Your Bait Tank is the most important piece of equipment you can have fishing
if you use Live Bait.
If you are a weekender or
everyday guide the right selection of a bait tank can make or brake your fishing trips.
Ben Sanders author of Arkansasstripers and
a Lake Ouachita Striper Guide recommends
Grayline Bait Tanks.
As a Striper Guide I have been using the same Grayline 50 gal. tank for over 15 years and the original tanks are still in use and are still doing the
Ben Sanders / 2019
- Remove deadly organic matter to keep water clear & odor down.
- Remove ammonia which causes stress and kills your bait.
- Remove scales and other debris from water.
- Have a scale screen.
- Easy access for cleaning and changing filters and screens.
- Keep the water flow at proper speed for the size of tank you use.
- You don't want to have
too fast of a flow or you will wear the shad out.
Try for a steady gentle flow.
In some setups the aeration will create enough circulation.
- Be easy to access for maintenance.
- Be dependable.
Tips When Catching Bait and your trying to keep them
Use a separate holding basket outside your boat or a
bucket from the bank to keep your shad in before transferring to the
Shad should be dropped from a throw net as gentle and as quick as possible
into a culling basket or
a tub containing water where you can cull unwanted baits, loose scales, and other debris.
This will help
your shad do better, keep your tank cleaner and reduce having to clean the
filter material as often. Also it will give you a chance
to pick the size bait you want, and discard the weaker
looking shad rather than
wasting tank space on poor quality baits.
When culling out of the holding basket, use a small net instead of your
hands to place the choice baits into the tank water and don't crowd the net.
Handle as gently as possible so as not to disturb the
and knock scales off.
If you use a transport tank to hold your shad before
transferring to your
main holding tanks,
to reduce scale loss and stress. If you use the same bait tank to fish out of that you use
to catch and keep your bait "Don't just dump" fresh
caught shad from the net directly into your bait tank.
If you use tap water, be sure to include a de-chlorinating chemical.
If foam forms on the surface of the water in your tank the
foam will rob the water of oxygen transfer.
Foam can be removed by adding
a Foam-off product. Coffee creamer will work if you have to.
"Remember foam is an indication of poor water quality
find out the reason and fix it."
When adding bait to a tank, keep count of the number of fish.
Never over populate your tank with a bushel basket catch dropped directly
into the tank. This results in a congested tank and over-contaminated water
and beat up bait. Bait will die quickly because contaminates (scales and debris
the bait's mouth
while breathing and lodge on the gills, preventing them from receiving
Remember the larger the bait, the smaller the numbers
that can be kept.
A good 30 gallon tank will keep 15-20 6" baits and 24-30 4" baits.
The preferred temperature for shad is 62 - 65 degrees. In hot summer months adding ice to the water after the bait is caught
will work. Gradually bring the temp down by adding
one jug at a time to avoid thermal shock. For your ice use gallon jugs
filled from your treated water so as not to add chlorine from
commercially bought ice.
A simple thermometer can be used to accurately monitor the water
Running a solution of baking soda and water through the pump will
help remove odors from your bait tanks.
Circular pond areas are estimated by the formula:
To calculate the surface area of a round tank:
Area =3.14 x radius2 (Radius is one-half the diameter.) For example, a
circular pond with a radius of 75 feet has an area of 17,663 square feet
(3.14 x75x 75)or 0.4 acres. The radius can be measured directly or the
diameter can be divided by 2. A measurement of the diameter in several
directions will help to determine if the pond is truly circular.
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