How to Keep Bait Fish Alive

How to Keep Bait Fish Alive
Bait fish provide an advantage over cut bait. The lively wriggling of freshly hooked fish attracts fish in a way that even the best lures can not quite duplicate. All this advantage disappears, however, if your bait are dead or sluggish by the time you hook them. Keep your bait lively and you will harvest a catch you can truly be proud of.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bait well
  • Bait bucket
  • Portable aerator
Step 1
Give your bait fish fresh water. Install a live well pump to circulate clean water from the lake or river you are fishing in into your bait tank. If you are using a portable bait bucket, periodically dump out some of the water and add new water from the lake.
Step 2
Keep the water aerated. Use a bubble aerator in your bait tank or bucket to continually add fresh oxygen to the water. Avoid spray bar aerators, which can damage fish due to the harsh spray.
Step 3
Keep the bait fish cool. A small tank or bucket of water can heat up quickly in the sun, harming the bait. Keep bait buckets in the water or in a cool place under an awning to keep the sun off them.
Step 4
Propel your boat as slowly and gently as possible. When the boat hammers through the waves, it can throw the bait against the sides of the bucket or tank, injuring them and decreasing their lifespan.

Article Written By Isaiah David

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

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