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Live Bait Keep Dying

Old 06-14-2015, 04:39 PM
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Hey everyone, first time posting here. Me and my dad went out fishing near Catalina maybe 10 times last summer and every time half our bait would be dead by the time we reached the island. Maybe an hour. We thought maybe they were getting beat up on the ride over so we started going slower. Even on glass they would still die. The tank is in the back in the middle. It was added after market. It's a 20 gallon white oval tank with a pump that flows in fresh water to the top. The dead fish all have their mouths wide open and have what looks like blood under the scales. We only do a half scoop so I'm sure it's not too crowded. Any help would be appreciated. If you need any more info let me know.
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Old 06-14-2015, 05:03 PM
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Tank design is poor, 1/2 scoop is max. Which pump are you using?
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Old 06-14-2015, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Pez Vela View Post
Tank design is poor, 1/2 scoop is max. Which pump are you using?
I'll have to check on the pump when I go back out. Probably next weekend. I think it being oval might not be good. Also, it's white with no real sun protection. I heard that sometimes the fish can die from basically being blinded.
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Old 06-14-2015, 05:22 PM
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Check this out. http://www.pacificedgetackle.com/custom.aspx?id=191
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Old 06-14-2015, 05:59 PM
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Here is some more good information.

http://www.baitbarge.com/bait-sense.html

Article says 25 - 30 gallons for one scoop. I had always followed 20 gallons for the first scoop and 10 gallons per scoop thereafter. Check out your fill time to see if you are pumping too much/not enough. Also make sure you aren't using anything like soap or bleach to clean your tank.

Sometimes you get uncured bait and about half will die off. I doubt that is your problem if it happens all the time though.
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:13 PM
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How can I tell if it's too much or not enough?

Oh and when I said the tank is white I mean like transparent white plastic material. The sun shines right in there. I guess I could eliminate brightness and heat as a problem since the sun isn't even up when we leave the harbor.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:33 AM
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I would assume that you don't have enough flow so not enough oxygen getting in there. As your bait dies off and less is consumed. Where is your over flow for the tank? If your new water is flowing in on top and then draining from the top the new water is not circulating through the livewell. I would rig your feed water so that it goes in atleast halfway down the tank and put a directional nozzle on it.

For me I have a 60 gallon livewell and not all my baits would make it offshore so I switched out my pumps from 800 gph to 1600 gph. Now my bait are on crack!
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:31 PM
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It is set up that way actually. The overflow and intake are both at the top. How can I fix the problem?
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:59 PM
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Is it an aftermarket transom mount? Depends on how handy you are but your best bet would be to Re-drill and move it lower or figure out how to plumb the intake with Pvc piping.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:07 PM
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I found a nice little guide to setting up a bait tank on the Kodak website. Now I'm looking at maybe just buying a new set up. The 32 gallon pro flow tank is pretty reasonably priced. I can't find any reviews on it though. Of course I'll check on the pump I have first before diving into a new tank. I really wish the boat was with me so I could post photos. It's in a different city about 2 hours away. If we go out this weekend I will definitely take photos.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:31 PM
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Sounds good hopefully get this all straighten out.
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Old 06-16-2015, 12:55 PM
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sounds like your flow is not right, 8 min to 11 min to fill tank. Hard to beat a pacific edge tank. Threat you bait like a women. Not to fast and not too slow. Don't beat them up too!
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:02 PM
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what time of year do
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Old 06-19-2015, 10:31 AM
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I find a few oz's of beer will keep bait fish lively for extended periods of time.

To each their own..
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Old 06-19-2015, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by kwoodsmith View Post
what time of year do
Killer first 1/2 post
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Old 06-24-2015, 06:55 PM
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Not enough flow ... Fish need to swim no slosh around if they are sloshing they are dying. I would install a directional nozzle on the bottom and make sure the lid seals tight and the overboard drain is as high up as you can get it.

Most through hull mounted livewell pumps have an additional outlet for the salt water washdown. Plumb into this and run it to bulkhead washdown hose fitting. Then install the fitting for a hose on the tank.. That way all you need to do is screw a piece of hose on and flip the switch..

