Author Topic: DIY Bait Tank  (Read 1949 times)

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Offline AJFishin

DIY Bait Tank
« on: July 30, 2017, 09:34:56 PM »
Well for the past week, when I got some time, I've been tinkering around with an old cooler trying to turn it into a bait tank.
I wanted to not have to spend the $200 plus for a tank, so I put this together. It's in it's beginning stages and I'm still working out the grimlims.
I went with a transom mount bilge pump, because I do not want to drill a hole in the bottom or transom of my boat. I know on a plain it won't be sucking in water, so I made a work around.
I have a switch that will turn off my raw water pump, to recirculating water, but I still need to get a couple parts so I can have a valve that I can switch from raw water to recirculating.
Right now this is version #1 and I'm still messing around with it and the discharge hose placement. At first I tapped into the Arima's rear hold discharged pipe with a T fitting, worked good, but didn't like the amount of water filling up in the area behind the transom. So now I rerouted the hose over the transom and I'll probably tie the 2 hoses together, unless I come up with another idea.

I'm going to try it out next weekend and see how it goes.

Anyway here's a short clip of what I got now, version 1.0

Any ideas are welcome.

'96 Sea Chaser 16 - Yamaha 70HP - 2 smoke

! Go Kings Go !

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2017, 09:42:22 PM »

AJ,

Most bait tanks have a return on the opening. Without the lip under the top, the water will slosh out.

Crude drawing...

1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

Offline AJFishin

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2017, 10:43:54 PM »
Yeah I noticed that with real bait tanks. Right now the lid off so I can make adjustments without it getting in the way.
Hopefully with the locking lid, it will keep the water in.
Before putting it in the boat, I'm going to fill it up some, put it the back of the truck and see how much water comes out. If to much comes out, I guess I'll breakdown for a real tank.
So far this cost me $30, lol.
'96 Sea Chaser 16 - Yamaha 70HP - 2 smoke

! Go Kings Go !

Offline FishAddict

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2017, 08:09:50 AM »
What type of bait are you trying to keep alive?  With my old home made tank/barrel I put a wall up so the bait wouldn't run into the tank while swimming.  Best of luck these projects are fun.
21ft Sea Ranger w/Yamaha F150

Offline AJFishin

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2017, 10:11:19 AM »
What type of bait are you trying to keep alive?  With my old home made tank/barrel I put a wall up so the bait wouldn't run into the tank while swimming.  Best of luck these projects are fun.

 I'm going to attempt to keep sardines alive.
I like yours and I should have gone with round trash can idea. I have a 20 gallon can and looking back, I think using it would have been better. But if this cooler fails or I just don't like it, I will probably switch over to the can. My coolers downfall is my discharge water can't be gravity feed, which would have been nice for my original idea of having it drain.

As for the corners, I have a 5 gallon bucket that I cut in half and will be placing those halves on the ends of the cooler, to help make sure the bait does not smash into the corners.
Agree, projects are fun to make, especially when you make own stuff, as the process of learning is exciting and that is another reason behind this project.
If it doesn't work I'm only out a few bucks, but if it does work, there is so many positives in it.  :biggrin:
'96 Sea Chaser 16 - Yamaha 70HP - 2 smoke

! Go Kings Go !

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2017, 10:29:33 AM »
You will learn a lot by making one yourself.

FishAddict is right. There can't be anything for them to bump into.

I always thought they needed a current flowing around the tank. But, the owner of Blue Water Bait Systems told me that there shouldn't be any water movement. They swim in a circle around the tank on their own. He pointed out that they act like a flock of birds, following the leader. They may swim one way, or they may swim the other. He said that too much water movement/turbulence will exhaust them and they will die. He said an 800 gph pump is plenty or water exchange for a 30 gallon tank.

I took his advise and mounted a pipe with holes drilled in it at the top of my tank. (Trying to prevent water movement)  The water comes out of the holes above the water level. The turbulence from the water shooting into the surface of the water causes my sardines to huddle at the bottom of the tank.  :shrug9: .....back to the drawing board.

