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I never have problems with my bait dying as long as I do not overstock my bait tank. I do have problems every summer when the water warms > 80 F. Everyone tells me in the summer when the water gets hot, that bait doesn’t get enough oxygen and suffocates from lack of oxygen. I have no bait problems in the cooler months (fall, winter or spring), none.

I ask a high school classmate who is an MD and good fisherman about this warm water/suffocation matter and he says not only bait bur people die without enough oxygen. He uses pure welding oxygen to keep his bait alive… I’m impressed. He says oxygen is oxygen, makes no difference if it’s medical O2 or welding O2 and the oxygen will keep bait alive just like it keeps people alive.

He also says that air, aeration, and water pumps and spray bars are all limited because the access air. Air contains little oxygen and air is why the bait dies in the summer – not enough oxygen in air. He also added that the way you tell when you have overstock your livewell by 1-2 baits and your aerator and water pumps are running perfectly… that’s when the bait gets red-nose, sloppy and is dying.

So I have been looking at bait oxygen systems in preparation for this summer and there are many types of O2 systems on the internet.

My question: do any of you uses bait oxygen systems and what kind do you have experience with?

I’m no longer interested in aeration, mechanical aerators, air pumps, air bubblers, water pumps, spray bars, ice and bait saver chemicals. I want to really fix this summer suffocation problem… no more band-aids and bait tank modifications trying to increase oxygenation when I’m always limited by air and aeration.

I have many years of fishing ahead of me in my lifetime (I hope). I want a bait O2 system that works, that’s dependable and cost effective and will work with little repair over 10-15 years. I want to keep my bait alive and healthy because I’m really sick of dead bait in the summer when the fishing is best. Dead bait is not only expensive to buy and catch, it really aggravating.

Found this article about using pure oxygen for live baits: “Supercharge Your Live Baits” by George Poveromo: http://www.georgepoveromo.com/content.php?pid=64 I had no idea you can change bait behavior with a gas, pure 100% oxygen.

Anyway, thanks for your feedback.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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Oxygen IS vital for sure . I fixed my difficulties quite easily, by using........................ARTIFICIALS !!! More time catching fish,less hassle,less mess. I am NOT knocking live bait fishing, just a choice. Best of luck finding a system that works for you.
 

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I disagree with oxygen being the issue, it's the heat and waste products. Fish are extremely sensitive to swings in temps which is why they keep relocating based on the time of day and season. The air we breath contains about 20.9% oxygen, which is more then enough to keep fish alive given proper flow rate and surface agitation in a baitwell. The main problem I have noticed is in the morning when I fill my well in the summer the water temp will be in the 70's, but after a while of fishing the flats the sun heats up the shallow water and my well temp rises into the 80's, then bait starts to die. I solved part of this problem by insulating my well and adding a recirculating pump, this way I'm not pumping in hot water when I'm in a really shallow area, but you still need to turn over the water every 30 minutes or so to keep the ammonia from building up and killing the bait. I also have plastic zip lock bags filled with water then frozen that I'll drop in to cool off the bait, this has worked the best, but they don't last that long. I know guides who use frozen gallons of water.

As far as the red nosed thing goes, I disagree with your friend. The reason your baits usually get beat up noses is because your baitwell isn't rounded enough and they are slamming into the corners. It happens more when the baitwell is loaded down, but if you have properly rounded corners, or a round well you won't see that as much.

This was a big long winded, lol. Ok this is just my opinion, but I think the oxygen systems are only beneficial to compensate for wells that don't have proper flow rates, or surface agitation, but they won't solve anything if you can't control the temp of your water. I'd reevaluate your setup before spending money.
 

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Rex Kwan Do Dojo
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Well one thing is poveromo is running a 28ft Mako. He's got room to put in a $600 O2 system. Turning the water over is to me the most important step in keeping your bait alive. You can bubble pure O2 in your tank all day long but if you don't get the water laden with ammonia out your fish will die - especially saltwater baitfish. They live in the ocean and are not used to ammonia levels in a crowded well. Freshwater fish can tolerate higher ammonia levels - ammonia is excreted from the fishes respiratory cycle.

Instead of dropping $600 bucks, why don't you go to northernbrewer.com and get an O2 injector. It comes with an attachment to screw onto a standard red O2 tank anyone can get at Lowes or HD, and tubing and an air stone. The airstone creates millions of micro bubbles that go into solution much easier. I use this all the time to oxygenate my yeast when brewing beer. It works incredibly well, just not sure about that stone in saltwater.
 

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Wish'n I was Fish'n!
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Air contains little oxygen and air is why the bait dies in the summer – not enough oxygen in air. He also added that the way you tell when you have overstock your livewell by 1-2 baits and your aerator and water pumps are running perfectly… that’s when the bait gets red-nose, sloppy and is dying.

