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Shiner Fishing

I'm thinking about trying large shiners for bass. There are some bait buckets with aerators for sale but for 8" or larger shiners these 5 gallon or smaller buckets seem too small. I could make or buy a larger tank but how to keep the water cold? Blocks of frozen lake water?
In any event, if anyone fisher large shiners, what kind of a set up do you have? Thanks.


  • FishaHallicFishaHallic Posts: 660 Officer
    I assume you are fishing from shore or are you in a boat?

    Anyway, I have not been a fan of adding frozen blocks of water into the baitwell, to me it does not make sense. Sure the water will be cooler but I would think as soon as your bait is hooked and thrown in the lake it will be shocked by the warm/hot water and die quicker. This is just my opinion and I have no proof on this.

    On the West central area of Florida Sportsman someone posted how to make a really good 5 gallon bait bucket that works for salt water baits like threadfins (which are very fragile) so I would think that his idea works good with large shiners also. I don't remember his name to give him credit for his bucket idea and I have never tried his idea on the bucket but I did make one like he suggested I just have never used it yet to see how well it works. I saved his post to a word doc so I could purchase the parts.

    This is from his post (I am sorry I can't remember your name to give you credit).

    Here is what I reccomend, coming from someone who use bait pretty much all the time in 5 gal bucket. I don't mean to toot my own horn but I have become very well versed in this subject since I am a hardcore baiter and I am fishing
    From land 95% of the time.

    First get a 5 gal bucket with a lid that actually fits tight. You can get a very sturdy 5 gal with gamma seal lid for
    Like 20$ shipped. Now i like the aerators that are battery powered. The 12v power bubbles from marine metal is great but you have to lug the battery too. For me, the glory of the 5 gal bait bucket is its mobility. I don't like to have to carry the extra weight an battery if I can help it because I tend to fish some pretty treacherous areas where I don't want to be sitting a battery around.

    I use a regular marine metal bubble box. The other sealed models and such are great but they DO NOT move as much volume of air, I called the company and asked. Why do you think they 80 hrs on two D batteries? They are not as powerful. I just seal the pump area of mine with 5200. Now, neat thing I do is get a micro bubble air stone. This makes a big difference, they are cheap like 6$ and I 5200 that to the bottom center of the bucket. I drill a small hole and run the hose through the top above the water line.

    Now here is the kicker. I have posted about this several times. I use a product called gamma seal. It is a magical bait salt that helps removes ammonia and nitrates for fish waste that poisons the bait. It removes chlorine which helps Dissloved oxygen stay in the water. And it decreases surface tension to help oxygen diffusion at the surface and on the surface of the bubbles from your aerator. It makes all the difference in my experience, especially when water temps are high. I can load my 5 gal with any bait I want to and keeping alive for many hours with no water changes.

    Doing this let's me keep the advantages of the extreme mobility of the 5 gal bucket but lets me keep plenty of fragile baits like whitebait or theadfins for plenty long to fish.
  • a little knotsa little knots Posts: 1,222 Officer
    I believe gamma seal is what bait stores use in there
    large tanks to keep there bait longer & more lively !!
    Great idea !! I like it !!! I just wonder how much you
    put in a 5 gal bucket ? And where do you buy it ?
  • cseng123cseng123 Posts: 365 Deckhand
    Is the liquid called Gamma Seal or is the lid called Gamma Seal?
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,163 Moderator
  • a little knotsa little knots Posts: 1,222 Officer
    Ok so its not called gamma seal its called progey n Crocker saver!
    It says saltwater fish so would that work on freshwater shinners ?
    And is that what they use at the bait shops because I've seen them
    add some kind of chemical in there bait tanks ?:huh
    Might have to ask the guy at the bait store what hes adding .
    they probably add all kinds of stuff to keep bait fresh though.
    Who wants to buy bait thats not good an lively ? Maybe I shouldn't
    jump to conclusions that might not be what there adding after all !!!:shrug
    (Because seen them add it to the 《freshwater》 shinner an grass shrimp tanks )
  • StratosStratos Posts: 149 Officer
    I can remember as a kid my buddy and I would put shinners in a styrofoam and they would stay alive for days. Not sure if it allows oxygen to pass through and into the water.
  • red owlred owl Posts: 671 Officer
    I have a plain 12' john boat without any frills. The small D cell type battery aerator would be great, I just didn't know whether they did or did not work. On the water, I thought you had to use lake water, tap water will kill the minnows. I have used tiny minnows for specks but the large 7-8" jumbo shiners for trophy bass, I thought they might need a larger container and a better aerator. I think a lot of professional guides use a plastic trash barrel or the like. The ice in the water- I thought that slowed the metabolism of the shiner so they didn't need as much air. In any event- I can't put a plastic trash can in a small 12' john boat- I was trying to figure what sort of a set up I could use, if any.
    The other option is a different bait, like huge crawfish or frogs but how to collect them is another topic.
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,163 Moderator
    There are larger plastic buckets available but no gamma seal lids . You would need to use the lid that comes with it.
    A old cooler makes a good bait tank and there is rigging for them. Will hold plenty of shiners for a morning or afternoon of fishing.
    "You'll get your weather"
  • RealSeabeeRealSeabee Posts: 583 Officer
    adding ice increases the waters ability to "hold" oxygen. Cooling the water 10-12 degrees has virtually no effect on bass (or any other fish in the Sunfish Family) but NOT know for bait fish...shiners in particular. Some good info HERE and HERE
    When Practice meets opportunity, Set-The-Hook!
  • FishaHallicFishaHallic Posts: 660 Officer
    capt louie wrote: »

    Ah, Snookmeister, that is it. Thanks Capt..
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