Bait Sense

Tank Size

Your bait tank size is suggested to be a minimum of 25-30 gallons of water to support a scoop (approx. 10 lb) of live bait.  Don't overfill your bait tank with bait.  A smaller amount of live bait is better than a lot of dead bait.

Water Flow

Water flow in your bait tank should be just fast enough to allow the bait to swim in control against the flow.  If the flow is too fast the bait will swim itself to death.  If the flow is too slow the bait will be starved for oxygen.  With a little experimentation, you can get the flow adjusted just right.

Rough Seas

When the water is rough slow down to keep from beating the bait on the inside of your bait tank.

Filling Bait Tank

Start your bait tank at your slip or at the launch ramp to flush out anything that may have gotten into it while not in use and to make sure it works.

Dropped bait

Don't put dropped bait (on deck or receiver) into your bait tank.  If it doesn't live it can injure the other good bait when it swims erratically.  You can save it for chum (cut or whole)

Dip Net

Use a bait dip net to retrieve bait from your bait tank. Place the net ahead of the bait you want to catch and allow it to swim into the net.  If you slash the dip net through the tank you may injure other bait.

Water Temperature

Water temperature can also cause problems with live bait.  In the summer months as the water warms up it carries less oxygen so reduce the amount of bait you put into your bait tank or if it is a short trip slightly increase the water flow.  It will live better.

Aerators

Aerators work just fine for a small number of fish and a small volume of water, but for live bait tanks (a lot of fish and a limited volume of water) they can't put enough oxygen into the water to keep the bait alive.  Circulating water works best.

Lights

For those fisherman who have bait tanks that are dark inside or fisherman who go out at night, a light inside of the bait tank will help to settle down the bait and it will swim more organized.