Texas Fishing Forum

How long will shad live in livewell?

Posted By: spooncg

How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/03/19 12:27 AM

I know a bait tank is the way to go, but has anyone kept shad alive in the summer for more than a couple of hours in their livewell? I know years ago I caught some, ran across the lake and some of them already started floating.

I will try to add salt this time, and some air to help out. How long can they last?
Posted By: 9094

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/03/19 03:25 AM

About 10 minutes in a square livewell with no current.
Posted By: scubaarchery

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/03/19 04:08 AM

They died in my live well. If it’s square they will kill themselves. I have a Moeller non insulated 30 gal tank. I add 10 lbs of ice, salt and a keep alive aerator, and more ice if they get hot. You need all that for a round live well and probably some foam away as well...
Posted By: scubaarchery

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/03/19 04:09 AM

They died in my live well. If it’s square they will kill themselves. I have a Moeller non insulated 30 gal tank. I add 10 lbs of ice, salt and a keep alive aerator, and more ice if they get hot. You need all that for a round live well and probably some foam away as well...
Posted By: RANDY WOOD

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/03/19 04:36 AM

The truth about using bait for stripers is:

You need a round or oval bait tank.
Circulation and aeration.
Rock salt

Don’t be lazy or cheap when it comes to catching and keeping bait!

Healthy 5”inch gizzard shad put limits of Stripers in the boat.

Healthy 6”to 8” gizzard shad put big fish in the boat.
Posted By: Mckinneycrappiecatcher

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/03/19 05:46 AM

In a round bait well that constantly circulates fresh water in, you’ll get a couple of hours. In a square one, 20 minutes if you’re lucky
Posted By: Holzer

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/03/19 12:56 PM

Originally Posted by RANDY WOOD
The truth about using bait for stripers is:

You need a round or oval bait tank.
Circulation and aeration.
Rock salt

Don’t be lazy or cheap when it comes to catching and keeping bait!

Healthy 5”inch gizzard shad put limits of Stripers in the boat.

Healthy 6”to 8” gizzard shad put big fish in the boat.


^^^^^^^
Key word here is "Healthy"

When fishing for stripers, there is a difference in live shad & lively shad.
Many times, live shad are not good enough.
Posted By: G Love

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/03/19 01:19 PM

Originally Posted by RANDY WOOD
The truth about using bait for stripers is:

You need a round or oval bait tank.
Circulation and aeration.
Rock salt

Don’t be lazy or cheap when it comes to catching and keeping bait!

Healthy 5”inch gizzard shad put limits of Stripers in the boat.

Healthy 6”to 8” gizzard shad put big fish in the boat.



X1000
Posted By: PKfishin

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/03/19 04:17 PM

If you do not have a bait tank designed to keep shad alive and put rock salt and shad keeper in it, best bet is to go with perch. I've been able to catch a dozen of so perch pretty quick using worm pieces and a number 10 hook around boat docks and boat launches. A 7 foot net will catch them pretty quick as well around boat launches and swim beaches. Those perch fish about as good as shad in my opinion. It does not take much to keep them alive, they don't stink as bad and they don't get scales all over your boat.

I have often wondered why boat manufacturers don't have an option to integrate a shad tank into these fishing boats in leiu of one of the live wells. Since I don't fish tournaments I have turned all my live wells into dry storage anyway.
Posted By: Kidstriper

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/03/19 06:39 PM

A $600 to $700 investment into a bait tank is a smart move. Well worth the money. Tons of great tanks out there! Tho keep alive tanks aren't one of them.
Posted By: RespectTheFish

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/03/19 10:03 PM

I lost several fish overnight last night....put probably over a hundred threadfin and gizzards in my 30 gallon blue water bait tank and it just got too hot and most of them were dead by morning. In spring or fall they would have stayed alive but its just too dang hot. I plan to invest in an electric chiller soon to keep the water a cooler temp while storing. If I catch bait at the lake and go fishing they are fine but overnight several hours they start dying without controlling temp. Adding salt is a great idea but big issue is the heat.
Posted By: GoFishNow

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/04/19 02:10 AM

You mention rock salt. Is this any different than what is in water conditioner or pool salt? I know not to use salt with iodine in it.
How much salt for each ten gallons?
Posted By: RespectTheFish

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/04/19 02:37 AM

Ice cream rock salt seams to be what most people use. Up to a cup per 10 gallons which I think is excessive.
Posted By: RANDY WOOD

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/04/19 03:53 AM

Ice cream salt or I buy cattle salt in a 35lb bag at feed store.
Posted By: PKfishin

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/04/19 04:18 PM

Salt and or Shad keeper will help but you will still have a bunch of shad die off. They will lose their scales and puke and poop and mess up the water. I have to keep several spare filters in my boat and change them out often if I fish with shad. They have to be the nastiest fish alive. I'm usually finding shad scales everywhere for days after fishing with shad.

