7 Tips on How To Keep Bait Stronger Healthier Longer In a Bait Pen
TIP 1: ASSESS THE SITUATION
Before you will be able to impliment one of the following strategies you need to find out what might cause your bait to die. Bait can die for several reasons. One reason is from being touched to much and losing all its slime before being put in a bait pen. Another reason is lack of oxygen due to little to water flow, getting to hot, or from having to many baits in your bait pen at once. A lack of oxygen is not uncommon espacailly in the ends of canals were there is little to no current. Another scenario is you having to have too many baits in your bait pen. Also, making sure you feed your baits right.
TIP 2: THE RIGHT BAIT PEN
It all starts with having the right bait pen. This is probably the most crucial part of keeping bait alive. There is a wide variety of bait pens available but you should go with one that allows for good water flow, strong, and has no sharp corners or edges that bait can get hurt on. The best bait pen that has all of these criterias and in fact outperforms all of these and more is most definitely a D&B bait pen. These bait pens are extremely strong allow for superior water flow with no sharp edges or corners for bait to get hurt on and collapse down for easy storage and are quite affordable. Without a doubt this bait pen will greatly reduce the likelihood of your bait dying. Here is the bait pen we have available to you dbmarinesupplies.com/products/d-b-47-gal-bait-pen
TIP 3: KNOWING HOW MANY BAITS YOU SHOULD PUT IN YOUR BAIT PEN
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is overcrowding their bait in their bait pen. Baits are living in your bait pen and they are used to having a big area to swim in and now they have been condensed into a little space and they now must live until you take them out. This becomes like their new home. Overcrowding leads to less oxygen for the bait and can result in damaging other baits such as causing lose of scales from being overcrowded. The smaller your baits the more you can put in a bait pen. The larger your baits the more space they will need. Small baits such as Threadfins, sardines, menhaden and other small baits require less space. And good rule of thumb for a week or less is 2 baits per gallon that are small. For bigger baits like blue runners, goggle eyes, ladyfish, mullet and other large baits A good rule of thumb is 1-2 gallons per bait. Anytime bait stays more than a week these rules of thumb should be doubled to ensure that the bait stay healthy stronger longer.
TIP 4: TOUCHING YOUR BAITS AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE
Another crucial thing that affects baits life short-term and especially long-term is how much they are touched. When bait is caught weather in a cast net or a Sabiki there should be LITTLE TO NO contact putting bait where you will be storing it. Emptying your bait in a bucket when using a cast net is one alternative while using a dehooking device while dehooking baits from a Sabiki is another. These are two great ways to help improve the life of your bait. When transferring bait to your bait pen you should not be touching them at all and just putting them from the place where you are storing your bait directly into your bait pen with a net. Then when you go to take baits out of your bait pen scoup them out with a net and put them where you will be storing them for the day of fishing. The only time you should now touch your bait is when you go to put it on the hook.
TIP 5: Put Your Baits Where There is the Most Water Flow
Making sure baits get enough water flow is important because it provides oxygen to baits. Often times the greatest amount of water flow is off the end of the dock rather than at the beginning of a dock. Sometimes if you can put your bait at a neighbor's or friends dock that has more water flow is not such a bad idea.
TIP 6: MAKING SURE YOUR BAITS DON'T GET TOO HOT
Sometimes in the summer time when it gets hot especially and areas like Florida. The first few feet of the water column can get super hot and cause your baits to die. This can easily be solved by keeping your baits under some shade like under a boat lift or under your dock. Also another solution is sinking the bait pen below the surface where the water is cooler. Keep in mind this may not be the best idea for all baits because certain baits do better on the surface then being deeper in the water column.
TIP 7: FEED YOUR BAITS WELL
Baits should be fed what they are naturally feeding on. Feeding your bait can help them be stronger for when you use them and cause more vibrations in the water often causing a fish to bite sooner or be more willing to bite. Great things to feed bait is often a chum block, frozen shrimp/squid/fish or other types of dead baits. Sometimes when keeping larger baits it is okay to feed them other small live baits. Also, it is a good idea to feed your baits at least every other day. Sometimes it is better to give baits a little bit more food than you think you should be feeding them especially the first time you fed them.
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