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How big of a livewell for menhaden?

Old 03-14-2019, 12:32 PM
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Default How big of a livewell for menhaden?

I have a 230 Whaler Vantage with a 14 gal livewell. I'd like to get out this summer when the kings are around and slow troll live menhaden. Would probably want 50-100 (at least) live baits for a day of trolling. Menhaden aren't hardy and have no spirit, so I'm wondering if the 14 gal is too small and if I need to look into one of those larger portable livewells?
Anyone used one?
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:50 PM
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Unfortunately that is woefully inadequate. You will not need 50 to 100 menhaden. A 14 gal livewell would be lucky to keep 8 menhaden alive. For menhaden a 30 gallon portable livewell which will weigh over 240 pounds is probably all your boat can handle. For menhaden you will do better with a round circular (not oval) livewell with at least a 500 gph raw water bait pump with an inflow preferably diverted to the side of the livewell creating a circular flow at the top with an outtake outflow coming from the bottom. I wouldn't keep more than 30 to 40 menhaden in that livewell. You may still have to rebait after 5 or 6 hours since menhaden as you correctly indicated are not very hardy.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Kendall View Post
Unfortunately that is woefully inadequate. You will not need 50 to 100 menhaden. A 14 gal livewell would be lucky to keep 8 menhaden alive. For menhaden a 30 gallon portable livewell which will weigh over 240 pounds is probably all your boat can handle. For menhaden you will do better with a round circular (not oval) livewell with at least a 500 gph raw water bait pump with an inflow preferably diverted to the side of the livewell creating a circular flow at the top with an outtake outflow coming from the bottom. I wouldn't keep more than 30 to 40 menhaden in that livewell. You may still have to rebait after 5 or 6 hours since menhaden as you correctly indicated are not very hardy.
We tend to go through a decent number of baits because we chum with them as well. So, i agree, we won't be putting all those on a hook.
Just curious, why would think 240 pounds on the livewell is too heavy. The BW Vantage is a tank, weighs 3900 dry.
Do these pumps get hooked up to a separate battery or have their own?
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:29 PM
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you can figure on only 1 bait for every gallon of live well you have, especially in the fall when the bait is big. in the spring and summer you can figure on maybe 2-3 baits for every gallon when the baits are small. round live well is definitely preferred
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:36 PM
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Run it right from the dash switch that runs your 14 gallon livewell, no need for a separate battery, or run it off your accessory switch, if nothing is already running off it.

If beach fishing, and you use a 30 gallon, ( say Kodiak, like you can buy at WEST marine ).....you can keep 3 to 4 dozen pogies alive.....I'd run at minimum an 800 rule, but preferably a 1100 rule tournament series pump......the amount of water EXCHANGED is key.....fish those till noon then run back on the beach and pogy-up, to finish the day !!

Go get em !!
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:59 PM
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Depending on water temperatures, figure on 1-1.5 gallons per bait

As for how well your boat will handle the weight, find a 240 pound person and have them walk around in the boat and see what happens.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:04 PM
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Another problem is that the 30 gallon round livewell will take up a considerable amount of your cockpit space on that small boat. You need to also secure the livewell so it doesn't move or roll around with all that unstable weight and keep it in the midline of the boat. I agree on the 800 or 1100 gph livewell pump if you don't want to use your existing one which is probably about 350 to 500 (350 definitely being inadequate).
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:56 PM
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Difficult question to answer considering the many variables:

Pogies come in all different sizes: Peanuts, Cupcakes, Adults in the NE van be a few pounds!
Water temp
Duration of trip (mullet will last weeks, a menhaden will be effective for less then 6 hours depending on the species of fish you are targeting) I personally don't like using them after 3 hours in the well, even if they are alive.
Conditions you are running in (if a long sloppy ride, they get beat up faster in the well)
inshore vs offshore (oxygen quality of water)
Pump power

A few too many in the well and they all go belly up!
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:29 PM
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I was always told once the first one dies they start decomposing instantly which in turn kills the rest. I could only keep about 50 in the 55 gal drum bottom and that was with a pump running water constantly and a overflow pipe out the side. I would not run the pump to the fishing grounds but once there drifting it would run constantly. That’s the only way I found to keep them. I’m all in if someone has another trick. Teach me
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:31 PM
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Not running the pump on the way to the grounds doesn't sound like a very good idea to me
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Delduck View Post
I was always told once the first one dies they start decomposing instantly which in turn kills the rest. I could only keep about 50 in the 55 gal drum bottom and that was with a pump running water constantly and a overflow pipe out the side. I would not run the pump to the fishing grounds but once there drifting it would run constantly. That’s the only way I found to keep them. I’m all in if someone has another trick. Teach me
best way to keep them alive is to have a live well that will pressurize. you need to get as little air space in the well as possible to limit the sloshing. take a Masson jar half full of water, now run down the dock with it and notice how much sloshing occurs. now fill it all the way full and run down the dock, see no sloshing. the sloshing beats the bait up which is one of the main reasons they die.

