Bait Tank

Tiny's $121 Bait Tank for Bank Fishermen or Daily Storage

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This setup is really cool and not that expensive ... I went to Academy and bought a 150 quart ice chest for a bait tank and then asked the man at the sporting counter where their dip nets were. he took me back on an isle that had the perfect bait dip net for this setup and then I went down a ways and found an aerator setup designed for ice chests so I got that too. Got home and it took me about 10 minutes to put it together and went and got some rock salt and put 1 cup in it for about 2/3rds capacity of the tank .... drove to Tulsa and got shad and we got about 75 or 80 large shad ... about 6 to 8 inches ... some 10 and a few smaller shad ... bout 10 or so and drove back to keystone dam ... fished all day that day and landed about 130 lbs of blues releasing all the larger ones and kept about 7 small ones from 6 to 2 lbs. That night there was still about 20 shad left in the tank and I gave them to Bill and Charlie and they looked more lively than when we first netted them. Only problem I had was with the shad scales pluggin up the aerator pipe but I'm gonna make a screen for it and that should fix that. It also made a dandy deal to tote my fish back home once I was done fishing ... got up this morning and cleaned fish and they was alive and well and made it easy to clean them since the drive home hadn't dried their skin out.

This is a standard storage box like you get at walmart ... I drilled a whole in each end for the aerator tube to mount through and it's got a snap top lid that goes on. I cut several 1/4"x2" slits in the bottom of this so that the water could pass through. 

This is a central heat and air foam filter purchased at walmart ... the filter is the kind that you put in the door of the unit and it filters the air so that the vents don't get plugged up. this works great to filter the scales and other stuff. Keeps the water super clean.

These shad have been in here for two days now and the water clarity is really good ... the shad still have most all their scales and the defecation is cleaned from the tank as well as the other debris. The white stuff floating on top is styrofoam that got in there when I cut the top for the filter box. ShadKeeper is what made the water green colored and it works a lot better than the rock salt ... with rock salt the shad stayed alive for a long time but would foam up real bad and the shad lost all their scales and slime ... with the shadkeeper they don't do that.

There's another use for this tank as well ... when the fishin's done and the bait used up it makes a great live well to keep your fish alive on the trip home instead of just leaving them lay in the back of your truck ... they stay alive until the next morning if you decided to wait to clean your catch ... keeps the fish clean and also keeps their skin from drying out making the cleaning a lot easier.

The bait tank aerator would run down both batteries when I hooked them together to charge so I went to the auto parts shop and got a continuous use solenoid, the kind they use on golf carts, and rigged it up so that when I turned the key off it'd break the connection between the batteries ... this way it'll only be connected to the main battery when the pickup is running or key is turned on. Charges the bait tank battery faster also because the main battery is always fully charged.