So I have been looking at bait oxygen systems in preparation for this summer and there are many types of O2 systems on the internet.

My question: do any of you uses bait oxygen systems and what kind do you have experience with?

Found this article about using pure oxygen for live baits: “Supercharge Your Live Baits” by George Poveromo: http://www.georgepoveromo.com/content.php?pid=64 I had no idea you can change bait behavior with a gas, pure 100% oxygen.
There is plenty enough oxygen in air else we would be dead. Your problem is putting too much bait in your live well that uses up the oxygen too quickly. Especially in summer when the metabolism of the bait is high and the gas solubility of water is low.

Buying compressed oxygen of any grade seems excessive for recreational purposes, and would be unsafe to store in any compartment that might contribute to increased oxygen levels in the bilge or fuel tank area and burn your boat down.

Maybe you should look into buying a used portable oxygen concentrator from a medical rental company, rig it up to run off your boat battery and let it blow out of the same kind of stone those bubbler things do.

http://www.portableoxygensolutions.com/portable-oxygen-concentrator-comparison-guide/
 

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Keep alive O2 systems are very popular here in Ga with striper fisherman. We have a hard time keeping threadfin shad alive that we catch in freshwater to use for bait. In the summer they get rednose if you over stuff the tank. The oxygen system stops that. You could try using a danco aerator but the oxygen systems work best. Clove oil works good as a natural fish sedative and calms them down while in the livewell, they will use less oxygen when calm.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Oxygen IS vital for sure . I fixed my difficulties quite easily, by using........................ARTIFICIALS !!! More time catching fish,less hassle,less mess. I am NOT knocking live bait fishing, just a choice. Best of luck finding a system that works for you.
Artificial bait is great for sport fishing and fishing for fun. Live bait is far better for meat hunting and harvesting fish. No offence to sport fishermen, but I’m a meat hunter. Thanks for your input.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I disagree with oxygen being the issue, it's the heat and waste products. Fish are extremely sensitive to swings in temps which is why they keep relocating based on the time of day and season. The air we breath contains about 20.9% oxygen, which is more then enough to keep fish alive given proper flow rate and surface agitation in a baitwell. The main problem I have noticed is in the morning when I fill my well in the summer the water temp will be in the 70's, but after a while of fishing the flats the sun heats up the shallow water and my well temp rises into the 80's, then bait starts to die. I solved part of this problem by insulating my well and adding a recirculating pump, this way I'm not pumping in hot water when I'm in a really shallow area, but you still need to turn over the water every 30 minutes or so to keep the ammonia from building up and killing the bait. I also have plastic zip lock bags filled with water then frozen that I'll drop in to cool off the bait, this has worked the best, but they don't last that long. I know guides who use frozen gallons of water.

As far as the red nosed thing goes, I disagree with your friend. The reason your baits usually get beat up noses is because your baitwell isn't rounded enough and they are slamming into the corners. It happens more when the baitwell is loaded down, but if you have properly rounded corners, or a round well you won't see that as much.

This was a big long winded, lol. Ok this is just my opinion, but I think the oxygen systems are only beneficial to compensate for wells that don't have proper flow rates, or surface agitation, but they won't solve anything if you can't control the temp of your water. I'd reevaluate your setup before spending money.
Many people never have bait problems any time of year, any time of day because they never overstock their bait tanks. I like to bring plenty of live bait. Actually I have no problem spending the money provided it really stops all those summer livewell problems. I have spent a lot of money on gimmicks, bait tank modifications, bait pumps and snake oil stuff that never stop the bait kills.

You’re right, all you have to do to control the ammonia is change the bait tank water a couple times daily or if you don’t want to listen to all that water pump noise just a couple teaspoons of Amquel totally eliminate any and all issues with ammonia. Ammonia is really easy to control.

Although this is not fisherman’s opinion or sales man talk, any thoughts about this? Oxygenation of Livewells to Improve Survival of Tournament-Caught Bass by Fishery Biologist Randy Myers and Jason Driscoll TPWP, Inland Fisheries Division, San Antonio, TX Publication 6/2011
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/didyouknow/inland/livewells.phtml
 
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Discussion Starter #9
There is plenty enough oxygen in air else we would be dead. Your problem is putting too much bait in your live well that uses up the oxygen too quickly. Especially in summer when the metabolism of the bait is high and the gas solubility of water is low.

Buying compressed oxygen of any grade seems excessive for recreational purposes, and would be unsafe to store in any compartment that might contribute to increased oxygen levels in the bilge or fuel tank area and burn your boat down.

