8 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR BAIT ALIVE & SWIMMING STRONG
Live bait leads to excellent catches, but it’s no better than frozen if it dies before you can get it on the hook. Luckily, it’s not hard to keep your bait alive once you know what to do.
By the end of this post, you’ll be able to keep your bait swimming until you’ve hooked your target species.
1. DON’T OVERCROWD THE CONTAINER
Putting all your bait in one container is tempting, but be careful to avoid overcrowding. More fish require more oxygen. They also create more waste, which adds harmful ammonia to the water.
2. USE AN AERATOR
Oxygen is critical to bait survival, and a container without an aerator will run out of it fast. Invest in the largest aerator you can fit in your container to keep your bait breathing easy. The more surface area the aerator has, the better.
3. USE A WATER CONDITIONER
Ammonia contamination is unavoidable in confined spaces.
To keep it under control, head to your local pet store and pick up a bottle of ammonia-removing water conditioner. Use it as directed on the package, and your bait will thank you.
4. KEEP THE TEMPERATURE UNDER CONTROL
Florida summers are HOT. A bucket of water is no match for the heat, so you’ll have to keep your bait from cooking. A frozen water bottle or sealed ice pack will lower the temperature without diluting the water.
Keep it around the same temperature as the water you’re fishing in for the best results.
5. KEEP THE CONTAINER CLEAN
Fish are sensitive to chemical changes in water. Oils, lubricants, bacteria, and fuels will harm your bait. Keep a lid on your container to minimize contamination, and remove dead bait and other debris as soon as you notice them.
6.HANDLE YOUR BAIT AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE
Use a small net to retrieve bait fish, dead bait, and debris from your container. Your hands may have oils, bacteria, or other harmful substances on them. Plus, bait fish are fragile. It’s easy to injure them by accident, making them less appealing to your target species.
7. CHANGE THE WATER REGULARLY
Adding fresh water to the container helps keep harmful chemicals at safe levels. Drain out some old water, and add an equal amount of new water that’s appropriate for your bait species.
8. USE A COOLER
A cooler provides insulation for your bait. That means less time spent keeping your bait cool and more time fishing! Most coolers have a plug at the bottom, which makes water changes easier.
You can get a specialized bait cooler, but a regular cooler can work just as well when paired with an aerator.
The best thing about these tips is that they’ll work for every type of bait – including live shrimp. Following a few of these tips will make a difference, but you’ll see tremendous results if you put them all to work. Happy fishing!
Author: Luara Hamers