Bait Tank Recommendation for Shad

The mtn man

Senior Member
I made one with a blue 55 gallon barrell. I cut it about 3/4 of the way up, so i could set the top back in for a lid, i bout an 80 gpm cheap bilge pump at walmart. I installed the pump at the bottom and ran a hose on the outside to the top. It works perfect, i hot weather i drop a frozen milk jug in there to keep it cool.
The striper soup forum has really all moved to Facebook. Search on Acworth Shad Shack. There you can get information about the store.

There is also a group hosted by the same Bank Tank & Trade hosted by Striper Soup. Join the group. Great info there.

BTW - I have a Creekbank 30 I bought from Acworth Shad Shack (formerly Striper Soup) and it works great.


Senior Member
Will you be doing a lot of this fishing? Try to keep bait for the next day? If so go big and get all you can afford.

If not, got get a round 10 gallon "gatorade" cooler and put an aerator in it. That will keep a couple or few dozen alive for a day. I keep crappie minnows for about 2 weeks changing the water every other day and feeding them every other day. I can keep my normal live bait, bream, alive for a couple days. Herring live through the day, but wont keep two dozen alive overnight with my setup.


Senior Member
Super Bait Tank is the way to go, hands down. I couldn’t afford so I went with Grayline maybe a little step down but filter system and oxygen makes em like new. If u are going to net shad, a filter is a MUST...First hour and filter will be filthy, from a bait shop conditioned in tank u might get by without one.


Senior Member
Stay away from the barrel junk with a pump.

If your serious any of the quality bait tanks will work. With your boat size you need at least a 30 gallon tank.
You can find them in most striper related FB pages or buy from a dealer.
Best $500+ you will ever spend. If you change your mind and go back to ditch pickle fishing you can get almost all your money back if you don’t trash it like using the lid as a cutting board.


I custom built my 15-gallon livewell for my 16.5ft jon boat. It's installed under the read aluminum deck, circulation operates as either closed-cell (for salt water) or open-cell (for fresh water), has a manual fill/recirculate feature, and an oxygen tank. Also has rounded corners. I've been using it for BBS/threadfins/gizzard for >10 years. Lots of good advice on this thread. PM me if you are interested in building your own livewell.


Senior Member
14 gallon KeepAlive, make sure it’s the insulated one. I’ve kept lake oconee Shad alive for 14 hours or better. It’s small and I’ve put 4 dozen herring in there with no problem. I’d put it up against any bait tank.


An oxygen tank with a regulator and stone is also a great investment for your tank. It helps to keep your bait healthy and lively which is the name of the game for catching stripers. These can also be purchased and refilled as needed at Hammonds and Oakwood Bait and Tackle.
I read this back in the spring and want to share my research and experience over the summer 2020 with you. No disrespect for any particular brand or price of any bait tank or livewell.

The water quality inside your bait box or bait tank is what’s really important if bait quality or keeping bait alive is important to you. Fishing guides and hard core live bait fishermen are very aware of live bait quality vs. sloppy, red-nosed bait quality.

Fall is here again, lake and river water is getting cooler now and the miserable hot Dog Days of Summer and live bait/bait tank problems are over for 2020. But, you can bet your house keys and favorite dog that those same summer bait/livewell problems will be back again next summer when the environmental water temperature reaches the high 70’s F., 80’s and 90’s. All live baiters and tournament C&R fishermen know this regardless of the brand and cost of their bait tank or livewell although they not really understand what causes this problem every summer: Poor bait tank water quality, overstocking and chronic suffocation: unsafe Dissolved Oxygen Saturation, disease and death. If bait quality is important to you, invest your fishing $ in bait tank water quality, the box you transport live bait in makes very little difference.

Regarding live bait fish quality:
Supecharge Your Live Baits, by George Poveromo
“…a bait tank that is supersaturated with pure, dissolved oxygen produces unnaturally high levels of oxygen in the baits’ blood. High blood-oxygen levels help produce higher levels of adrenaline, causing the baits to become more active. It’s this intense action that fishermen seek to coax game fish into striking.”

Regarding live bait fish and tournament game fish transports, check it out:
Visit: Oxygenation of Livewells to Improve Survival of Tournament-Caught Bass, By Randy Myers and Jason Driscoll, Inland Fisheries Division, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Dissolved oxygen is the single most important factor for keeping bass alive, and an understanding of factors that affect oxygen levels will better enable anglers to keep their fish alive.”

There are many different kinds of bait/fish transport O2 systems available for fishermen; some of these oxygen life support systems are really dependable, durable and work great. Some are so-so and some are junk that are very prone to failure, malfunction or do not deliver enough oxygen and chronic suffocation during transport is real. All of these O2 systems have pro’s and con’s.

Below is the most comprehensive web page I found that provides in detail the pro’s and con’s of different types of bait oxygen systems on the internet to date.

Compare Fishing and Bait Oxygen Systems

Many fishermen really believe that air is oxygen and visa-versa. Most bait tank/ aerator salesmen also promote that air is oxygen and plenty air always means plenty available oxygen.

