Bait tank die off

Hellosugaree

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 6, 2019
231
256
35
San Francisco
Name
Timbo
Boat
13' Boston Whaler
Bait dying can come from a couple places:

1) Flow rate too low or too high
2) Shitty bait
3) Overcrowded bait tank. No matter how dialed it is, there's a limit to how much you can put
4) Having the bait tank in a rougher spot on the boat and pounding hard, causing the bait to get beat up
5) Shitty bait tank design (ie corners or stuff sticking out for bait to run into ,shitty water distribution, etc)

From the photos, your tank is either:
1) Missing baffles
Is that black spout on the inside of the tank in the photo your inlet? Usually there's a vertical plate that goes from the bottom to top covering the outlet to distribute water going in.
2) Plumbed wrong. Are there baffles on the edge of the inside of the tank that we can't see in the photo? If so, you have your water inlet plumbed into the end of day drain instead of the baffled inlet. Swap the two and you're already 90% on the road to recovery.

Make sure it's plumbed right, then get the flow right then figure out how much bait you can hold.

200gph seems low. I run a 500gph on a smaller tank and there's probably not as much height to pump on mine. I have a ball valve to get the flow rate right.

I have the same style but smaller tank. The manufacturer instructions on my tank say to adjust the flow so it takes about 7 minutes to fill the tank. I would size up your pump and use a ball valve to get the flow in that ballpark.

To give you an idea of what you can do with a dialed tank, I can hold a solid half scoop of sardines in a 14 gallon tank and keep them healthy all day in a small boat that runs hard. My body is wrecked at the end of the day, but the bait is still perky.

Fix the plumbing and get the flow right and you should be golden.
 
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monster1

Typical Striper owner
May 30, 2006
901
693
Long beach
Name
Monster
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Yep
Having the flow inlet at the bottom of the tank is probably blowing shit, scales and ammonia all throughout the tank, mixing it up and not able to get it out of the tank through the outlet. In my built in tank in my boat, I reach in every hour or so and pull the plug and drain a few gallons washing out all the accumulated crap at the bottom of the tank and remove all dead or dying bait. I've kept >90% of my bait this way on the last few island trips and it helps a lot. You have a much better tank than I do, though it's not much bigger. Get those baffles replaced and replace your inlet and outlet. It will be like a new tank.
 

mullet

Metal Fabricator
Jan 10, 2006
4,315
4,074
San Fernando Valley
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Mike
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19"Gregor
I believe the smallest pump rule makes is a 500 gph it should be plenty for your tank . You have it plumbed wrong . The bump on the bottom is where your light would go if your inclined to put one in .
 
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NaClAddict

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 18, 2008
174
145
torrance
Name
Greg
Boat
22 glasstron
Contact kodiak, you can probably buy the baffles and glue it in. If not, it filled the slot top to bottom. Was relatively thin. No more than 1/4”. Baffles are about 6” long top to bottom at a 45 degree angle to the plastic.

There is a ton of info on keeping bait. I use a hand bilge to vacuum out scales off the bottom after loading bait in. I was told that one scale is enough to choke out a sardine and kill it. Seems to help a lot. Pull out dead and dying for chum and chunk.
 
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NaClAddict

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 18, 2008
174
145
torrance
Name
Greg
Boat
22 glasstron
Bulge is for a light. Don’t crack it with rod butts, gaff butted, net butts, speargun butts, bottles, etc. It‘s durable but I don’t test it.

If you have to, plumb your input with a vertical pipe with baffles going the direction the toilet swirls. You can build more baffles but I believe less is more, plug any gaps that bait can lodge into. I would buy or build baffle. There‘s a concurrent thread now on this topic with a different tank. Your tank is great, no need to re-engineer.

After years of a below deck pump I wet to a exterior transom mounted rule pump. And I hate drilling into my transom. 20’ boat. Sometime existing/factory stuff ain’t great. Keeping bait isn’t rocket science but there are some tips and tricks. 1/3 die off is not bad to normal at times.

What‘s your boat? Where’s the intake? How long is your fill time on plane? You can always reduce flow with a valve. Pour 5 gals of heavily dyed water in. Watch it, that’ll tell you a ton. What about dye on plane? There are plenty of trash cans and plastic drums that were converted and work fine. Our boats first tanks looked like small trash cans.
 
