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  #1  
Old 07-08-2013, 07:15 PM
Nhpatriot Nhpatriot is offline
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Default Making a bait well

I'm going to make a bait well from an old cooler on the swim platform. I see a lot of talk about aerators. Can't I just run a pump full time with a water overflow. I think the constant water change will be enough, no?
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:15 AM
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Salty Salty is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Making a bait well

Aerators work best, but your idea will work great too. On my boat, the factory installed one, is nothing more than what you want to do. Keeps bait alive for a long time. Just be sure to have the water come in on the low side and exit through the high side (not too high though, roughly half way up). Also, cover the water exit with screening so your bait won't be caught in the exit. A piece of plastic pipe with holes drill in it usually works best, with the end capped off. Just be sure pump is not too powerful. The drain has to let the water out, as fast as you are taking it in. Good luck with it.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:42 AM
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Default Re: Making a bait well

keep in mind that some baitfish, like mackeral, need to keep swimming all the time in order to stay alive, and will not do well in a bait tank with corners like most coolers have. This is why many real bait tanks are round or oval shaped on the inside.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: Making a bait well

Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeF View Post
keep in mind that some baitfish, like mackeral, need to keep swimming all the time in order to stay alive, and will not do well in a bait tank with corners like most coolers have. This is why many real bait tanks are round or oval shaped on the inside.
EXCELLENT point!!!!
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:40 PM
Willy-C Willy-C is offline
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Default Re: Making a bait well

I have two pumps on my home-made bait tank....one for fill/overflow.....the other for recirculate when in brackish water
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Making a bait well

Hey NH,

Your overflowing ice cooler idea should work just fine. The aerator design is mainly used when you have warm or brackish water and you don't want to pull raw water into the tank... you recirculate the original water and aerate it. I have one on my bait tank and use it only in those situations. Here in NH it's always cool enough to do a raw water overflow.

I would like to concur with the comment about avoiding square corners. When it comes to brains our Atlantic Mackerel are about as dumb at the Blueback Herring we had in SC. They're swim right into a corner and just keep ramming their nose into until they do that red-nose thing. If you pop-rivet some plastic into the corners of the cooler it will smooth the sharp corner and help greatly.

One suggestion I have for you on your cooler conversion... when you install the pump in the cooler, put an "L" fitting on the end of the pump's output. Point it out to the side and you'll get a good current going around the tank. This helps out the macs swim in a circle and stay our of the corners.

Catch um up,
TomB
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:08 PM
Irish Jig Irish Jig is offline
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Default Re: Making a bait well

An important thing w/ live well construction is the location of the feeding jet. You want the water coming into the live well at an angle that is directed toward the side of the livewell...meaning, you want the waterflow to be in a circular pattern. Mackerel (for example) need to swim in a circular pattern in a live well or will not last long. They will always swim into the flow of water. This decreases the stress on the mackerel and provides them adequate oxygenation - the more they need to swim (to get O2 through their gills) the less energy they have. Sure you cann just throw a hose into a tank to circulate the water - but this forces the bait to swim harder - and increases the stress level - thus causing more mortality.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:06 PM
Nhpatriot Nhpatriot is offline
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Default Re: Making a bait well

Great info thanks. I'll work on it this weekend.
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Old 07-22-2013, 05:59 AM
Nhpatriot Nhpatriot is offline
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Default Re: Making a bait well

Well it took 2 weeks but I finally rigged up a quick live well from a 5 gallon bucket. I added a bilge pump to my transom and just ran a hose to a bucket with a plastic 90 fitting on the end. Drilled some holes for water exit and wire tied to swim platform
Worked great yesterday and caught a 28" striper. First real striper catch.

I'll take a couple picks later this week and post.
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