Maybe you should look into buying a used portable oxygen concentrator from a medical rental company, rig it up to run off your boat battery and let it blow out of the same kind of stone those bubbler things do.

http://www.portableoxygensolutions.com/portable-oxygen-concentrator-comparison-guide/
You have a great point there. If you (or the bait) does not have enough oxygen your will certainly die and you will die quickly. Your right on the money, overcrowded livewell oxygen is depleted and everything dies. That has always been a major problem with bait dying in bait tanks. That’s exactly how we all shall die.

I want to provide more oxygen so I can carry more live bait and stop the suffocation in the summer, that’s all I want to do. And that ancient bait fisherman’s nightmare can be resolved completely by simply providing more oxygen. Oxygen, the gas and a dependable cost effective delivery system is the whole point of my thread.

Went to the website you posted… did you see this? Looks like big problems with this suggestion- this is medical equipment, looks to be illegal to me.

You might want to call this company look at this before you recommend this: http://www.portableoxygensolutions.com/prescription-items-policy/

Prescription Items Policy

Prescription Items Policy

Oxygen Prescription Policy from Portable Oxygen Solutions

To be compliant with current FDA requlations, Portable Oxygen Solutions requires a prescription for selected items sold on this site including Portable Oxygen Concentrators, Home Stationary Concentrators and Pulse Oximeters. Prescriptions are NOT required for replacement parts such as accessories. If a prescription is required for an item in your order we will inform you of the requirement and ask you how the prescription will be provided.

Prescriptions may be sent via:

Fax to 1-800-958-0274

Email to: [email protected]

Mail to Portable Oxygen Solutions, 3900 Dave Ward Dr. Ste 1900 #115, Conway, AR, 72034.

If you are unable to obtain a copy of your prescription we're always happy to contact your doctor and request the prescription on your behalf.


Do I need a new prescription from my physician or will my current one work?
Prescriptions for Oxygen therapy are typically valid for life so your prescription will qualify regardless of how old it may be. If you are unsure if your oxygen prescription is valid we would be happy to review it to make sure that it meets current FDA guidlines for purchase of a Portable Oxygen Concentrator.

What information should be on my prescription?
Prescriptions are generally provided on your physician's prescription pad, a printed prescription form, an order form, or office letterhead. All prescriptions must contain your physician's signature and contact information. All Prescriptions must contain the patient's full name, and a description of the oxygen therapy prescribed (see below).

Portable Oxygen Concentrator Prescriptions should specify either the oxygen concentrator brand or model # and/or whether Continuous Flow oxygen therapy or Pulse Dose oxygen therapy is required.

We are always happy to help. For any questions, please call us toll free @ 1-800-958-0192. If you would like, you can email us a copy of your prescription and we can help you determine which Portable Oxygen Concentrator is right for you. Email us at [email protected]
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Well one thing is poveromo is running a 28ft Mako. He's got room to put in a $600 O2 system. Turning the water over is to me the most important step in keeping your bait alive. You can bubble pure O2 in your tank all day long but if you don't get the water laden with ammonia out your fish will die - especially saltwater baitfish. They live in the ocean and are not used to ammonia levels in a crowded well. Freshwater fish can tolerate higher ammonia levels - ammonia is excreted from the fishes respiratory cycle.

Instead of dropping $600 bucks, why don't you go to northernbrewer.com and get an O2 injector. It comes with an attachment to screw onto a standard red O2 tank anyone can get at Lowes or HD, and tubing and an air stone. The airstone creates millions of micro bubbles that go into solution much easier. I use this all the time to oxygenate my yeast when brewing beer. It works incredibly well, just not sure about that stone in saltwater.
Do you have any experience using your beer O2 rig with live bait in the summer when it dies so quickly? I would like to know more about your beer O2 rig. How much does an O2 rig like you use for your beer cost? Where did you get it? Thanks
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Keep alive O2 systems are very popular here in Ga with striper fisherman. We have a hard time keeping threadfin shad alive that we catch in freshwater to use for bait. In the summer they get rednose if you over stuff the tank. The oxygen system stops that. You could try using a danco aerator but the oxygen systems work best. Clove oil works good as a natural fish sedative and calms them down while in the livewell, they will use less oxygen when calm.
I'll take a look at this Dave. Thanks
 

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Rex Kwan Do Dojo
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I do not have any experience with this in a saltwater livewell. But shoot, $50 bucks for this one and there are others out there much cheaper. Mine is just regulator and tubing. I care for things that need O2 like yeast and baitfish. Lol. I too harvest fish and eat them and I really enjoy catching bait. I think your bait will stay alive just by plunking some a couple frozen bottles of water or something to lower the livewell temp. Just my 0.02.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/oxygenation-kit
 

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I Love Skinny Water
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I catch bait for my grandson to use. I turn on the areator a couple of times but adding ice is the key to get the temp down. You can also take a5 gal bucket put 1/2 water in it and put the bait in there first to get the slim off and poo. That means you need to catch 10 at a time not a zillion
 

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Wish'n I was Fish'n!
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Went to the website you posted… did you see this? Looks like big problems with this suggestion- this is medical equipment, looks to be illegal to me.
I know its medical equipment because my Mom used one for over a year before she died years ago. It really helped her with her pulmonary fibrosis, so I'm just guessing it would help keep whitebait alive. And I'm pretty sure it was legal, considering her Doctor prescribed it, and insurance paid for it.

