How to Keep Your Fishing Bait Alive and Healthy

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Live bait is one of the most popular choices for fisherman and women. When you’re out fishing, you don’t want to have to worry about your bait staying alive and healthy.

Dead bait is just not as good as live! It can work well with some fish but often it won’t do you much good. Figuring out the right balance of water temperature and oxygen is key to keeping your bait alive and feisty enough to attract that big fish you’ve been ready to catch all season.

When you plan to head out on the ocean for saltwater fishing, you will likely use your livewell for your bait. Keeping this bait alive will not only help you catch more fish, but it will also save you money since bait isn’t cheap. Here are a few tips to help you keep your saltwater bait alive in your livewell.

Check for Livewell Obstructions First

Before you fill your livewell, make sure you don’t have any obstructions from dead bait, weeds or anything else. You need to ensure the water can properly circulate or you may not have the best bait for your fishing trip.

An obstruction may impact the water circulation, which could cause your bait to lose scales since it can’t swim freely. Good circulation is key to keeping your bait alive, and checking for obstructions is the first step.

Consider the Water Temperature

The warmer the water temperature in your well, the less bait you want to pack inside. However, when the water is cooler, you can put more bait inside the well to keep it alive.

Colder water will hold more dissolved oxygen which allows for more bait to thrive in the well. Warmer water will not old the oxygen as well, which means less bait will stay alive.

Check the Water Flow

Livewells are not all the same. The pump may be as small as 200 gallons per hour or as large as 1,500 gallons per hour. The more water you have circulating through your livewell, the more bait you can keep alive during your fishing trip. Make sure you consider the water flow when deciding how much bait to take and know your livewell limits.

Choose the Right Livewell

A livewell that is taller than it is wide offers an advantage for keeping bait alive and healthy. Not only will this column shape reduce sloshing, which will keep your bait from slamming up against the wall, it will also promote milling. When bait swims in a relaxed circle it’s called milling and it’s better for the bait.

Check Your Batteries

While the size of your pump matters for circulation, the battery power you have onboard matters for running your pump. You should make sure you will be able to run the pump all day without recharging, and even longer, if necessary.

If you plan to go out on a fishing trip soon, make sure you use these tips to keep your bait alive longer. You want to run out of bait because you caught your limit, not because your bait died during your fishing trip.

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