Keeping Croaker Alive - 2CoolFishing
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:32 AM   #1
MINI_MAJEK
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Keeping Croaker Alive

I am looking to make my own live well since my boat does not have one. I fish with artificial 90% of the time so I am looking to build something that will be easy to take in and out. Thinking of buying a 40-50Qt ice chest and mounting two portable aerators on the front. Also put two frozen water bottles to keep the water at a cool temp. Will that be good enough to keep croaker and shrimp alive just for a day of fishing? Is there a better method yall have discovered? There will be no more than 6 dozen croaker at a time in the cooler if it matters. thanks for any advice.
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:37 AM   #2
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Cooler temp, aeration a must, fresh saltwater
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:42 AM   #3
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i would look into rigging it to the boat battery vs dealing with charging a separate battery.
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:45 AM   #4
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For the croaker, seriously consider an oxygen system. There is a world of difference in croaker that have been oxygenated versus ones that haven't.
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:46 AM   #5
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I don't use many croaker but this is what i do with shrimp. An Old Igloo with an ice chest aerator with clips to battery. Shrimp last all day. I usually drain the water and add fresh every once in a while. Never had a problem with them dying

Things to worry about are toxic waste build up and oxygen content. Hotter water means lower dissolved oxygen in water

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Old 06-02-2016, 11:49 AM   #6
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I made this last week. 75qt igloo and my pro air off my boat. Its a great way to keep croaks alive. you just have to rotate the water out a couple times a day. I kept croaker alive for 3 days. Croaker have to have space to live. When you see them starting to turn red you need to change out the water and or adjust your oxygen...

https://youtu.be/sPks-Ut5NaQ
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:16 PM   #7
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Depending the amount of live bait you plan to place in the live well, you might want to consider a larger ice chest. Zeitgeist suggested an oxygen system and I heartily concur. A good aerator stone will emit tiny bubbles, almost like smoke, and it doesn't take much. Changing water frequently to avoid the bait's waste products accumulating and contaminating the water is another good tip but be careful that the exchange water is "clean." Bumming a couple buckets of water from the bait camp that the bait was held in is also a sure way to avoid shocking. Use a thermometer before arbitrarily chilling the live well - a stable environment - meaning that you do not shock them, is paramount whether you catch your own or buy the bait. You might also want to consider adding Pogey Saver, Rejuvenate or something similar in prescribed amount.

One more thing...sunscreen is great for you but death to bait. Keep your hands out of the live well, use a small dip net.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:36 PM   #8
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thanks guys, looks like I need to go back to the drawing board!
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:01 PM   #9
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For when we get shrimp I have a 65 qt. Igloo with 1/2" hole drilled through the top. Run the tube for O2 system through the hole. Keep some frozen 2 liter bottles to add to the water if it gets warm and swap out the water generally once during the day. Keeps the bait lively all day and even overnight if needed.
Very easy to setup and no need to worry about battery connections. Could also easily add hooks to hold the O2 bottle on the cooler.
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:03 PM   #10
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I use a Burgess 1/2 amp aerator in my boat live well and another in an Igloo cooler for transporting bait in the truck for beechfront wade fishing.
http://burgess-mfg.com/baitaeration.html
I wired the cooler one to an auto power plug with long cord to power from the truck. Works great for shrimp and/or croaker, get the biggest coolor you can that will fit your space or needs.
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