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Overnight bait bucket for pinfish

BinderBinder Posts: 4,003 Captain
I am planning a offshore trip with some family coming into town in the beginning of July and want to go out the day before and load up with 100-150 pinfish. I need to store them overnight in my garage while keeping them alive and well. It's a 12 hour trip 5:30am-5:30 pm.

I searched the forums and saw people were storing 150-175 pinfish over night using Marine Metal 110 Air Bubbles. I'm assuming like this one http://www.marinemetal.com/products/110-vt-air-pumps/110-air-bubbles-a2/item/110-air-bubbles-a2 (if not please let me know). I've also seen this http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=37909&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&storeId=11151&storeNum=50842&subdeptNum=50912&classNum=50914 searching the web.

Questions:

1. Is this something that is feasible?
2. If so, how many gallons should I go with ( 10 gal., 20 gal., 30 gal., etc.)?
3. Should I put bait bucket in another bucket with ice in it to keep them lively?
4. How many hours do you think they will survive in my garage before they're not worth fishing with?

If there's anything I missed please let me know. Thanks!

Replies

  • DragScreamerDragScreamer Posts: 1,475 Officer
    if the pinfish are 3 inches ...(anything over 6+ inches gets 20 gallons per fish) the very basic rule of thumb is every inch of fish for 1 gallon (since fish secrete ammonia (poop)) so total for 150 pinfish would be 450 gallons but that is really big so I recommend 50 for 100-200 pinfish. When any fish is stressed they poop even more releasing more and more ammonia into the water column. When High enough ammonia levels reach they die. Unless you live next to a canal I don't think keeping 150 pinfish is possible without a large container. Also a water pump/powerhead would be a better choice for a big tank. Water circulation will increase oxygen level WAY more then a bubbler. In fact the bubbles from the bubbler does not even diffuse into the water instead the flow it creates underwater is what makes the water oxygen rich. the more water space the better the chances that most (if not all) of the fish will survive overnight. A large water container (maybe a small inflatable pool) with a pump or powerhead (not bubbler) or even better a large aquarium filter. would probably keep them alive. As far as keeping them in the garage....as long as your garage is not more then 85 degrees F the pinfish should be fine...
    Let's go fishing!
  • DogDocDogDoc Posts: 686 Officer
    If you or your boat are on/in the water then a bait pen is the way to go...without circulating water it'll be tough to keep them going.
    Live fish are shipped in large plastic bags filled with water and oxygen from a tank, but that may not be practical.
  • DragScreamerDragScreamer Posts: 1,475 Officer
    I own aquariums btw :p
    Let's go fishing!
  • TeamAmericaTeamAmerica Posts: 37 Deckhand
    I own aquariums btw :p

    I can tell with old time inch per gallon rule lol i have two reef aquariums also
  • TeamAmericaTeamAmerica Posts: 37 Deckhand
    Now as for the pin fish if I where you I would skip out on both of those what you need is water movement and surface irritation. You can either make your own rig out of a submersible bilge pump some pvc with holes and some flex tubing or you can buy one like http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12152942&gsidynamic=GooglePLA-_-TACKLE-_-TACKLE-_-SKU-11277255&camp=CSE:GooglePLA:12152942:11277255:TACKLE-
    Then all you need is a large 50 ish gallon container the brut 55’s are awesome but can be kind of pricey. It really depends for how long you are planning on using this thing. A nice set up will overall run you about 100 bucks and you can have a nice live well that can go anywhere and should last you for a while.

