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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Need advice on DIY bait tank #13783419 11/24/20 04:26 PM
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Goose2 Offline OP
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I’m looking at making a bait tank from some old drums I have and need some advice. Purchasing a new tank is out as all my budget is going to an electronics upgrade. I plan on using both a 30 and a 55. I’ll put the 30 inside the 55 and foam around it. The question is on systems and the drain. I can either drop a standpipe in the 30 and suck water and debris off the bottom or I can flip the 30 upside down and plumb through the bungs. That would allow me to have a floor drain that goes to a T for draining and cleaning and return up the other side for the drain pipe. If I do that I’ll stuff a battery tray underneath as well. The 55 is 6” taller so I can use that space with this approach otherwise I’ll cut it down to match the 30. In my head this sounds useful to keep the tank water cleaner but if it doesn’t add value i’ll take the easier path and suck off the bottom like all the others i’ve seen. This going on my pontoon so space is available but I will need to drain for easy removal when it’s not on fishing duty. I can put a hose bib on top the drain pipe but that will require the pump to drain the tank.

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Re: Need advice on DIY bait tank [Re: Goose2] #13786276 11/27/20 01:32 AM
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Goose, man I can tell you from experience. Keeping bait alive is hard! They will not live unless you are able to change the water often if you have a lot of bait! Maybe you could set it up like a live well. Mount a pump on the back of the boat to fill the tank. Then put a pump in the tank that you could pipe to either recirculate the water or pump it back into the lake. Or like you said put a drain so you could fill and drain at the same time. Winter it’s easier to keep them alive but harder to get live bait. I have had bait tanks w/ oxygen ect. A live well was the best thing. In the warm months I would freeze gallon jugs of water and put one in at a time to keep them cool. I hardly cat fish anymore. Miss it sometimes but I don’t miss the bait battle. Lol I was bass fishing Saturday on Rayburn and caught 4 nice blues 3 to 5 lbs. on a jerk bait. They went in the live well.. dinner was awesome that day!

Re: Need advice on DIY bait tank [Re: Goose2] #13786445 11/27/20 01:27 PM
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Goose2 Offline OP
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I’ve been successful keeping them alive in a rectangular bait box most of the day in the july heat but they do pile up in the corner so I keep the numbers down. When i leave them in the lake at the end of the day they are lethargic but still swimming. Since I’ve been using them for cut bait that has worked fine. I’m going to retry live to target yellow cat. I’ll try the DIY tank as a winter project to see if I can’t improve their longevity. It would be nice to catch bait the night before so I’m ready to go and know what I have when the kids board. I have an endless supply of bluegill in the backyard pond but haven’t had much success with them. Even the backup store baits have been out catching the bluegill. Others have been doing well with them so it must be operator error.

Re: Need advice on DIY bait tank [Re: Goose2] #13786512 11/27/20 02:37 PM
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I used a round plastic tank to haul them from the house to the river back then. Looks like 5 gal bucket material but was 3’ across and 18” deep and it was round. I put a bubble air in it for the 20 min haul till I got them in the live well. I still got all my cat fishing stuff I just don’t use it. I moved from the Trinity river Liberty Tx area to Sam Rayburn. I thought that went I retire I might start up again. I really enjoyed targeting big flatheads! Hope you get a good system set up! Post some pics!
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Re: Need advice on DIY bait tank [Re: Goose2] #13787021 11/28/20 02:13 AM
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Just my opinion, but if you are serious about keeping bait alive, get a good bait tank. i know it's pricey, but it is a sound investment. I bought a 17 gallon Grayline, with one piece filter, insulated, and blue on the inside. It was a 500 dollar hit, but it will even revive shad that are starting to swim upside down, and red nose. Now, if I could just get good enough at catching shad when it's cooler. It's easy in the summer.

Last edited by z289sec; 11/28/20 02:15 AM.
Re: Need advice on DIY bait tank [Re: Goose2] #13787043 11/28/20 02:47 AM
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I may buy a bait tank down the road but what’s left in the budget after repairing the boat motor, the bunks and putting seats in the boat is reserved for electronics. If the diy tank gives me a year or two I may decide to upgrade again and buy.

Re: Need advice on DIY bait tank [Re: Goose2] #13796402 12/06/20 06:02 PM
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Goose first welcome 2nd Tons of videos on Youtube about this. I made one from 55 gallon drum cut down. It work ok with bottles of frozen water in them and a filter system. I bought tank, its night and day. One thing if it will hold more than 30 gallon you will have to have a bait license from Texas Parks. I thought is I only put 20 gallons in it would be ok, not so. If your tank can hole more than 30 gallons. Good luck keep a tight line

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