Most common cause of aquatic bait mortality is lack on adequate OXYGEN. Dirty water from concentration of AMMONIA produced by the baits fesses while they are in your bucket. This occurs very fast if
bait is over crowded in water temperature above sixty degrees. Check your bait at least every thirty minutes or less when outside temperature is sixty or above. First sign of stress is bait start swimming
at the top of the water level, you must act fast. If your aerator is running and producing enough oxygen bubbles for the number of bait in your bucket, your problem is most likely AMMONIA level.
Most species of minnows and bait-fish need water changed at least every eight hours. Shrimp, every four hours. Water temperature is not the culprit in most cases of mortality in minnow and bait buckets, hundreds of species live and spawn in water over seventy degrees. It’s the sudden change from warm to cold or cold to warm. Always try to keep bucket water temperature at or near the temperature of the water you are fishing in.
Oxygenated ninety degree water will not kill your bait in your bucket, it’s the AMMONIA level that will. It’s always a good idea to keep your bucket shaded from direct sun if possible even if it’s insulated. If that’s not possible, cover your bucket with a heavy damp towel or cloth when it’s sitting in direct sun.
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