We did this with the same 20 gallon tank you probably have and we have no kill when running offshore
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Old 07-04-2015, 08:18 AM
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Default Your bait/livewell problem is common and predictable every summer

Don’t feel bad about your bait dying, nearly everyone I know that uses live bait in the summer has problems keeping bait alive and healthy. Some will admit it, some won't admit it. No one has problems in the fall, winter or spring when the water is cool/cold.

Fishermen that never overstock their livewell/bait tank have little to no problems with dying bait anytime of year.
Other fishermen can overstock their livewell/ bait tanks and never have any problems with dying or sloppy live bait, but they use special livewell equipment that always insures great livewell water quality continuously 24/7. They use the same kind of special livewell equipment that fish hatcheries use every time they transport live fish. That’s the same equipment the guy that hauls shiners to the bait shop uses.
Live bait is expensive, there’s high replacement cost when the bait dies and fresh live bait is purchased dies, the cost of your boat rig, travel, gear, batteries, fuel, etc. and the cost go on and on… your fishing trip is not cheap – your fishing trip is over when your bait dies. Buy 1 scoop of live bait and half of it dies the price you paid for that scoop has automatically increases 50% within hours the same morning and soon your back to buy more repeating the exercise.

Dead bait, mouth wide open!

Reasons given why your bait dies in your bait tank:
1.Poor bait tank design? Solution: buy a better designed bait and pitch the bait tank that kills your bait. That’s simple enough to fix.
2."Heard sun can blind bait in white bait tank? Solution: paint your tank a different color and provide shade your bait,
3.“Sometimes you get uncured bait and about half will die off.” Solution: buy better bait from bait dealer that tales better care of his product, don’t forget you’re the buyer…. Don’t but crappy bait to begin with.
4.“How can I tell if it's too much or not enough?" Solution: You know you may have overstocked your bait tank when your dies quickly, mouth wide open, gills flared open; trial and error, hope and pray.
5.“I would assume that you don't have enough flow so not enough oxygen getting in there.” Solution: Buy a bigger water pump and fix the low oxygen problem. But, I don’t see how pumping more water insures that your pumping more oxygen????

“For me I have a 60 gallon livewell and not all my baits would make it offshore so I switched out my pumps from 800 gph to 1600 gph. Now my bait are on crack!”

Yikes! This in greater than 26.6 total livewell water exchanges every hour or 9,600 gallons of water in 6 hours… 160 total livewell water exchanges in 6 hours.. Why do you pump so much water through your livewell? Why do that?

6. Solution: “I find a few oz's of beer will keep bait fish lively for extended periods of time.” That might work.
7. “Bad plumbing configuration in bait tank.” Solution: re-engineer, re-design different plumbing configuration in bait tank.
8. “Not enough flow… [Solution] Fish need to swim no slosh around if they are sloshing they are dying. I would install a directional nozzle on the bottom and make sure the lid seals tight and the overboard drain is as high up as you can get it.”

With the bait symptoms you are describing here in July, in the summer, most problems with dead and dying bait in bait tanks and livewells are directly related to overstocking and the fisherman’s lack of ability to insure even minimal safe bait tank water quality.

Minimal safe livewell and bait tank transport water must be

1. Oxygenated: maintaining minimal safe dissolved oxygen saturation levels is most important. Low oxygen (hypoxia) kills and causes brain damage in seconds and minutes in livewells.

2. Ventilated: water must be flushed and cleaned of toxins (second most important). Metabolic toxins take hours and days to reach toxic levels that kill in livewells.
It’s as simple as this.

This is all about the bait problem you are having right now, this summer:

LIVEWELLS – BAIT TANKS – WATER QUALITY
Livewells and bait tanks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livewell are used to keep live bait and tournament fish alive and healthy during transport. Livewells and bait tanks are boxes that hold water, made of materials that are non-toxic to live bait and fish.
Minimal safe water quality is necessary to keep live bait and fish alive and healthy during transport. Dissolved Oxygen Saturation is the most important water quality parameter.

ABOUT LIVEWELLS AND BAIT TANKS
Livewell internal shape is important for active transports, less important for stationary use. Most stationary fish aquariums have square or rectangular 90 degree corners. When the water and bait are sloshing during active transport conditions on water or on land, round and oval tanks cause less physical trauma.