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sickcat

Silverback
Aug 5, 2003
3,462
1,475
63
LA
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Kerry
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Yellow spot
Contact kodiak, you can probably buy the baffles and glue it in.
While you could possibly silicone them in I suggest if you do get the baffles from Kodiak also get the nylon bolts that hold the baffles.
 

sickcat

Silverback
Aug 5, 2003
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Learned alot from you guys and greatly appreciate it. I have always wondered why there are tiny holes with filled with glue up the side where water is pushed in. It is obviously from the baffles that are no longer there as the tank is probably old and they broke. Will be doing a search on how to make new baffles.

I have no clue what the bulge is on the bottom of tank, my guess is it is a drain if it were mounted and no hoses can get in the way.
Is that a 32 gallon tank?

I have a 32 that needs new fittings and baffles. Not sure when I will get to it but at some point I'll be making new baffles and would be happy to make a pair for ya. I plan on setting up a jig for the mill so I can duplicate the angle the slot in the originals were cut.
 
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javierlopez123

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 21, 2019
125
206
44
Pomona
Name
Javier
Boat
Skippy 24 Fly
I agree with the inlet is wrong. I used to have a 22 gal kodiak and it worked great! That being said the last week or two nachos bait has been horrible. Banged up and bloody. I only buy from him. Usually not like that.
 

jbl_91762

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 23, 2017
294
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CHINO
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JOEY
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KAYAK
Is that a 32 gallon tank?

I have a 32 that needs new fittings and baffles. Not sure when I will get to it but at some point I'll be making new baffles and would be happy to make a pair for ya. I plan on setting up a jig for the mill so I can duplicate the angle the slot in the originals were cut.

thanks man for the offer! If I dont get to making a baffle soon also will take you up on the offer! PM me please when you get around to it and let me know what materials to get for my tank.
 
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kindafishy

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 21, 2010
4,262
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hemet/ca/riverside
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SCOTT
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bayliner cierra express 2452 "RYLEE'S WAVE RYDER"
is your tank on deck or outside the boat, like on a swimstep?
 

ShadowX

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 10, 2010
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Alex
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None
As others already pointed out, you are missing this critical piece and its there to deflect the water from the pump to flow to the side of the tank and induce a circular water flow. Its also there so the entire stream of water from pump is not beating up your bait. It acts to direct and diffuse the flow of water into your bait tank.

As for the waterflow rate being too high, its overrated. Get as big a pump as you can fit and make sure the water flows well. We use a 1500 gph pump on our 32 gallon tank with no problems. You will always have hydraulic head losses in the hoses, fitting, etc from the pump to the bait tank. You can tell your flow is right just by looking at the fishing swimming. If they are struggling against the water flow, then you have too high a flow. If you look at a cross section of the tank, the water flow rate varies. The water on the outer edge flow faster than inside just due to the way the tank is designed. The water flow is not laminar, so once it enters the tank, it becomes turbulent and water current diffuses.

The other reason your bait is dying is because Nacho has been getting a lot of uncured bait recently. We had half the tank died on us before even reaching to Catalina. When the baits are cured, the same baits would only have a few die by the end of the trip. The baits were already red and beaten up when it was going into the bait tank. We know our tanks are good because we go out every week and haven't had issues all year.

1603340963394.png
 

jbl_91762

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 23, 2017
294
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JOEY
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KAYAK
As others already pointed out, you are missing this critical piece and its there to deflect the water from the pump to flow to the side of the tank and induce a circular water flow. Its also there so the entire stream of water from pump is not beating up your bait. It acts to direct and diffuse the flow of water into your bait tank.

As for the waterflow rate being too high, its overrated. Get as big a pump as you can fit and make sure the water flows well. We use a 1500 gph pump on our 32 gallon tank with no problems. You will always have hydraulic head losses in the hoses, fitting, etc from the pump to the bait tank. You can tell your flow is right just by looking at the fishing swimming. If they are struggling against the water flow, then you have too high a flow. If you look at a cross section of the tank, the water flow rate varies. The water on the outer edge flow faster than inside just due to the way the tank is designed. The water flow is not laminar, so once it enters the tank, it becomes turbulent and water current diffuses.

