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Keeping croaker alive?

jamesbrownsplitjamesbrownsplit Posts: 230 Deckhand
How many snook bait sized croaker could I keep alive in a 5 gallon bucket with a bubble pump/changing the water from time to time/using an ice pack to keep it cool? Don’t want to take the time to try and catch them if they are gonna die on me without a portable live well. 

Replies

  • Sixth GenerationSixth Generation Posts: 910 Officer
    I would think 20 would be fine if you keep them cool and shaded.  Snook candy right there!  I might dump in some fresh saltwater every so often as well.
  • jamesbrownsplitjamesbrownsplit Posts: 230 Deckhand
    I would think 20 would be fine if you keep them cool and shaded.  Snook candy right there!  I might dump in some fresh saltwater every so often as well.
    Really? I was thinking like half a dozen max. 
  • bocapup1bocapup1 Posts: 1,474 Officer
    3 sweet hearts
  • poncedoradoponcedorado Posts: 484 Deckhand
    yeah croakers are pretty hardy and don't seem as bothered as some other species by being confined. not sure how long you're thinking about keeping them, but as long as the oxygen and cleanliness of the water is reasonably maintained 20 seems doable
  • jamesbrownsplitjamesbrownsplit Posts: 230 Deckhand
    edited May 5 #6
    Less than 8 hours. I doubt I’ll spend enough time to trying to catch that many but like 6”ish croakers? I’m using a hook and line so I doubt they will be tiny. 
  • Sixth GenerationSixth Generation Posts: 910 Officer
    That is how I catch them.  Small piece of fresh dead peeled shrimp.  They do pretty well as Ponce says.  They are a fairly easy going bait until Ms. Snook looks at them...  lol.  Only bait I know of that will have a heart attack and be in full rigger mortise  when you reel in in...  5/0 mutu light circle hook on 40 flouro loop knotted and a 1/4 oz split shot is how I present them.  36” leader and 20 lb braid.  Good luck and send pics!
  • poncedoradoponcedorado Posts: 484 Deckhand
    if the croakers are biting, get while the gettin's good and fill that bucket up. You can always let some go or give some away if it looks like they're too crowded and getting tired, but if there actually are hungry snook around, a handful of baits ain't gonna last you nearly 8 hours
  • jamesbrownsplitjamesbrownsplit Posts: 230 Deckhand
    if the croakers are biting, get while the gettin's good and fill that bucket up. You can always let some go or give some away if it looks like they're too crowded and getting tired, but if there actually are hungry snook around, a handful of baits ain't gonna last you nearly 8 hours
    Thought there were only dinks on this bridge I’ve been fishing but a less windy night revealed some real big ones. I’ve fished it pretty hard when you’d think they’d bite but no interest in swim baits or jigs. Haven’t seen many mullet at all and I figure I’ll have to weed through smaller ones with pilchards so why not see if I can catch some decent sized croakers and get a good one. They have been catching croakers and sand perch around a bridge I fished some a few week ago. Fingers crossed. 
  • ToeKneeToeKnee Orlando Posts: 41 Deckhand
    I find that using 2 bubblers instead of one keeps them a lot more lively. Had about 10 pinfish in a 5 gallon bucket with 2 bubblers for about 5-6 hours with no water change and they did fine.
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