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Optimal temperature for live bait


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I was hoping somebody could help me out with my live bait situation. I know I won't get out for a few days and want to be sure my live bait is still fresh when I do return to the water. What is the best temperature to store minnows, leeches, crawlers, and waxies in the summer months??? Are there any special "tricks of the trade" to keep bait healthy? confused.gif

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H2O, I find that the best way to keep your live bait "lively" is to store in the refrigerator overnight or a cooler when traveling. When you buy live bait from the store, the water in the minnow tanks is usually pretty cold. When you get to the lake it is important to gradually warm up the water the minnows are in using the lake water. This will prevent them from going into shock and dying. Also, an airator of some sort really helps keep sufficient oxygen levels in the water.

When using leeches, I buy small round styrofoam containers that are small enough to slide into large coffee cans. This way I can keep them in a cooler while traveling or fishing and I don't have to worry about them leaking. I've been able to keep leeches very lively using this technique during most of my week long camping trips.

Hopefully you find these techniques helpfull. If anyone else has any information or secret techniques I would like to hear them.

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48 TO 50 DEGREES WITH AIR IF POSSIBLE FOR MINNOWS, 50 TO 55 DEGREES FOR WAXIES, 44 TO 48 DEGREES FOR LEECHES AND CRAWLERS. KEEP THE MINNOWS IN A VENTED BUCKET IF YOU CAN'T PUT AIR TO THEM. CHANGE THE WATER ON THE LEECHES WITH WELL WATER OR LAKE WATER EVERY OTHER DAY. CHANGE THE WATER ON THE MINNOWS ABOUT EVERY THREE DAYS. DO NOT USE ANY CITY WATER!!! THE CHLORINE IN THE CITY WATER WILL KILL YOUR BAIT IN A DAY.

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I kept a couple dozen crappie minnows alive for three plus weeks on Coon Rapids water so that last statement was a little extreme IMO.

Maybe I had some Ironman minnows or CR uses less chemicals. If that's the case, you can also get dechlorinization drops from the pet store for treating city water. I use them for my kid's goldfish.

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They may use very little chlorine or are filtering the bacteria another way. A lot of the bigger cities are using a filtering process to get rid of the bacteria rather than chlorine. The smaller towns are using chlorine yet and sometimes too much. The chlorine remover from the pet shops seems to work good when chlorine is present. No, statement about chlorine killing the bait is not "extreme" it is the truth. The city here added chlorine to the watertower to clean it, and our bait would die within 24hrs of putting it in the tank. Now we have a couple of inline chlorine filters and the problem has been solved.

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I started using the water from my dehumidifier and that seems to work ok, at least there is no clorine as far as I know and I did keep a pound of Leeches alive for a month or so in the reefer. best thing to do is but a cheapo frig for the garage and use that as a bait keeper, also keeps the wifey from freakin when she opens the frig in the kitchen to find food alive in there.

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I've had trouble with my leaches dying when in the fridge. Can it be too cold for them, or am I doing something else wrong? This has happened to me with a couple of batches of leaches this year. The last batch died within a couple of days.

~piker

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Quote:

keeps the wifey from freakin when she opens the frig in the kitchen to find food alive in there.


This spring the wife thought I got her some chocolates until they started to move. I laughed and told her she was just having pregnancy cravings and not to eat my bait. Funny stuff

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Minnows and Leeches just need fresh cold water. The colder the better without freezing them. Crawlers- 45 degrees. Wax worms keep the best at 55 degrees.

Jason Erlandson

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