LIVEWELLS AND WATER QUALITY
One gallon of water weighs approximately 8 pounds.
Livewell and bait tank water quality is more important than the shape of the livewell and bait tank “box.”

FACT: Low dissolved oxygen saturations and suffocation is the primary killer of live bait and fish being transported every summer. Mechanical aerators and water pumps do not, cannot and will not ensure minimal safe oxygenation in hot summer livewell water, they pump air and water… not oxygen.

Minimal safe dissolved oxygen is the most important livewell water quality parameter. DO Saturation limits stocking density in all livewells. Most summer livewell mortality is caused by the fisherman’s failure to safely oxygenate his livewell – bait tank water.

AERATED LIVEWELL WATER IS BETTER THAN NO AERATION
But, air is not oxygen, air is 80% Nitrogen, an inert filler gas.
Standard stocking density for aerated livewells is one pound or less live bait or fish per one gal of water.

The limiting factor for stocking density in aerated livewells is Air.
Aerated livewells require more water volume per pound of live bait and fish than oxygenated livewells.

FACT: Aeration often fails to ensure minimal oxygen saturations in the summer (livewell water temperature 75 F – 95 F), the most common cause of high livewell mortality.

FACT: Oxygenated livewell water ensures the best livewell water quality even in the worst hostile summer conditions.

FACT: Oxygen Saturations should be maintained at 100% DO or greater using supplemental pure 100% oxygen continuously during live transport,which is the fish hatchery standard. Oxygenated livewell water requires less water per pound of live bait or fish. Standard stocking density is 2-3 pounds of live bait or fish per gallon of oxygenated water.

FACT: OXYGEN ENRICHED LIVEWELL GAS SPACE (>24% Oxygen) “oxygen rich” CAUTION: FIRE SAFETY
The livewell gas space is above the water surface and the lid will become enriched with oxygen when high concentrations of supplemental oxygen is used. When the livewell lid is closed this gas space inside the livewell will become enriched with oxygen (> 24% oxygen) or “oxygen rich.” Any type of livewell oxygen system that produces or delivers 90% – 100% pure oxygen into livewell water will have an oxygen enriched gas space inside a closed livewell.

Oxygen is heavier than air, the highest concentration of gaseous oxygen will be at the water surface inside the livewell. If an oxygen system leaks pure oxygen into the boat bilge the oxygen also settles at the bottom of the bilge where fuel and oil accumulate.
FIRE HAZARD.

INSULATED LIVEWELLS
Insulation helps maintain a constant temperature in the livewell water and gas space. Steady water temperature causes less bait and fish stress.

LIVEWELL DRAIN AT THE BOTTOM
A bottom drain aids in evacuating solid organic particulates that settle to the bottom of the livewell, feces, vomit, chunks of decomposing organic matter.

Maintaining minimal safe water quality is NECESSARY FOR SUCCESSFUL LIVE BAIT AND TOURNAMENT FISH TRANSPORT

Livewell and bait tank water quality is more important than the shape, size and color of the box. The number and size of water pumps, volume of water pumped, volume of air pumped, type and number of air diffusers, all the alarms, switches, bells and buzzers combined are less important than maintaining minimal safe water quality..

* Minimal safe livewell and bait tank transport water must be

1. Oxygenated: maintaining minimal safe dissolved oxygen saturation levels is most important. Low oxygen (hypoxia) kills and causes brain damage in seconds and minutes in livewells.

2. Ventilated: water must be flushed and cleaned of toxins (second most important). Metabolic toxins take hours and days to reach toxic levels that kill in livewells.

FACT: Livewell oxygen injection systems (adjustable dose) provide the very best and most efficient means of ensuring minimal safe livewell oxygenation.
The purpose of supplemental oxygen is to ensure minimal safe oxygenation for the total biomass of live bait and fish being transported for the duration of the transport in any summer condition. Oxygen injection systems are true “life support” systems. Oxygen injection systems are not aeration systems.

VENTILATING LIVEWELL WATER – REMOVING DISOLVED GASES AND TOXINS
FACT:
Ventilating livewell water reduces metabolic toxins, dissolved CO2, ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, acid pH and the big chunks.

