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Keeping Bait Alive...

I've got a 35-gallon round livewell that turns the water over quickly, but I can't get threads/greenies/pilchards to last more than 24-36 hours. I know, that should be enough, but for three-day trips away from consistent bait, I need to make it work.


The baits stay frisky for the first 24 hours- no red noses, very few deaths (quickly removed), and clean/clear water. Pinfish and spot tails all last just fine, but I've learned to feed them a little.

Any suggestions? Should I try feeding these guys?


  • Snook69Snook69 Posts: 128 Deckhand
    Sounds like just the nature of the bait. They are fragile and do a good job of banging themselves up pretty good when confined. Just use more for pitch baits and reload every day your fishing.
  • AAnglerAAngler Posts: 340 Deckhand
    What kind of pump do you have on that livewell?
  • ediemikeediemike Posts: 46 Deckhand
    I dunno. We replace it every year as it wears out. The water level (inflow) draw is about three feet below the well, so the pump works hard. But it turns over the water fairly well. I'll have to check on the GPM or GPH.
  • Capt M BrennanCapt M Brennan Posts: 488 Deckhand
    Looking at the photo ... Maybe too much current ... wear themselves out trying to swim ... Might try slowing things down a bit.
    Captain Mike Brennan
  • OldredsledOldredsled Posts: 189 Deckhand
    have you looked into pressurized bait wells. If the well is pressurized the water environment is much more stable and the bait does not need to expend as much energy to keep themselves from banging around,

    Look into O2. I know the texas guys use O2. the water over there is gets hot and the water does not hold O2 as well.
    ALso keep a sharp eye on water temp, just a hair warm can cause the bait to expend energy.

    your need to research fish tanks instead of bait. Look at what the seafood transport does. Live lobsters and crabs ect stay alive from transport to sale up to 10 days.

  • ediemikeediemike Posts: 46 Deckhand
    I could rig the well as pressurized if I block the top drain and put a weight bag on the lid. That way the excess will push out the top without sloshing. I think that might work. The O2 idea might work, too. Never thought about them swimming too much against the current. I wouldn't say it's strong, but it is constant...
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