Lake Lanier, Georgia

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Proper Bait Care for the Summer

Don't overload your livewell or bait bucket.  If you are transferring bait with a 5 gallon bucket, don't attempt to put more than 2 dozen in there.  If need be buy an oxygen bag . The bait will last much longer with oxygen but don't keep the bait in the bag for more than 45 minutes.

Surface temperature in the Lake is more than 82 degrees

If you are fishing 30+ feet deep the water temp is 66 degrees or less.

Try to get your livewell water temp close to the water temp you are fishing.

If using Lake water in your livewell, make sure you add Ice.

Remove chlorine from water with Better Bait or Dechlor Etc.

Reddy Ice has no Chlorine

You can uses frozen water bottles in lieu of ice.

Be careful not to shock the bait. Change the water temperature gradually. A change in more than 10 degrees can damage your bait.

When putting bait in the water, don't delay. Drop your bait as fast as possible to get to the colder water. Leaving on or near the surface will damage your bait.


The warmer the water the less oxygen it will hold. Cold water will hold plenty of oxygen.

More oxygen means better looking  bait  ( no scale loss, lively, no black backs, no red spots).

More oxygen means livelier bait.  With higher levels of oxygen, adrenaline is released, making the bait ultra frisky.

Standard Bubblers or aerators release air bubbles that rise to the surface. Once the bubble hits the surface it pops and releases the oxygen into the surface above the water. Unless your livewell is air tight, the oxygen will release into the air. The Bait must be in contact with the bubbles to absorb the oxygen.  

A good rule of thumb is the smaller the air bubble, the longer it will remain in the water to dissolve.

Small dissolved oxygen covers 6 times the same area of large bubbles.

Add a second bubbler for summer months.

Use Oxygen tank and get rid of all your worries.  Oxygen tanks put cold oxygen into your tank. Bubblers use outside air. You are putting 90+ degree air into your tank. The Oxygen tanks at the lowest setting will put more than 6X the oxygen in the tank.  The Oxygen tank has variable settings for increased oxygen. Your competitors are using the oxygen including most guides.  

You can use a smaller tank when using an oxygen tank. For example, a 14 gallon tank will hold 4 dozen Herring all day. Your last bait will look as good as your 1st bait.

Less water in the tank is less weight in the boat.  This means more speed and better fuel performance.

Bob Benson