Intermittent livewell partial and total water exchanges are the most effective, least expensive, easiest way to remove toxins and ventilate the livewell.

Livewell water exchanges remove scales, feces, vomit (large chunks that settle to the bottom), toxic dissolved gases, CO2, ammonia including nitrates, nitrites and acidic livewell water. Larger stocking densities (more bait and fish) produce more toxins and consume more oxygen.

Bacteria consume tremendous amounts of dissolved oxygen in livewell water. Bacteria thrive in hot, dark, humid livewells especially when dead organic matter is present. Remove dead bait and dead fish ASAP to reduce bacterial growth and reduce oxygen excessive consumption.

Saltwater contains more bacteria and mcro-organisms than freshwater.

VENTILATING LIVEWELL GASES – REMOVING TOXIC GASES FROM THE LIVEWELL GAS SPACE

Gaseous livewell toxins are metabolic waste gases: CO2 and ammonia.
Mechanical Aerators: Water pumps, spray bars, air pumps, air tubing and bubble stones off-gas dissolved CO2 and ammonia gas. These electrical devices “ventilate, remove” metabolic toxins from livewell water.

Mechanical aerators are poor oxygenators. Their primary purpose is not to oxygenate livewell water.

AIR VENTS:
The livewell gas space is between the bottom of the livewell lid and the water surface. The boat must be moving to ventilate the livewell.

Air passing through livewell vents will be hot in the summer and cold in the winter and directly affect livewell water temperature. Ambient air at ambient temperature flushes through the livewell when the boat is moving. Toxic metabolic gases inside the livewell may also be reduced to safer concentrations by simply opening the livewell lid occasionally.

Air vents installed in livewell lids on boat livewells ventilate livewell gas space.

Hot summer temperatures and freezing cold winter ambient temperatures:

FACT: In the summer, the livewell gas space is ventilated with hot air, ambient temperature 90 – 100+ F. Expect hot summer air temperatures to transfer heat to livewell water increasing livewell water temperature to air temperature. The increased temperature may be more problematic in insulated livewells exposed to continuous high summer air temperatures.

FACT: In the winter, freezing cold air temperatures will also cause adverse temperature problems in livewell water. Livewell vents have advantages and disadvantages.

INSTALLING LIVEWELL AIR VENTS
Two permanent holes several inches wide must be cut into the livewell lid to install air vents.

WATER FLOW IN THE LIVEWELL- WHICH DIRECTION, HOW MUCH FLOW — IS ALL THAT FLOWING WATER REALLY NECESSARY

Fact: Flowing water inside a livewell or bait tank is unnecessary during active transports, if the livewell water quality (specifically DO Saturation) is sustained within safe limits… “SAFE OXYGENATION” is 100% DO Saturation or greater.
Sloshing water in moving boat livewells continuously stirs and mixes water.

Livewell mortality is usually caused because the water quality is deadly whether the water is moving or flowing in any direction.

Ocean ram breather species (tuna) need flowing water in their natural ocean environment because ocean water contains a small limited amount of oxygen. They don’t take 2 breaths from the same water. Oxygen enriched livewell water eliminates the need for large volumes of flowing water. Ram breathers live fine in oxygenated livewells without high volumes of flowing water inside the livewell.

LIVE BAIT FISH AND GAME FISH ARE NOT IGNORANT LITTLE ANIMALS CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF AND MAGAZINE ARTICLES

Live bait and fish behavior inside livewells, bait tanks and ice chest:
Contrary to popular belief and plenty of mis-information, live bait and fish are not stupid animals that gang up in square corners of livewells, bait tanks and ice chest with 90 degree corners and bang their heads into walls, get red-nose and commit suicide, that’s silly. This aberrant behavior is seen only when the livewell water quality is deadly.
Why do live bait gang up in square 90 degree corners?

