If you like fishing with live baits, you’re constantly looking to keep those baits in good condition, right? And, this can be a tall order. Poorly-designed livewells, over-crowding, and extended time in captivity can all take a toll on those baitfish. Here are five tricks and tips, that will help you keep your livies alive and kicking.
1. If your livewell has corners–and that’s bad, because baits will bang into them and beat themselves silly trying to swim through fiberglass–you need to round things out. The fix is actually pretty simple: cut a piece of clear plastic sheeting to match the depth of your well. Then bend it into a circular shape, and slide it into the well so it rounds out the corners.
2. Get a larger bait net. Many guys have under-sized nets, and as a result, they end up chasing baits around in the well. This puts them into a frenzy, and again, causes the fish to try to swim through the fiberglass. Your net should be large enough that you can get the baits you need in a single scoop.
3. Bring an extra five gallon bucket aboard. When you’re using baits rapidly, put some water in the bucket and drop in a half-dozen or so baits. This will minimize trips into the livewell, keeping your baits as relaxed as possible.
4. Paint the inside of your well blue. The color will help keep those fish relaxed (studies by Mote Marine Laboratory show that the effect is real), while bright white gel coated livewell interiors keep them scared and on edge.
5. If you’re keeping baits overnight, put them into a pen instead of leaving them in the livewell. The far greater water flow and higher oxygen levels will keep the livies in tip-top shape.