I can use the ales for immediate fishing...they are extremely active when first caught. Keeping them overnight for next day fishing is the problem. I have tried putting them in something called a Lindy bait tamer and submersing that in the water. The next day I usually have a 70% fatality rate when I check them. Next I tried just putting a few (8-10) in a 5 gallon bucket, and putting the bucket in my garage overnight with a bubbler on. That has shown the best survival rate, although the ales seem pretty stressed in the morning.
The bait tamer did work with very good success in the spring. I had a low mortality rate then. Not so much now.
getlinewet - numerous posts on here about bait tanks and keeping bait with a lot of good information based on a lot of experience of different folks - learn from others past failures Bait need oxygen. This time of year cold water holds more oxygen and bait will last longer without as much fussing... but a 5-gal bucket is just not a large volume and without good air getting into that you can't expect but so much. There is also the issue of filtering out scales and such with ales and just overall volume for them to have room to swim without too much crowding.
Not sure how deep you are holding the bait tamer - just at the surface? What size is it? The one I googled looks very small.... most folks with Bait Cages are on the order or 2-4' in diameter and 3-6' tall.
Last Edit: Jan 10, 2014 10:03:52 GMT -5 by mwardncsu
Post by getlinewet on Jan 10, 2014 10:13:57 GMT -5
The bait tamer I have is the 15 gallon size (this is the largest of 4 sizes sold by Lindy). It comes with floats which I removed to get the bag down in the water.
I've seen many posts here regarding preserving bait. I just am too cheap to pony up $250 for a bait tank if I can get away with something cheaper. I do think you are correct about the Ale scales. Filtering them out would probably decrease mortality significantly (my understanding is that besides the trauma, the scales can get in the ale's gills and cause suffocation).
I just am too cheap to pony up $250 for a bait tank if I can get away with something cheaper.
It seems your experience is giving you the answer.....
How much time & energy are you spending catching bait for it to die.... how much gas riding around the lake looking for fish to then have dead bait, or crappy, almost dead bait?
It is not that you HAVE to go out and buy a Super Bait Tank II or a Greyline, etc. You can build a home-made tank that mimics many of the design characteristics of those tanks, and a number of guys on here have done just that with success without a very large investment in the materials. But volume (I'd say 15 gal tank minimum for 2 dozen small ales), aeration (spray bar, venturi, etc) and filtration are the must to successfully keeping bait. Gizzard shad and alewive are not as hardy of a bait fish as minnows or others used, so you have to put a little more effort into it.
Also, are you putting any salt in your bucket - you'd not need much with a 5 gal - I usually use about a cup / 10 gal and that is a little on the heavy side.
Post by Shadslinger on Jan 10, 2014 19:47:03 GMT -5
When I got started into live baiting I didnt have the money to go out and spend hundreds of dollars all at once on tanks, nets, good sonars, high dollar reels and rods, etc that is the norm of striper fishing. What I did do was make do with what I had and wait on deals or scratch and save and get alittle at a time till now Im pretty much set up like most. I done alot of researching and made my own bait tanks till I got a hook up on a real bait tank for a good price. These two tanks worked extremely well with alewives and done ok with gizzards as long as you didnt crowd to many in there.
Post by mytoyzfishing on Jan 10, 2014 20:23:42 GMT -5
Another thing to throw into the mix is water temp. This time of year at times the surface temp might be getting a little cold for them to stay at all night. Might be one of the reasons why the Lindy bait holder isn't working at the moment and why you had good success in the spring. As for keeping them long term Like Mward and Shadslinger have posted there is a ton of info on making your own home storage tank. One that I was using last year I had right around $300 into it. The tank I just got done building this week I have less than $200 in to it but I used some pumps I had laying around from an old fish tank I had.
And like mward also mentioned, O2 levels is very important year round. I've been doing some reading on O2 levels and keeping bait/fish. The Mr Bubbles style isn't realy the best out there. The larger the bubles you see is actualy less air you putting into the water. Something about the larger bubles dont disovle into the water as good as smaller bubbles.
Post by getlinewet on Jan 10, 2014 22:00:40 GMT -5
I hear you man. But there has got to be a way to keep them alive without spending $400+. I know it's ridiculous, but I'm going to try to improvise until I reach the end of my rope. Temperature is definitely a factor and I thought maybe a cheap aquarium heater might help. I know I'm grasping at straws, but I really don't want to shell out $400-500 for a bait keeper.
Post by CorneliaGale on Jan 10, 2014 22:27:08 GMT -5
If you do some searchs on bait tanks on the internet you can come up with ideas and build your own tank, which will work fair. Main thing is to filter the water and keep O2 in it. I've make a few tanks and worked with others building them. The one I use now keeps bait for at least three days, that so far is all I tried and I still working on it, got to insulate it and add a air line to it. I think I have about $60.00 in so far, some of the stuff to build it I already had so I did not have to buy it. If you want a idea of it email me and I tell you what I did to make it. If you live in the Vinton area I can show it to you. It ain't the best looking thing but it works.
We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing."
The tanks Mytoys are taking about are big home tanks and he said he had less than $300 in them.
Shadslinger posted a couple he made that worked which I know did not cost a ton in materials - the pump is probably the most expensive part if you can find some other stuff laying around (barrell, etc). The design he did with the PVC pipe filter is pretty good one - I'd look at that one closely.