We can keep menhaden alive all day on our boat, having really good live wells helps. but, we also take really good care of the bait. we have a transfer pen we put the baits in when we go from the cast net to the wells. from the pen they get scooped out one or two at the time and into the well. don't just dump the baits out on the deck of the boat, you have to do your best to keep them from getting beat up.

I know this is a little off topic but I figure someone will benefit from it.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by evanP220 View Post
best way to keep them alive is to have a live well that will pressurize. you need to get as little air space in the well as possible to limit the sloshing. take a Masson jar half full of water, now run down the dock with it and notice how much sloshing occurs. now fill it all the way full and run down the dock, see no sloshing. the sloshing beats the bait up which is one of the main reasons they die.

We can keep menhaden alive all day on our boat, having really good live wells helps. but, we also take really good care of the bait. we have a transfer pen we put the baits in when we go from the cast net to the wells. from the pen they get scooped out one or two at the time and into the well. don't just dump the baits out on the deck of the boat, you have to do your best to keep them from getting beat up.

I know this is a little off topic but I figure someone will benefit from it.
Spot on!
Also tall and more slener tanks slosh less than wide short tanks.
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:04 AM
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Well, guess what my wife got me for my birthday? (after she consulted my fishing buddy) Yep, a 30 gallon portable livewell. My buddy and I are going to figure out a system to rig the pumps, etc and securing it on the boat. Our run out of Charleston to the 80-100 feet for kings is about 25 miles. Would like to continue this discussion to gather additional advice. Anyone use this particular livewell?
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Old 03-19-2019, 10:06 AM
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make sure you put a valve on the effluent side of the well so you can fill the thing ram ass full to limit the sloshing
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Old 03-20-2019, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by evanP220 View Post
best way to keep them alive is to have a live well that will pressurize. you need to get as little air space in the well as possible to limit the sloshing. take a Masson jar half full of water, now run down the dock with it and notice how much sloshing occurs. now fill it all the way full and run down the dock, see no sloshing. the sloshing beats the bait up which is one of the main reasons they die.

We can keep menhaden alive all day on our boat, having really good live wells helps. but, we also take really good care of the bait. we have a transfer pen we put the baits in when we go from the cast net to the wells. from the pen they get scooped out one or two at the time and into the well. don't just dump the baits out on the deck of the boat, you have to do your best to keep them from getting beat up.

I know this is a little off topic but I figure someone will benefit from it.
This^

In my experience after cast net to livewell or whatever you choose the menhaden poop and junk up the waters as soon as theyre transferred. So a separate holding device prior to transfer to the well is very important for keeping them alive.
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Old 03-20-2019, 05:40 AM
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Lots of great advice.
Heres a breakdown:

be be easy with your bait. Net them, donít bring them in the boat. Have a hold pen by the boat. Open net over hold pen. Then gently move them to live well.
Dont net them,drag them over the side slam on floor
and open net. Iíve seen guys with non skid paint on their decks do just this then wonder why their baits are red.

The tank: Taller is better than shorter. Round is better than any other shape.

The preasurize thing. Great selling tactic.

simply use a yíall tank with the over flow very near or even above top of tank. This essentially pressurized the tank. ATLEAST it leaves very little air in tank. Less sloshing

You really donít have to be the fastest fisherman to be great. Be easy with your bait.

Tips: Have the inlet on your tank bigger than how the hose comes off of the pumps. 1 1/2 -2 inches is fine. Inlet at bottom.
also AT Bottom have a 5/8 outlet that stays open. This drains off the toxic mess that kills your bait. Leave it open. Wonít affect level and youíll never know itís there. This keeps the water clean.

At the top use a 1/2 outlet. This is the over flow.

Medium to high water exchange GENTLY.

pogies are NOT hard to keep looking good if you baby them. Keep the slime on them and your fine.
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Old 03-20-2019, 05:43 AM
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If your tank does not have the small drain open near the bottom all of the time, you will have dirty water and stressed baits. Biggest tip I know. Itís not hard to keep them happy with right tank.
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Old 03-20-2019, 05:47 AM
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Thatís a nice tank. Donít over crowd. Keep a couple dozen in there and put the rest in a mess bag. Stomp the bag and hang it over side.

Best tank ive found is a 50 gal pickle barrel. Thereís a guy near the race track in Harrisburg who has a tractor trailer load of them for 20 each.
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Old Yesterday, 06:07 AM
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Good info, thanks guys.
Another question, but I think I know the answer. Especially with menhaden, you have to have a pump system constantly circulating new water through the tank, not just an oxygenating system, correct?
i haven't measured it yet, but going to see if there's a way to secure the livewell on the swim platform.
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Old Yesterday, 06:24 AM
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yes you need a pump that runs constantly
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