As for water temp I have put frozen water bottles in the tank to cool it down but it does not seem to help a whole lot. Best bet is to catch them and use them quick. Guides like Randy Wood would know all the tricks however to keep shad alive as they catch shad the day before a guide trip and it would be a disaster for them to wake up to a tank full of floaters and have to get bait before they went out or just fish lures.
Posted By: 44 Diesel

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/04/19 04:56 PM

Originally Posted by PKfishin
Salt and or Shad keeper will help but you will still have a bunch of shad die off. They will lose their scales and puke and poop and mess up the water. I have to keep several spare filters in my boat and change them out often if I fish with shad. They have to be the nastiest fish alive. I'm usually finding shad scales everywhere for days after fishing with shad.

As for water temp I have put frozen water bottles in the tank to cool it down but it does not seem to help a whole lot. Best bet is to catch them and use them quick. Guides like Randy Wood would know all the tricks however to keep shad alive as they catch shad the day before a guide trip and it would be a disaster for them to wake up to a tank full of floaters and have to get bait before they went out or just fish lures.



Drop them straight from the cast net to a bucket of lake water and let them purge. Then use a small net to put them in the bait tank
Posted By: T Bird

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/04/19 05:33 PM

You can easily make your own bait tank. Round container with lid. Livewell pump and hose. Manual drain valve. Cost you about $60 max.
Posted By: TCK73

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/04/19 05:33 PM

Originally Posted by 44 Diesel



Drop them straight from the cast net to a bucket of lake water and let them purge. Then use a small net to put them in the bait tank


^^^^^^^^^

I also throw two handfuls of salt, just the kind I feed to cattle, a little powdered coffee creamer, and if I catch them the evening before I fish, I dump a bag of ice in the tank. I have the old type 30 gal. Grayline. There are way better tanks on the market now, but the one I have now still works fine.
Posted By: BridgeportGuide

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/04/19 06:39 PM

Originally Posted by RANDY WOOD
The truth about using bait for stripers is:

You need a round or oval bait tank.
Circulation and aeration.
Rock salt

Don’t be lazy or cheap when it comes to catching and keeping bait!

Healthy 5”inch gizzard shad put limits of Stripers in the boat.

Healthy 6”to 8” gizzard shad put big fish in the boat.


Amen Brotha!
Posted By: BridgeportGuide

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/04/19 06:52 PM

Originally Posted by RespectTheFish
I lost several fish overnight last night....put probably over a hundred threadfin and gizzards in my 30 gallon blue water bait tank and it just got too hot and most of them were dead by morning. In spring or fall they would have stayed alive but its just too dang hot. I plan to invest in an electric chiller soon to keep the water a cooler temp while storing. If I catch bait at the lake and go fishing they are fine but overnight several hours they start dying without controlling temp. Adding salt is a great idea but big issue is the heat.


If I need to hold them, I cover them in an auto sunshade. I then give them a half tank water change with cool, treated city water and a filter change.

I agree with purging them for sure. I have also seen where too many Gizzards can affect the overall health of the T-Fins and the tank, Nasty Fish!
Posted By: learnin to fish

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/05/19 05:48 PM

I have a fish and ski and don’t have room for a bait tank. We have a good hybrid population in lake Waco and want to target them. I can catch perch easy, what hook size / setup would I use to catch hybrids and how do I hook a perch to keep them alive while using as bait? How big a perch do I need to target?
Posted By: PKfishin

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/06/19 02:11 PM

I use perch from 2-5 inches. I've caught a lot of sandbass on the smaller ones so you have to keep that in mind if you want to avoid sandies. Bigger ones will work but you will need a heavier weight. As for hooking them I normally hook them through the top lip in the hard part of the mouth. I want the bait to be way down in the mouth before I hook the fish.

As for keeping them alive, you will have no problem. I have caught several stripers on perch and was able to reuse the perch. Perch are very tough. I've also had multiple instances of fish running with the perch then dropping it. I assume this was because the perch got his fins up and the fish had to spit it out. If you drop the perch down after you check to see if you still have bait that fish will normally come back and take the perch. You can keep a couple dozen perch alive all day in a 5 gallon bucket with an aerator.

