Live Bait Tanks  

Welcome to Gold Coast Fishing

Often people ask how to setup a live bait tank. While there is not correct way to set one up, there are a few basic rules that seem to apply to them, that makes them efficient and effective. Below you will see pictured a few tanks. Some manufactured & some home made. They all work & the only thing left is the individuals choice and application.

The Basics

The tank should be anywhere from 40 litres up, depending on your application of course. Since we are talking saltwater, 40 litres would be the minimum in my opinion. The ideal tank would be round, since this allows the fish to school around the tank, in practice round is often unsuitable due to the difficulties involved in securing it, so most live tanks are square with rounded corners so the livies don't get there noses in a corner and drown. Pump size should be enough keep the water flowing at a good rate. 500 G/hr pump is minimum for say up to a 60 litre tank, above this a 800 G/hr pump would be required. Now in theory the water inlet would be at the bottom, via a tap, as would the drain for the tank. This allows aerated water to be present throughout the whole tank up the top is the overflow holes, which should be large enough for water not to over flow from the tank, but small enough so your livies don't escape. The disadvantage of this setup is that your pump would be running all the time, or the tap to be constantly turned off & on as required for fresh water to enter the tank. Most tanks you will see have the inlet at the top of the tank, this overcomes the problem mentioned. However aerated water enters the tank and literally flows straight out the over flows, making for some of the tank to not be oxygenated wholly. This is easily overcome by opening the bottom outlet slightly so that the water will exit via the bottom thus having the whole tank oxygenated.

This is one of the newer type of molded live tanks. You will see that it has a roundish shape, as well as drink holder & bait board. It has the inlet at the top and the outlet at the bottom. This particular one comes with pump and mounting bracket. The draw backs of this sort of tank is that the overflow is by a vertical piece of conduit in the tank. The position of this allows fish to get stuck & die.
This is also a molded tank, square in shape it has rounded corners. The inlet at the top, acts like a spray, aerating the water upon entry.
Here is an excellent example of a live well that doesn't cost the earth. It is a 40L bucket with a skin fitting connected to a hose as the outlet. The inlet as seen in the right picture pumps the water into the bucket from the bottom so all the water is oxygenated. The bucket has a lid ( not shown ) that is fitted when under way. The inlet hose simply plugs into a skin fitting in the lid so water is running through the tank. As seen in the left picture it can keep a heap of livies going, all day long. Yes they are slimys, there is 8 in the bucket & yakkas.
This was the live well in our Quintrex Coastmaster. You can see the inlet & outlet on the left hand side. The inlet has an adjustable tap so the water pressure can be adjusted. You can also see that it has the overflow so that it drains into the pod. A tinted lid, helps keep the live baits calm. We also found a use for the space under the livewell. This box we sourced from Bunnings hardware & we keep things that are not used often in out of the way. One thing that is different is the chopping board. The original sat too high, so it was cut and adjusted so that it sat lower & also covered the live well providing shade to the livies and also we don't have to lean over the tank to use the cutting board.
A lot of new boats have 1 or 2 livewells incorporated into the boat. A lot of manufacturers simply plumb these tanks with the inlets up the top. This is ok for hardy fish such as yakkas and mullet but when it comes to slimys and pike you need a high volume of fresh water and water movement. For this reason we plumbed one tank with the inlet down the bottom. The pump is left on to run continuously through the day providing the perfect environment to keep these fish alive. Each tank is totally independent of each other.


Home   |  Gallery   |  Weather   |  Tips & Techniques  Boating   |  GCBFC  |  Links

© Copyright 2004, All Rights Reserved -