FACT: This behavior indicates deadly poor livewell water quality. Animals are trying desperately to get out and avoid that toxic water inside the box… like a man in a sealed in an air tight box with no oxygen, suffocating, scratching the walls until his fingernails are torn and bloody, desperately trying to get out of the box and breathe. This kind of stress is like “waterboarding.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterboarding

FOAM ON THE WATER SURFACE MEANS FISH STRESS – WATER QUALITY PROBLEMS

Excessive mucous production is the first autonomic response fish have to any and all stress stimuli. The greater the stressor the more mucus they produce. The increased mucus production between the skin and scales pushes the scales further away from the skin than normal (unstressed conditions) making the scales more susceptible to damage and sloughing off. Mucus is an automatic protective response to stress. Mucus and scales protect the skin from abrasion, trauma and disease.

Foam is caused when air bubbles through livewell water containing protein (mucus). More mucus causes more foam. Eliminate the stressors, correct the poor water quality and the foam disappears.

Low oxygen stress (suffocation) is the deadliest, most serious stressor for captive wild bait fish and mature game fish being transported in livewells and bait tanks. Oxygen deprivation causes brain and central nervous system damage and kills fish in minutes.

Antifoaming agents: Antifoaming agents are detergents that reduce the surface tension
and cause the foam bubbles to collapse back into a liquid state.

1. Detergents are cosmetic, mask poor water quality and make foamy livewell water look better.

2. Detergents improve gas diffusion and aeration at the surface of the water. The gas molecule has less distance to travel from the liquid through the foam to ambient air.

SUMMARY
Transporting live healthy bait and game fish in livewell and bait tanks is the goal.
Maintaining safe livewell water quality is more important than the shape of the livewell box.
Livewell and bait tank oxygenation is more important than mechanical aeration and high volume livewell pumps, bells and buzzers.

Livewell ventilation (metabolic toxins) is important, but most important is sustaining minimal safe oxygenation during live transports.

Learn live bait and fish language: Pay attention to live bait and fish behavior, schooling patterns, location within the livewell water column, what your livewell water looks like (turbidity and surface foam) and smells like, and fish/live bait respiratory rate.

If you never have any problems with live bait dying in the summer -- Disregard all this stuff, you don't need information like this.

Happy 4th of July to all. If you drink, please don't drive.
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Old 07-04-2015, 02:43 PM
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Does I get a B.S. In bait fish after reading through that? A lot of good information.
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Old 07-05-2015, 06:14 AM
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Default How about a Masters or Ph.D.

Originally Posted by Cwellman View Post
Does I get a B.S. In bait fish after reading through that? A lot of good information.
This is definitely not the run-of-the-mill BS we’ve heard or read all our life about bait tanks, livewells and dead bait every summer about this time of the year. Have you ever heard or read any stuff like this from any bait tank salesman or boat dealer about their particular brand of bait tank or boat livewell? Of course not.

Here’s more I Googled up… here's some Ph.D. stuff the serious offshore tournament guys do fishing those $50,000 offshore tournaments. They don't talk about this secret stuff. This will really blow your socks off. If it works that good for them, surely it will work as good for any live baiter if bait quality and longevity is really all that important. This is about how to make live baits far better than a fresh caught baits.

“Supercharge Your Live Baits” George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing http://www.georgepoveromo.com/content.php?pid=64

I still do not understand why anyone needs to flush their livewell 10-20 times an hour with giant water pumps? Can anyone here please tell me why this is so popular and so often recommended?
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Old 07-05-2015, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Bjacks View Post
This is definitely not the run-of-the-mill BS we’ve heard or read all our life about bait tanks, livewells and dead bait every summer about this time of the year. Have you ever heard or read any stuff like this from any bait tank salesman or boat dealer about their particular brand of bait tank or boat livewell? Of course not.

Here’s more I Googled up… here's some Ph.D. stuff the serious offshore tournament guys do fishing those $50,000 offshore tournaments. They don't talk about this secret stuff. This will really blow your socks off. If it works that good for them, surely it will work as good for any live baiter if bait quality and longevity is really all that important. This is about how to make live baits far better than a fresh caught baits.

“Supercharge Your Live Baits” George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing http://www.georgepoveromo.com/content.php?pid=64

I still do not understand why anyone needs to flush their livewell 10-20 times an hour with giant water pumps? Can anyone here please tell me why this is so popular and so often recommended?
I wasn't calling your write up BS. I was talking about getting a bachelor of science in baitology.
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