Guess you can't improve on the design of those fiberglass tanks.  :shrug9:




« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 10:37:21 AM by Croaker Stroker »
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

Offline AJFishin

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2017, 12:02:26 PM »
CS,
While looking to do this project I did see something mentioning about what you said with it not being turbulent for the sardines. I did not know about them acting like a flock birds, following the leader, I thought the water needed a circular motion.

But I hear what you're saying, there's so much info out there that will make your head spin on just how the water should come in  :hoboy: I guess the best thing is trial and error.

That is why on my cooler tank I have two different pipes at the top. One would be for water to go through a 90 degree elbow, down to a pipe that would have holes drill into it for the raw water to come out from, along with another elbow at the base. This would, in theory, cut the water pressure going in down, to create less turbulence and to create a weak flow of water circulation.
Or I could set up the other pipe which would be for the water to shoot across or put a 90 degree elbow on it for water to be directed down.
 :shrug9:

And yes I agree with you, I don't think we can improve on the design of those fiberglass tanks, but it's always fun to try  :jester:


Here is what I think I might be making next. Saw this on an old bloody decks post from a member there.

I would make it from my 20 gallon can I have here.





« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 12:44:41 PM by AJFishin »
'96 Sea Chaser 16 - Yamaha 70HP - 2 smoke

! Go Kings Go !

Offline AJFishin

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2017, 10:40:01 AM »
Well I just did not like the cooler, so I went with a second design, which I should have gone with in the first place.

Went to Home Depot and picked up this 20 gallon can, since the one I had here was a little too old and weak.
I knocked this out in less then an hour.

Version 2.0:
20 gallon Brute trash can, with a 5 gallon bucket in the center, cut in half.
Later today I'm going to get some rubber stripping to lay around the top of the can, between the can and the lid, to help prevent water from coming out, or at lease help some.

I tested it out and works way better than my cooler. I'm not 100% done yet, as I'm going to set it up for recirculation when the boat is moving.
But here is what I have now.







« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 10:58:18 AM by AJFishin »
'96 Sea Chaser 16 - Yamaha 70HP - 2 smoke

! Go Kings Go !

Offline Threeweight

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2017, 11:31:22 AM »
Is your aerated water coming in from the bottom?

Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline AJFishin

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2017, 12:09:42 PM »
Is your aerated water coming in from the bottom?

The pump at the bottom will suck water out to the ocean.  Right now, I don't have the aerator (recirculating) pipe attached at the top, because I ran out of time this morning, but it will go to the side of the raw water output pipe.

My plan is, once I'm underway, I will switch it to become an aerator to recirculate the water till I get to another fishing spot, which is usually not a long distance. Then once I'm at the new spot, I will switch it back to raw water that will come from the top once again.

Here's a really crude drawing I made up.  :jester:



 
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 01:25:44 PM by AJFishin »
'96 Sea Chaser 16 - Yamaha 70HP - 2 smoke

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Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2017, 01:55:13 PM »
I recommend you put both pumps on one switch OR you are going to have water flowing into the boat   :bigshock: and wondering why  :shrug9:  until you remember to turn on the discharge pump...   :doh:   

Rampant senility strikes us all, regardless of age and mental acuity   :whistle:

StreamFixer
'97 19SC w/ Salt Boss Top
'03 Yamaha 115 EFI
'05 Yamaha T8 Solas 4 blade prop

"By the grace of God we travel upon the rivers and sea..
They, like He, are mightier than me."  Mike Jesperson aka 'Nalu'

Offline Threeweight

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2017, 02:24:05 PM »
I would stick with one pump for getting freshwater to the bait, mounted on the transom low enough that it can pull raw water both when the boat is in motion and at rest.    Check out Secret Spot's install:

http://www.arimaowners.com/index.php?topic=4685.0



Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2017, 02:58:58 PM »

You need a pump mounted to the transom like Secret Spot. A swimming pool vacuum hose will work for the outflow.
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2017, 03:15:28 PM »
I went out to dig around the garage. I found one of the outtake fittings from one of my tanks. This actually works better than the store-bought ones because the holes are just large enough to pass sardine scales without getting clogged up.

