How to Keep Ice-Fishing Bait Alive

How to Keep Ice-Fishing Bait AlivePortable fishing houses are a staple among ice fishermen. Used to protect anglers from the cold temperatures outside, portable fishing houses provide insulation and shelter to reduce the potential for hypothermia. Like their human counterparts, ice fishing bait, which commonly includes worms and minnows, also requires shelter from the elements. Utilizing the right container, you can prevent ice-fishing bait from freezing and dying due to stress.


Difficulty: Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bait bucket
  • Bait puck
  • Water
  • Bottle
  • Catch-and-release formula
Step 1
Select a bait bucket that is constructed out of aluminum, not plastic. Aluminum is more durable. Check the handle to ensure that it is sturdy.
Step 2
Open the lid using the clip located on the top of the bait bucket. Switch the clip to the "Open" position by sliding it into place.
Step 3
Remove the middle bucket, which is an insulated section fitted inside the outside bucket to prevent your bait from freezing while you are ice fishing. There are holes along the middle bucket, which are drains designed specifically to allow water to pass in and out of the middle bucket.
Step 4
Fill the bait bucket---which no longer contains the middle bucket---with water. Carry a separate bottle so you can add cold water from your fishing hole every three to four hours to the bait bucket. You must add water to mimic the water temperature inside the fishing hole, which will reduce stress when the bait is used inside the hole.
Step 5
Add a catch-and-release formula to the water according to the manufacturer's instructions. Together with your bait bucket, your fish will thrive longer while you are ice fishing.
Step 6
Reinsert the insulated middle section. Close the lid and slide the clip to the "Closed" position.
Step 7
Use a bait puck to store worms. Add saw dust as bedding. Screw the lid shut by hand. Keep the bait puck anywhere inside the ice house. If you don't have a bait puck in which to store the worms, keep them inside a cooler wrapped tightly inside their original container.

Tips & Warnings

You can also use a heavy-duty bucket or plastic container, but neither works as well as a bait bucket.
You are limited by the volume of the bait bucket unless you purchase more than one.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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