There are almost as many ways to keep shad alive as there are “The One That Got Away” tales, but the truth is some work and some don’t, and if you have fished with shad for very long, you probably are looking for solid advice on how to pick good shad bait tanks. Probably the first fact you need to know is that keeping shad healthy and alive is not so hard to understand as you might think.
There are a few facts that will arm you well with the knowledge you need to help out.
First: You have probably heard to keep your shad in a round container. If you have not heard this bit of advice, let me be the first to advise you that it is a solid practice for keeping your shad alive and healthy. You see, shad need to swim in a circular motion whenever they get stressed or if the oxygen levels get too low. This circular motion helps pull oxygen through the gills. Square containers cause the shad to get trapped into crowded corners and suffocate.
Stress is usually caused by the shad getting too warm. So, as an alternative to circular containers, you can use a square bait well or cooler, whenever you are fishing in cooler temperatures in cold water. Just be sure the temperature remains below sixty degrees and don’t over crowd your shad.
Keep your water clean, and always provide plenty of aeration for your shad.Anytime you want to fish in warm weather or warm water, or whenever you see your shad beginning to float on top of the water in your tank, you will know it is time to switch to a circular tank. Just remember, the most important thing when selecting a tank for your shad is to select a round or oval tank.
You should never choose square anytime you have a choice. Secondly, be sure your shad tank has some type of good aeration system. Insulated tanks are always preferable, because they help you maintain a good, consistent temperature. If you have a choice, you should always opt for some type of filtration system.
Most of the shad tanks you find will be from fifteen to a hundred gallons in size. The most often used size is usually in the twenty-five to thirty gallon size range, which is sufficient for most fishing needs. If you are looking for a basic tank without a filtration system, you can usually find a good one for around $200. You might also choose a more sophisticated shad tank. You can get one of the best, aerated, filtered shad tanks available for around $450, or less. You might also choose to construct your own shad tank.
Many anglers build their own shad tanks out of plastic 55 gallon drums. Just cut one in half, and use your own powers of research and creativity to come up with ways to filter, aerate, and insulate your home made shad tank.
Here are some things to look for once you have your shad tank that will help keep your shad alive and healthy. To prevent the ammonia build up that is lethal to shad, at the first sign of loss of scales, red nose, dead fish, or dirty water, buy Ammonia Sorb or Ammonia Kill, and use it according to package directions.