These are common fittings.

If you are ever in the area, stop buy. I have some bits and pieces you might be able to use. Free if you need them.

1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

Offline AJFishin

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2017, 04:53:33 PM »
Thank you all for the advice on this, as I am about as green as can be when it comes to this.

CS, thank you for offer and the advice on a better outake fitting.

I looked at "Secret Spots" set up, which I like and is almost identical to mine, once it is all in place. The difference being, my hose from my transom bilge pump goes through the rubber boot on the side, which would be for the kicker hoses, if I had a kicker.
Currently, my discharge water hose will come up and over the motor well, then the hose would be tied to the raw water intake hose, over the transom.

Since going from the cooler now to the can, it seems I have a little more options to make it better and or easier.

But I still want to avoid cutting holes in my boat if I don't have to.
Another concern is the discharge water NOT being able to make it up and over the motor well. (one reason for using the pump at the base of the tank.)

My original idea was to have the discharge water leave the tank, from the top, down and out a hose that would be plumbed into the rear hold tank, which drains into the motor well. But the amount of water pouring into the motor well, because of the pump, was to much for my comfort.

The picture below is what I had earlier and maybe it's still viable without using the pump and just using gravity do it's trick, hopefully. But I'm not sure if the height of the top drain hole in the bait tank will be high enough to drain down and out?



I'm leaning towards doing the same set up as Secret spot, if I can get the overflow to drain properly.

------------------------------------------------------------

Below are my ideas & thoughts on my current set up from what I read online.

Reason for the transom mounted bilge pump to be on a switch.

Again I read this online from a few different forums and some manfactures of tanks.

Water is unable to be picked up from a transom mounted pump while the boat is on plane and moving fast. A transom mounted pump will not suck up enough water to replaced the water that is coming out. As for sardines if there is no fresh water & the water is not replaced about every 5 minutes, you could have die off. Recirculating the water till fresh water is added is recommended.

With that thought I added a switch.
The switch would allow me to cut power to the transom mounted bilge pump, then I would turn a switch on my "Y" connector to allow the aerator pump to start recirculating the water, as this would buy time in between moving from spot to spot. Once I got to the fishing grounds, then I would be able to switch back to allow fresh water back in the tank.

The water discharge pump is not on a switch, only the raw water bilge pump is.


Sorry for this super long post, but I figure I would outline some of my thoughts and see what you think.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 10:58:26 PM by AJFishin »
'96 Sea Chaser 16 - Yamaha 70HP - 2 smoke

! Go Kings Go !

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2017, 10:50:08 PM »
The Rule transom mount pump (like Secret Spot) is designed to pick up water while on plane. In fact, it will pick up water on plane even when it is off.

I ran my discharge through the same rubber boot you mentioned. For a long time, I just removed the port side panel and ran the "swimming pool" hose through. Now, I have cut a slot in my panel so I can remove the panel without disconnecting the discharge hose.

http://www.basspro.com/shop/en/easy-release-transom-bracket-for-baitwell-pumps

« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 11:06:41 PM by Croaker Stroker »
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

Offline AJFishin

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2017, 11:09:29 PM »
That's good to hear about the Rule transom mount pump. Currently mine is set about a 1/4" above the bottom of the boat, which I don't think should be an issue. :shrug9:
I'm going to mess around with it tomorrow and see what happens.
This weekend I'll be heading out with a buddy of mine and I'm going to leave the tank in it's current condition, with the exception of adding a drain hole near the top.
I'll bring some fittings with me just in case.  :jester:
Hope all will work.
'96 Sea Chaser 16 - Yamaha 70HP - 2 smoke

! Go Kings Go !

Offline Threeweight

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2017, 11:27:55 PM »
Above the bottom and it prob won't pick up water when on plane.  On plane, the butt of the boat is on top of the water.  I'd angle it slightly so it sits just below the bottom of the hull, like a stern mount transducer.