Good luck with your problem.
 

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One other thing to consider if you fish rivers that are fed by freshwater (like Sebastian River here in South Brevard): your live bait that you catch in higher salinity (and therefore more oxygenated) water will die quickly once on the hook and swimming in 'fresher' water.

Take care of both problems by changing water out with the "local" water frequently as you move further into fresher water...

If I am fishing live bait and am in a spot that has fish biting, I never have a problem with an overstuffed bait well staying full for very long ;)
 
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I do not have any experience with this in a saltwater livewell. But shoot, $50 bucks for this one and there are others out there much cheaper. Mine is just regulator and tubing. I care for things that need O2 like yeast and baitfish. Lol. I too harvest fish and eat them and I really enjoy catching bait. I think your bait will stay alive just by plunking some a couple frozen bottles of water or something to lower the livewell temp. Just my 0.02.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/oxygenation-kit
I do not have any experience with this in a saltwater livewell. But shoot, $50 bucks for this one and there are others out there much cheaper. Mine is just regulator and tubing. I care for things that need O2 like yeast and baitfish. Lol. I too harvest fish and eat them and I really enjoy catching bait. I think your bait will stay alive just by plunking some a couple frozen bottles of water or something to lower the livewell temp. Just my 0.02.

Thanks Mega. A pure O2 rig for $50 is far better than a $50 aeration rig any day. I like that price.

How do you adjust the little regulator?

How many hours will a full O2 tank last?

Where do you buy the O2 tanks and how much do they cost?

How many bait fish are in your bait tank?

I have use ice to chill my bait tank water in the summer and the hypothermia does help extend the life of bait a little while longer than using no ice. But, have you noticed in the summer how quickly chilled bait gets sloppy and dies when you hook it up and throw it back into the hot environmental water? That temperature shock going from chilled bait tank water to hot environmental water is the devastating effect of acute temperature shock. Regarding temperature shock causes by acute water temperature change, fish can go from warm water to cooler water better going from cooler water back to warm water.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
I know its medical equipment because my Mom used one for over a year before she died years ago. It really helped her with her pulmonary fibrosis, so I'm just guessing it would help keep whitebait alive. And I'm pretty sure it was legal, considering her Doctor prescribed it, and insurance paid for it.

Good luck with your problem.
Sorry to hear about your Mom, pulmonary such a fibrosis is a terrible disease. My friends grandfather came from West Virginia and had “black-lung disease” and dies @ 45. Wish I would have bought his O2 generator for my bait, was sold for $10 at a garage sale after the funeral.

Looking at the internet, I have noticed that many companies selling these O2 rig kits are repackage medical oxygen equipment and sell it over the counter so to speak. They are selling pediatric medical o2 regulators. They cheap throw away stuff with big problems with electrolysis when used in fishing environments. They don’t take abuse very well and the electrolysis ‘pits’ the metal.
 

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"I got to stop wishin'. I've got to go fishin
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I've had good luck with oxygen/ bait tablets.
Frozen bottles of water help in 2 ways:
1. temperature. Duh! If you don't think that's part of the issue, you're crazy.
2. oxygen. Fish use less of it in colder water.
I like bottles of frozen sea water because it gets colder than tap water and if it leaks, it's not exposing the bait to all the goodies we put in drinking water.
 

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Correct me if I am wrong but the oxygen craze began specifically for baits. I remember a few years ago or even longer when guys would use pure O2 and give the bait a shot of it to spin them up before casting them.
 

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Rex Kwan Do Dojo
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https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.14-oz-oxygen-cylinder.1000741633.html

Not sure how many hours of use. You screw the regulator onto the bottle, then turn the dial to the right, and adjust flow from there. I have a 20 gallon livewell and black it out. Not sure how much bait, I do the west coast guide thing - net em, squeeze em to rupture some of their air bladders, load em in a wiffle bat and throw em out there. So I go through a lot of bait sometimes but most trips i'm releasing bait back from whence they came. Sure, I get some dead ones.

I'm not sold on this pure O2 thing by the way, at least for bait (a resounding yes when pitching a yeast starter for beer). Good luck.
 
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