Homemade Bait Bucket

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Bait buckets hold live bait like minnows and other small fish. The most important part of a bait bucket is keeping the bait alive, which means keeping the water fresh inside the bait bucket. It's also important to have a bait bucket that has enough space for the bait to swim around. While these bait buckets can be purchased at fishing supply stores, you can also make them yourself quite easily.

Hanging Bait Bucket

  • When fishing with minnows or other small bait in a canoe or small boat situated close to the surface of the water, it's useful to have a bait bucket that hangs off the edge of the boat and keeps the water fresh. By taking a plastic bucket and cutting off the bottom, a screen can be added to allow water to flow in and out, keeping it fresh and keeping the bait alive. Install gardening hooks into the upper part of the bucket so that it can hang off the side of your small boat, low enough so that at least half of the bucket is submerged. Keep a top on the bucket as well, so the bait can stay cool and doesn't draw the attention of birds or other predators.

Drinking Cooler Bait Bucket

  • A bait bucket can also be fashioned out of a drinking cooler with a spigot at the bottom with only a few modifications. Affix a mesh screen or net inside the interior of the drinking cooler by taping it or hooking it to the upper edge of the cooler. This way, when you fill the cooler with water and bait, the water can drain and not the bait. Then, with a long plastic hose, create a siphon out of the water the boat is sitting in so that it flows into the drinking cooler bait bucket. Then open the siphon on the bottom of the drinking cooler and begin to drain the water on the bottom of the bait bucket. This way, there will be a steady flow of water through the bait bucket while you are fishing, allowing the bait to stay lively.

Dry Bait Bucket

  • For bait that is supposed to be kept dry, like grasshoppers or other insects, a simple plastic pail can be used with sand at the bottom and a piece of mesh or screen affixed over the top. The top, which is more or less open, allows good airflow for the live insects inside. A second, loose piece of mesh or screen should be inserted into the bucket or pail and attached in a couple places on the sides. This way, you can remove the top piece of screen and reach into the bucket to grab the live insects, but they won't be able to easily fly or jump away and escape. You will also be able to look into through the screen and see where they are inside, so you can keep them from escaping.

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