    The end of this video shows my rig there are holes at the end to blow bubble in the water and another piece of pvc about half way moving the water and the fish in a circular motion.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdHKeHoWaAg

    Thats an old 55 gallon drum and you would Obviously fill yours with alot more water. With this rig i can keep mullet and even pillchard alive for hours. The only really problem is pin fish POOP ALOT lol.
  • DragScreamerDragScreamer Posts: 1,475 Officer
    Now as for the pin fish if I where you I would skip out on both of those what you need is water movement and surface irritation. You can either make your own rig out of a submersible bilge pump some pvc with holes and some flex tubing or you can buy one like http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12152942&gsidynamic=GooglePLA-_-TACKLE-_-TACKLE-_-SKU-11277255&camp=CSE:GooglePLA:12152942:11277255:TACKLE-
    Then all you need is a large 50 ish gallon container the brut 55’s are awesome but can be kind of pricey. It really depends for how long you are planning on using this thing. A nice set up will overall run you about 100 bucks and you can have a nice live well that can go anywhere and should last you for a while.

    The end of this video shows my rig there are holes at the end to blow bubble in the water and another piece of pvc about half way moving the water and the fish in a circular motion.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdHKeHoWaAg

    Thats an old 55 gallon drum and you would Obviously fill yours with alot more water. With this rig i can keep mullet and even pillchard alive for hours. The only really problem is pin fish POOP ALOT lol.

    yup....unless you cycle that bait container (a long process i wish not to explain) keeping a lot of bait alive in small containers for a couple of days is almost impossible...don't forget about the salinity and ph levels lol ...this would be a lot easier if you lived in a canal and just made a bait pen
    Let's go fishing!
  • TeamAmericaTeamAmerica Posts: 37 Deckhand
    Yea but he is only talking about 12 hours as long as he uses ocean water he wont have to worry about and cycle and ph should be fine for that short period of time as well. What scares me is the high amionia levels due to all the poop. what would be idea is to take out like 50 to 75 % of the water out and replace it with new water like right before you go to bed but idk now possible that would be for you to do.
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,362 Moderator
    100-150 pins is a lot of live bait. 3 traps set the night before should have all the bait you'll need.
    Just pull them on the way out ?
    "You'll get your weather"
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 AG
    That's a lot of fish.

    I use the 10 Gal. version of this for a dozen.

    http://www.marinemetal.com/products/bait-saver-livewells/bait-saver-livewell-systems-pbc20/item/bait-saver-livewell-systems-pbc20

    Its a long ride to the ocean from here. It may go stale.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • BottombouncerBottombouncer Posts: 678 Officer
    In the past I used a large trough(sp?) from tractor supply with some PVC and livewell pump to keep bluegill and goldfish alive for flathead fishing.
    If this is just a once in a while thing, it's probably not worth it.
  • BinderBinder Posts: 4,003 Captain
    capt louie wrote: »
    100-150 pins is a lot of live bait. 3 traps set the night before should have all the bait you'll need.
    Just pull them on the way out ?
    If it was on my boat this is what I would do but we are taking a private charter and I can't justify paying for pinfish. My suspicion was that this was a reach and from everyone's replys that would be true. Thanks guys
  • aboveboredabovebored Posts: 1,293 Officer
    Use a bilge pump on bottom of tank with a hose to the top, that is spraying forcefully into the surface of water from an inch or two above. This will create a thick foam on the surface. This foaming effect is important, because it contains toxic waste matter which can the easily be skimmed off and help keep water cleaner.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 AG
    Does your charter expect you to bring your own bait? Is that an extra charge?
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • Split ShotSplit Shot Posts: 6,190 Admiral
    We're paying .30 - .50 / grunt or pin which is a small % of the charter. Relax and let somebody else worry about it.
  • DragScreamerDragScreamer Posts: 1,475 Officer
    Yeah i know but, I was talking about a long term container lol
    Let's go fishing!
  • Amurleopard1967Amurleopard1967 Posts: 267 Deckhand
    I have kept pinfish alive for days. Get a big cooler and one of those bilge pump bait savers that use the 12 volt connection. Just periodically skim the top of the foam off of the water. Also if you take a few gatorade bottles and fill them up with water and freeze them. then pop one into the cooler every 8 hours or so that will help big time. The colder water helps keep the oxygen and it also slows down the metabolism of the pins. You shouldnt have any problem keeping them overnight with this, even 100 or more. I have also kept finger mullet alive this way. You can also keep scaled sardines and threads alive this way for a couple hours.
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