The other reason your bait is dying is because Nacho has been getting a lot of uncured bait recently. We had half the tank died on us before even reaching to Catalina. When the baits are cured, the same baits would only have a few die by the end of the trip. The baits were already red and beaten up when it was going into the bait tank. We know our tanks are good because we go out every week and haven't had issues all year.

View attachment 1214871
Thanks, I ended up making a baffle and by looking at your tank, mine too is a Kodiak which will be tested this weekend. I agree with Nacho's bait at times they are not cured but hard to cure when fishing has been really good. Now looking at your tank AND others, I do not see baffles create a circular flow of water when the slits are simply cut straight up and down. I copied the pattern but with drilled out holes as I dont have a router and water will be flowing straight out. I am sure it will work as now the water is not blasting the bait nor are they fighting a strong current. If I dont see improvement, I will make another and direct water flow in a more circular movement. Thanks for posting.
 

GrabBass1

GrabBass1
May 12, 2009
390
96
Menifee, CA United States
Name
Joe
Boat
2008 176 Sea Pro Center Console - GrabBass II
Thanks, I ended up making a baffle and by looking at your tank, mine too is a Kodiak which will be tested this weekend. I agree with Nacho's bait at times they are not cured but hard to cure when fishing has been really good. Now looking at your tank AND others, I do not see baffles create a circular flow of water when the slits are simply cut straight up and down. I copied the pattern but with drilled out holes as I dont have a router and water will be flowing straight out. I am sure it will work as now the water is not blasting the bait nor are they fighting a strong current. If I dont see improvement, I will make another and direct water flow in a more circular movement. Thanks for posting.
Your tank looks the same as my Kodak Which I believe is less than 30 gallons. The 32 gallon has a extra drain halfway down whereas the 22 (or whatever mine is ) only has the top drain like yours.
I run a 500gal pump and a healthy half scoop lives all day (10 +hours). I can put a full scoop in this tank but some will die off just from over crowding.
I ran an 800gpm pump when I first got the tank and had a lot of casualties every trip. The theory was too much flow causes the fish to swim too hard and they die - that maxes sense to me so I downsized to the 500gpm pump and no more issues.
As mentioned by others, you absolutely need that baffle to diffuse and redirect the feed water so it causes a circular flow for the bait to swim against as well.
 
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Dragon

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 24, 2006
213
119
SLO Co.
Name
Paul
Boat
22' Pro Sport CC / 20' Skipjack Open
Couldnt you get the Kodiak baffle through them? Couldnt be that much? Doesnt hurt to have an inline valve to adjust flow...GL
 

onehottip

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 8, 2006
1,161
821
So cal
Name
Guerms
Boat
18.5 Wahoo cc , Evinrude Etec V6 135 HO
My tank is a 45 circular tank. I use a 800 gal transom mount pump. It goes in at the bottom. I use a check ball shut off just before the tank which chokes down the flow with a narrow passageway. I leave the valve fully open. Inside the tank it has a 90 degree elbow. Not the white pvc elbow but the ones that are typically used before a sprinkler head. Off the main line. Typically black or grey. The direction doesn’t seem to matter ! C/w or c/c/w. I drilled about 4 small holes angled on the elbow to diffuse a bit. I never experience die off! OR very little. 30% is way to much!! I always carry a full scoop.
Also spray paint the inside black or a dark color. It calms the bait down! They quickly settle down and swim in a circle.
 

mullet

Metal Fabricator
Jan 10, 2006
4,315
4,074
San Fernando Valley
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Mike
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19"Gregor
Now looking at your tank AND others, I do not see baffles create a circular flow of water when the slits are simply cut straight up and down.
That's because his red arrow is pointing to the OUTFLOW
the inflow is on the side .
 

