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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Building your own Bait Tank

Much better than aerators, as you are recycling fresh water through the tank. Why is this important for lively bait? Bait exhales toxins, similar to if humans were to be in a confined place and forced to breath CO2. They are quite simple to make, and relatively cheap ~ $30-$60 depends on how fancy you want to get. **Note your kayak needs to have a tankwell...

Here is a Nemo Tankâ„¢, my friend Grego designed and made for me.

What you need:

1. A 5 gallon bucket (or any plastic container)

2. Atwood 500 bilge pump about $17 at Walmart, or a boating store.

Here is how it connects to the bucket...

...and the connector piece on the inside of the bucket (comes with atwood pump)

Inside bucket view...

3. A piece of pipe to attached to the Atwood pump. Notice there is a connector piece, any 50 cent plumbing connector works, this one is supposed to hold your prime if you turn your bait tank off. My friends just use a cheap connector which work fine.

In this picture, you can see that the pipe goes down into a scupper hole. You need to cut it so that it is flush with the bottom of your kayak, or even a little higher, as water is pushed into the scupper holes with your weight, water in tank, and your equipment.

4. Drain plug from a plastic water container, it pops right out when you are done drinking all the water. Notice the drain plug was aligned with the other scupper hole. I used Marine Goop to hold it into place.

5. Get a 6v battery, unless you are one of those guys that hooks up your GPS, and color FF to the same battery as your bait tank, then a 12v. I prefer a seperate 6v battery as they seem to kick out less water, which is less stress on the baits. Besides a FF/gps/bait tank on one battery doesn't last very long.

Check out http://www.kayakfishinggear.com for great prices on batteries and floating chargers. They are friends of mine, and have great service!

6. A battery box, I have a Pelican Box attached to my 5 gallon bucket to hold my battery. You can rig a switch to turn it on and off, or just hook up the battery directly.

Or some people just use a tupperware style plastic box. You can also use a dry bag, this is what I use for my Fish Finder battery. You can also run the wires into their kayak hull, and store the battery box there.

7. Rod holders, you can use 2" PVC, or in all honesty better yet pre-made rod holders, any boating store has them. Attach to the back of your tank.

8. Drainage holes.... I placed mine in the back off my bucket, some people have another tube going into the water opposite side of the bilge pump.

9. Straps, you can just use bungees, what ever is easiest to hold your tank secure. In this pic, they are not cinched, but you definately want to cinch them down. Notice they are attached to the padeyes, again, you can use bungees or rope.

10. Bait...

Now put it all together.

The final Product in my kayak...

Priming your Pump

One other note, you need to prime your pump. Very easy, turn on your pump, or plug in battery if no switch, unscrew the Atwood 500 pump from the bait tank, (which is obviously still connected to the pipe, via the connector)

then pump up and down through the supperhole, water should come shooting out, leave running, screw back onto bait bucket. Some people use a priming bulb

(which would replace the plastic connector that attach plactic pipe to your atwood pump), you squeeze to prime, again found at Boating stores etc.

Done you say? Nope...

There is another style pump... that hangs over the side of you kayak in the water... It is much more quiet, but not as flush as the Atwood 500... Again found at boating stores, maybe Walmart. It is made by Atwood called the Tsunami. It is submersible, and hangs over the side of your kayak in the water.

You can modify your 5 gallon bucket or plastic container to use this pump, no priming involved, just turn it on, and drop over the side of your kayak.

I have a pre-fabricated Thresher tank by http://www.liquidfishing.com these are top notch tanks.

Here is a view of the tank in my kayak, as you can see the tube that runs to the Tsunami pump is tucked in my tank well, but once I am in the water, I throw it over the side.

A water shot, you can make out the tube that is attached to the Tsunami pump submerged under water.

Again, this pump can be used in place of the Atwood 500 bilge pump.

Chris :cool:

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Unfortunately, due to the change in ownership of this web site and the lack of response by the owners to my requests to remove my email address from all administrative-level notifications and functionality, I have decided to remove my posts on AKFF. Thank you for the great times, the fantastic learning experiences and the many many fish. If you are desperate for the old content of this particular post, it is available below base64 encoded and bzip2 compressed.




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7,800 Posts
awesome stuff HM. your kayak and setup is a work of art...

some serious gear there amongst all those yaks! how many livebaits do you normally catch for a days outing?

by the way, how do you rate your T160? I have a T120 and am looking at doing more offshore work over the next 6 months so looking for a longer faster yak.... any negatives with the T160? (sorry to go offtopic)

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47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is ok, I am a little biased, as I fish for Wilderness Systems Pro Staff... :D I LOVE THE T-106i... I have paddled most of the top manufacturers out there, they are all great, but for me, not just because of my status, I really like the T-160i. The best advice is to paddle all the boats you can, and see what works for you. 8)

The T-160i is fast, good deck layout, and very light, which helps with speed, and lifting it at the end of the day. I think you will enjoy this kayak, I started on the T-120 as well, the T-160i kayak paddles like a dream compared to the T-120. I don't have a rudder, but next year, I will consider getting one. We used to have enormous kelp beds here, so 99% of the anglers on the West Coast, CA don't use them. But since they have receded, I may try one. It is a big boat to turn, but over time you get used to it... For me I do little turning, and mostly slow trolling stalking fish...

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