View Post

    I should start telling members to use the search key here as well, because we do have quite a few areas with some comprehensive knowledge. All ya have to do is hit that search key/button, 3rd from the right on the options toolbar at the top of your screen.

    A way to do an advanced search when too many results come up is to put " in front of the term you are using. Sometimes this is too limiting, so it should only be done when a lot of results come up and you want to define it better.

    Hope that helps.

    Thank you. I have off today and was browsing the surf fishing section. Some good topics you guys have.

  15. #15
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    Good read thanks for sharing.

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