sickcat

Silverback
Aug 5, 2003
3,462
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Kerry
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Yellow spot
Thanks, I ended up making a baffle and by looking at your tank, mine too is a Kodiak which will be tested this weekend. I agree with Nacho's bait at times they are not cured but hard to cure when fishing has been really good. Now looking at your tank AND others, I do not see baffles create a circular flow of water when the slits are simply cut straight up and down. I copied the pattern but with drilled out holes as I dont have a router and water will be flowing straight out. I am sure it will work as now the water is not blasting the bait nor are they fighting a strong current. If I dont see improvement, I will make another and direct water flow in a more circular movement. Thanks for posting.
In the Kodiak "Pro-Flow" tanks the input baffle has slots cut at an angle to induce circular flow. That is what the patient on the tank was for and why it was worth a big company to buy Larry out when he sold out a couple decades ago.
 

sickcat

Silverback
Aug 5, 2003
3,462
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LA
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Kerry
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Yellow spot
Also spray paint the inside black or a dark color. It calms the bait down! They quickly settle down and swim in a circle.
+1 on darkening the tank either with a cover or paint.

On a PE tank I would paint the outside not the inside. Even thou current "plastic" paints are pretty good I would not want any of the paint/residue coming off the inside of the tank.
 

onehottip

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 8, 2006
1,161
821
So cal
Name
Guerms
Boat
18.5 Wahoo cc , Evinrude Etec V6 135 HO
The paint has held up well after 2 years. A little has chipped away on bottom from the net. I sanded lightly wiped with wet towel. Krylon paint. It doesn’t seem like flaking or chipping is a issue to worry about, IMO so far. The sides are still perfect.
 
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jbl_91762

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 23, 2017
294
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50
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JOEY
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KAYAK
Thanks Capts! Too late to make a baffle shooting sideways to promote circular flow after tomorrows trip but will Asap. Gonna try 3/4 scoop this time and see what happens. Maybe 30 gal is just not enough to hold a full scoop. Will also paint the exterior of with a couple coats of black to darken the tank but then white to match the boat.
 

fishgrappler

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 4, 2015
273
133
Name
Bru
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Skipjack 24 Open
As others already pointed out, you are missing this critical piece and its there to deflect the water from the pump to flow to the side of the tank and induce a circular water flow. Its also there so the entire stream of water from pump is not beating up your bait. It acts to direct and diffuse the flow of water into your bait tank.

As for the waterflow rate being too high, its overrated. Get as big a pump as you can fit and make sure the water flows well. We use a 1500 gph pump on our 32 gallon tank with no problems. You will always have hydraulic head losses in the hoses, fitting, etc from the pump to the bait tank. You can tell your flow is right just by looking at the fishing swimming. If they are struggling against the water flow, then you have too high a flow. If you look at a cross section of the tank, the water flow rate varies. The water on the outer edge flow faster than inside just due to the way the tank is designed. The water flow is not laminar, so once it enters the tank, it becomes turbulent and water current diffuses.

The other reason your bait is dying is because Nacho has been getting a lot of uncured bait recently. We had half the tank died on us before even reaching to Catalina. When the baits are cured, the same baits would only have a few die by the end of the trip. The baits were already red and beaten up when it was going into the bait tank. We know our tanks are good because we go out every week and haven't had issues all year.

View attachment 1214871
Nice hinged lid and rod holder setup. Could you please post the materials and/or brands you used?
 
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jbl_91762

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 23, 2017
294
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Name
JOEY
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KAYAK
UPDATE: Tried only 3/4 scoop of dines from Nacho. Asked him if they were cured and he didnt know cause he just started...allegedly. But looked healthy and active. Made the trip to West End in fairly smooth conditions and bait were in good condition. Only a couple of die off. When things settled the fish were actually swimming in mostly a circular motion and had solid swimmers till we left island at noon. I still did not have to dig at the bottom and empty the dead. Made trek back to fish around LB/HB till 3 and still had plenty of healthy bait. I had to dump probably 1/3 of what started off as 3/4 scoop and only a handful of dead. 3 anglers on board and we changed bait often. So the baffle I made worked just fine even though the holes were drilled straight into tank. I moved the inlet to the side of tank as you guys said to do but I also opened up the drain to keep a slow drain from bottom. So now I am constantly keeping water draining from top and bottom which seemed to help a ton. Lesson learned dont need full scoops for 3 anglers. Now the decision is to paint exterior black or not.
 
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sickcat

Silverback
Aug 5, 2003
3,462
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63
LA
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Kerry
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Yellow spot
Sounds like your getting there.

Bag up those left over deans and freeze them for hooping bait.