The setup I use is a number 7 swivel with a 3/4 ounce barrel sinker above it. I use a 12 inch leader of 20 lb test fluorocarbon line and either a number 1.0 or 2.0 circle hook depending on the size of the bait. Since I use spinning rods, I set the drag real loose and use a rod holder. Not need to be quick on the draw to set the hook, as the fish wont drop the bait. Let the striper run with the bait while you give the drag a couple cranks to tighten it then set the hook. Most of the time the stripers just hook themselves, as they run hard with the bait, as they are being chased by the rest of the school. You can see this in clear water allot, as many times at Pk I will be playing a striper at the surface and two or three of his pals are trying to take the bait from him. When you get a bite with perch that does not take off like a scalded cat it's normally a catfish or LM Bass. The setup above will work for them as well.

Catching perch for bait is different than shad. They like to hang around structure that will destroy a net. If you use a net boat launches and swim beaches usually have some. The best way to get them is to use a small piece of worm on a no 10 perch hook with a bobber next to structure holding them. You can catch a couple dozen in a few minutes like that.
Posted By: learnin to fish

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 07/06/19 06:51 PM

Thats really good info. I’ll give it a try tomorrow morning and see if I can get some Hybrids to bite.Thanks for the help.
Posted By: Jack46

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 10/20/19 04:42 PM

Originally Posted by spooncg
I know a bait tank is the way to go, but has anyone kept shad alive in the summer for more than a couple of hours in their livewell? I know years ago I caught some, ran across the lake and some of them already started floating.

I will try to add salt this time, and some air to help out. How long can they last?
No disrespect, but repeating your same mistakes over and over, summer after summer will definitely insure your continued failures if you are trying to keep shad alive much less keep those shad healthy all day, but some of you have discovered that yet.
Years of old bad habits shad keeping habits have resulted in years of continuous repeated failures. Trying and failing over and over to simply keep a few shad alive in summer livewells has not been successful for many of you regardless of what you do, right?
So what in the world is this cryptic problem killing your shad in your livewell every summer all these years?
No disrespect to any forum member, but changing your old, fixed habits resulting in more failures is always no more than more your inability/failure to manage your livewell water quality… deadly water quality kills shad in summer livewells. Keeping shad alive in your livewell in the summer will require some serious water quality changes as well as some dedicated time and effort to learn how to insure excellent livewell water quality all day.
Actually, you can overstock your livewell with live shad successfully only if you will be responsible for insuring at least minimal safe water quality. You can even keep shad alive and healthy all night if you want too. Overstocking meand safely adding >1 lb. shad per gallon of livewell water.
You have read and heard bait tank salesmen, boat salesmen, aerator salesmen, fishing article writers and old timers all claiming as fact that the maximum safe/normal stocking density for all aerated livewell and bait tanks is: 1 lb. of shad per 1 gallon livewell water in livewells and bait tanks. So that means that any 25 gallon livewell should easily keep 25 pounds of shad alive and healthy (no red nose) all day… so how does that bait density/water capacity ratio working for you in your livewell this summer?
What do you believe actually limits your livewell stocking density? What could that be?
Keeping shad alive and healthy all day and all night in livewells and bait tanks in the summer is definitely not rocket science and the popular $399 - $500 brand name bait tank are certainly not necessary to keep shad alive all day. Any 5 gallon plastic bucket from Home Depot will work just fine.
The real shad transport experts say the magic to transporting and keeping shad alive in the summer in any livewell, bait tank, bait box or plastic bucket is: maintaining excellent water quality is all there is to being successful transporting live shad.
Consider learning something new about livewell water quality published by real fishery experts. Something that will really will keep your shad alive and healthy in any livewell or bait tank every the summer. Here is some published fishery science that will fix your summer dead shad problems: Oxygenation of Livewells to Improve Survival of Tournament-Caught Bass by Fishery Biologist Randy Myers and Jason Driscoll TPWP, Inland Fisheries Division, San Antonio, TX Publication 6/2011
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/didyouknow/inland/livewells.phtml
So you do have options: You can keep-on doing what you’re doing now, keep experimenting with stuff that doesn’t work, keep killing shad in your livewell every summer and keep-on whining and complaining about your crappy livewell that keeps failing to keep your shad every summer and just deal with dead, dying, sloppy shad.
When all fails: Plastic shad are definitely the next best option when you accept the fact that cannot keep shad alive in your livewell.
Posted By: snowyriver6

Re: How long will shad live in livewell? - 10/21/19 01:24 PM


hybrids hit dead shad but strippers generally dont. When I use perch I take a knife and cut off most of the fins on the back. I held the waco hybrid lake record for awhile.
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