Same principle as the transducer, actually... both need access to "clean" water that isn't agitated by the prop and disturbance of the boat moving through the water.
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2017, 12:43:16 AM »
... Notice the pump size recommendations at the bottom of the card....

« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 12:23:18 PM by Croaker Stroker »
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

Offline AJFishin

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2017, 11:10:14 AM »
CS thank you for the instructions on the mount.

Here is version 2.0

Currently I'm going to try out this way first when I'm on the water, but it can be easily be switched for a gravity fed water discharge, something I will also try out on the water as well.
So far it works well.

In the video you can see I'm using the bucket of water so the bilge pump can suck water up and the PVC pipe is extended so it can put water back into the bucket for testing.
The aerator will be switched on when moving to a different spot so the water can be recirculating when the boat is on a plane.
I will also be testing out the pump while on a plane, with a gravity feed to see how well it works.



« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 11:15:22 AM by AJFishin »
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Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2017, 11:20:38 AM »
Aeration of the water is critical.  A bucket full of crab will suffocate in about 20 minutes unless water is aerated or changed...  Your bait will need a constant supply of fresh water or a constant aeration system...

StreamFixer
'97 19SC w/ Salt Boss Top
'03 Yamaha 115 EFI
'05 Yamaha T8 Solas 4 blade prop

"By the grace of God we travel upon the rivers and sea..
They, like He, are mightier than me."  Mike Jesperson aka 'Nalu'

Offline AJFishin

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2017, 09:38:24 AM »
Thank you for the advice Streamfixer.
Yes the bucket will have fresh water flowing 95% of the time. Then when I need to, I can turn the switch to recirculating.
We'll see how it works tomorrow, I just hope the fish are hungry down here since it has been quite.
'96 Sea Chaser 16 - Yamaha 70HP - 2 smoke

! Go Kings Go !

Offline AJFishin

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2017, 01:51:38 PM »
Tested out my bait tank today and it worked good. But I did do some modifications to it while on the water .
First, the recirculating water with sardines is a disaster. Looks like was making a bubble bath within 5 minutes of adding them to the well. I turned it off and sucked out the water and put fresh back it.
Second like CS said, the screen sucks. It was a clog-fest of scales.
My Y attachment got clogged with scales and cut the water flow.S o I ditched that and ran a straight hose. Problem fixed, somewhat.

Version 2.5  :jester:
I will be making a bigger drain hole at the top of the well to run water out of it better and not to get any clogs.
The bottom drain will be used to get water out faster when I need to.
But that's all I need to do to it.
The rubber seal at the top, the hole in the middle of the lid with the half bucket, and the fresh water coming in worked great.
Out of the 2 scoops of sardines I got, half died and that was from the bad choice of recirculating the water in the beginning. After fixing that problem the fish stayed alive.
Downside was, the fishing sucked today, but there's always next time.
Thank you for your advice as it was fun to do this experiment, but one thing I learned, and I think CS said, ,Guess you can't improve on the design of those fiberglass tanks.   :jester:
Basically you can't reinvent the wheel. :beerchug:
'96 Sea Chaser 16 - Yamaha 70HP - 2 smoke

! Go Kings Go !

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2017, 05:29:24 PM »
Well, even though the fishing sucked, sounds like you had fun playing with your new toy.   :beerchug:
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 05:35:50 PM by Croaker Stroker »
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

Offline AJFishin

Re: DIY Bait Tank
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2017, 09:50:52 AM »
Well, even though the fishing sucked, sounds like you had fun playing with your new toy.   :beerchug:

That's funny you say that because I did play with the bait tank more than I fished :jester: My friend did most of the fishing, luckily he caught some fish.
We went to Horseshoe and Izors and both were very inactive.
Got back to the ramp at Davie's and talk to 2 other boats with a nice amount of Calicos, Sheep heads, and perch, all were caught at the Wall.
Seems like the wall is the place to be now, strange year this year with fishing.
'96 Sea Chaser 16 - Yamaha 70HP - 2 smoke

! Go Kings Go !