Air contains 80% oxygen and is serious limited with only 21% oxygen regardless of how much air is bubbled in bait tanks with air venturies, diffusers and water pumps.

Bait tank o2 systems are certainly not for every live bait fisherman, only the live baiters that really want the highest quality live bait might consider these new oxygenation technologies.

Know first and foremost that oxygen is not air. There are serious fire safety issues with oxygen-enrichment or oxygen–rich environments (>24% oxygen). Fire safety is a non-issue with air or 21% O2.

Know and thoroughly understand the “Oxygen Rules of the Road” before you use an oxygen life support system.

Only a fisherman can supercharge live bait fish, Mother Nature can’t do that.

Just sharing information with you.

Liquid nails

Senior Member
I run o2. Never, I mean never, store your o2 bottle in a compartment in your boat. One small leak from a regulator or line and you have a bomb that you won’t be able to extinguish.
That being said I love jacked up baits on o2. Also use it to revive big fish after they are exhausted from a long fight. 2 mins on o2 and they are fighting you. Good stuff. I feel like I can pull baits over where someone just drug bait across and I’ll pick up fish that passed on their bait. It’s all about the bait.
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I run o2. Never, I mean never, store your o2 bottle in a compartment in your boat. One small leak from a regulator or line and you have a bomb that you won’t be able to extinguish.
Oxygen System Safety on Fishing Boats is a Real Big Deal

It is shocking how little O2 fire and high pressure O2 tank information is available on the net about fishing O2 systems, O2 gas safety and high pressure O2 tank safety on boats. Google: “fishing O2 system,rules of the road”.

Oxygen-enrichment and Oxygen-rich environments (23.5% O2 gas) requires the same fire safety rules and precautions as 100% O2 environments.

I compared the fishing O2 and O2 tank safety information between these all these different companies that promote and sell fishing O2 systems to fishermen. These O2 systems will deliver extremely high concentrations of O2 (99% - 100% O2 gas definitely creating an O2-enriched environments: T-H Marine Oxygenators, Keepalive, O2Go, O2 Pro, Boyd’s One Stop, Oxygen Edge, Salty Air O2 Systems, O2 system sold direct by big box stores like Amazon, Bass Pro Shops, Cabella’s, Walmart, Great Bait O2 Systems, Dick’s Sporting Goods, boat salesmen promoting livewell O2 systems and many sporting goods retailers plus many homemade O2 systems and O2 system components sold on E-bay with no safety instruction.

The most dangerous commercial O2 system I found on the net is Bass Cat Boats “Tiger Tank Oxygen System”.

Oxygen gas weighs more than air and will settle in the lowest area of the boats bilge should there be a gas leak in the O2 tube, O2regulator or O2 tank valve. This is not only a serious O2 fire hazard but having pure O2 gas and a high pressure O2 tank in the boats bilge also creates an explosion hazard. If it should ignite, it will probably not come out well for everyone on the boat. all.

Image of BCB Tiger Tank Livewell Oxygen system:

High pressure O2 system secured in a BCB boat bilge with no ventilation, pure 100% O2, live electricity and batteries and fuel oil and NO O2 GAS OR HIGH PRESSURE o2 TANK SAFETY INFORMATION.

Todd Driscoll TP&WD Fisheries Biologist Summer Fish Care Article with Links to O2 Injection System Specs

This is all the oxygen-injection system safety information provided in this interview from TP&WD promotional: “Be sure that oxygen cylinder is secure after installation and protected from vibration and impact. If needed, a fire extinguisher bracket and hose clamps can be used to mount bottle.” This is all there is!

I also Googled: “fishing oxygen systems, fire safety on boats”

As for buying and using fishing O2 systems and O2 equipment on a sport fishing boats, it’s is a real “buyer beware” when it comes to finding O2 gas and high pressure O2 tanks safety for fishermen on boats.
Just a suggestion:

*If you know nothing about fire safety and high pressure O2 tank safety on fishing boats, DON’T BE FOOLISH, DON’T BUY, USE OR BUILD A HOMEMADE DIY FISHING O2 SYSTEM and PUT IT IN YOUR BOAT… stay away from this type O2 fishing equipment.


I'm looking for recommendations for a bait tank. Do any of the portable tanks work well? Any recommendations for purchasing and having a bank tank installed on my boat? Thanks
Summing up bait tanks and water quality inside your bait tank in the summer
Actually, it’s as easy to keep shad, minnows, shiners and any other specie if baitfish not only alive, but heathy in summer livewells, bait tanks, 5 gallon plastic McDonalds buckets as it is keeping guppies and goldfish alive in home aquariums and goldfish bowls sitting on a living room table IF you can make and sustain great water quality continuously.

Every time you fail to maintain and insure minimal safe water quality you will continue to have the same old problems with dead, sloppy and dying baitfish or fish every summer. Artificial fake baits were invented because fishermen could not keep live baits alive or healthy all day in bait tanks and livewells.

Dissolved oxygen is the most important water quality parameter in summer bait fish and tournament fish transports.

The water quality inside the bait tank, livewell or 5 gallon plastic bucket is vitally more important than any brand or shape the bait tank, livewell or bait box.