Keeping Creek Chubs Alive

James Scarlett

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I know this topic has been hashed around a few times on FBO, but I need some advice on keeping creek chubs alive.

We found a good spot where we are getting lots of chubs in the trap, then taking them home and storing in a cool tank with an aeration system. Trouble is, they die after 3-4 days. We also need to transport them Wednesday night for a 100 miles for a 3 day trip on Oahe. We tried this last year and it seemed a lot died in that short 1.5 hour trip. Any advice on keeping them alive for a few days of fishing would be greatly appreciated. MSA?

Great bait, but soooo damn sensitive.
 


MSA

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Are they being aerated during transport? How long has the holding tank been set up? Does it have a filter? Is the water temp relatively similar when they are moved from bucket to tank and tank to bucket?

These are very durable baitfish, we just need to figure out what youre doing wrong.
 

James Scarlett

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Are they being aerated during transport? How long has the holding tank been set up? Does it have a filter? Is the water temp relatively similar when they are moved from bucket to tank and tank to bucket?

These are very durable baitfish, we just need to figure out what youre doing wrong.

Yes, being aerated. Holding tank is used with fresh water from local "stream".

No filter, and I think that's the problem. Water temp may be cooler during transport. I think we used some ice to keep it chilled. I did read something about ammonia levels getting too high with a higher density of chubs, that might be an issue as well. This can be a problem early?

Not sure about density yet. What do you recommend?
 

MSA

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A filter will make all the difference. Get a big hang on style power filter from walmart for 40 bucks. the constant water flow thru the filter will promote bacteria growth that breaks down the ammonia. If its a newly set up tank you have to keep a minimum amount of fish in it until bacteria get established to keep ammonia levels at zero. You have to remember that one average chub has the oxygen requirements and produces the same waste as 10 to 15 minnows. dont use ice or mess with the temps if the water in the tank feels similar to the bucket, dump em in. Also do not feed them, youll use them for bait long before they die of starvation.

So get filter, start with less chubs, maybe 1-3 per gallon for the first few weeks, dont change or cool water temps.

- - - Updated - - -

If a chub tank is kept outside, keep it on the east or north side of a building to avoid the hot afternoon sun. That would be a better option than inside a hot garage or shed
 
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svnmag

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A bucket or two of water from whence they came would be beneficial for the bacteria starter. Zebras are good for a new aquarium. Probably not ideal in this situation due to the ANS.
 

Davey Crockett

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Do you use a minnow trap ? And do you use bait ? I have trapped in a couple streams, Creeks and have never caught one , I don't think we have them up here .

I know this topic has been hashed around a few times on FBO, but I need some advice on keeping creek chubs alive.

We found a good spot where we are getting lots of chubs in the trap, then taking them home and storing in a cool tank with an aeration system. Trouble is, they die after 3-4 days. We also need to transport them Wednesday night for a 100 miles for a 3 day trip on Oahe. We tried this last year and it seemed a lot died in that short 1.5 hour trip. Any advice on keeping them alive for a few days of fishing would be greatly appreciated. MSA?

Great bait, but soooo damn sensitive.
 

Captain Ahab

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What are you transporting them with? A big cooler with dual aerators is the ticket for long-term. You can hang ice bags inside as well, but do not let a big bag float or it will cool them down too fast and shock them. I've kept them for a week with just a cooler and good aeration with some attention to keeping the temp on the cooler side.
 


Brian Renville

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If you get a filter find someone with a tank and trade a new one for a dirty one. That will get your friendly bacteria where they need to be real quick. I just set my bait tank with a 100 gal stock tank that was on sale at tax and all good so far. Probably have 6 doz fat heads in it without a dead one in over a week.
 

Kurtr

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I know this topic has been hashed around a few times on FBO, but I need some advice on keeping creek chubs alive.

We found a good spot where we are getting lots of chubs in the trap, then taking them home and storing in a cool tank with an aeration system. Trouble is, they die after 3-4 days. We also need to transport them Wednesday night for a 100 miles for a 3 day trip on Oahe. We tried this last year and it seemed a lot died in that short 1.5 hour trip. Any advice on keeping them alive for a few days of fishing would be greatly appreciated. MSA?

Great bait, but soooo damn sensitive.

Speaking of this weekend the shore fisherman have been killings them so the fish must have moved up. Talked to a guy they caught 20 walleye from 10a.m. to 2 p.m.
 


James Scarlett

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Why not just keep them in the creak you trap them at?

Because they are 30 miles away, in the opposite direction we are going.

- - - Updated - - -

Do you use a minnow trap ? And do you use bait ? I have trapped in a couple streams, Creeks and have never caught one , I don't think we have them up here .

Yes on the minnow trap. Not sure about the bait since my partners son is always taking care of it. Going out tonight to get them. I'll let you know the exact setup later.

- - - Updated - - -

What are you transporting them with? A big cooler with dual aerators is the ticket for long-term. You can hang ice bags inside as well, but do not let a big bag float or it will cool them down too fast and shock them. I've kept them for a week with just a cooler and good aeration with some attention to keeping the temp on the cooler side.

A cooler, apparently not big enough! LOL. We will try dual aerators this time around however, and maybe a filter.

- - - Updated - - -

A filter will make all the difference. Get a big hang on style power filter from walmart for 40 bucks. the constant water flow thru the filter will promote bacteria growth that breaks down the ammonia. If its a newly set up tank you have to keep a minimum amount of fish in it until bacteria get established to keep ammonia levels at zero. You have to remember that one average chub has the oxygen requirements and produces the same waste as 10 to 15 minnows. dont use ice or mess with the temps if the water in the tank feels similar to the bucket, dump em in. Also do not feed them, youll use them for bait long before they die of starvation.

So get filter, start with less chubs, maybe 1-3 per gallon for the first few weeks, dont change or cool water temps.

- - - Updated - - -

If a chub tank is kept outside, keep it on the east or north side of a building to avoid the hot afternoon sun. That would be a better option than inside a hot garage or shed

Thanks MSA! Appreciate your knowledge!

- - - Updated - - -

Speaking of this weekend the shore fisherman have been killings them so the fish must have moved up. Talked to a guy they caught 20 walleye from 10a.m. to 2 p.m.

Very nice. Any size to those fish? We plan to be out tomorrow night, pre-fish Thursday and Friday. Then tourney Saturday. I need to buy you a beer.
 

Kurtr

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18 to 20 average nice fat fish with a few bigger ones. Should take a decent weight to win this weekend. 24 to 26 I am guessing.
 

James Scarlett

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Mission accomplished. 60 or so creek chubs and 150 or so big fat fatheads. We have filters set up on the chubs, a big tank, and a constant temperatures. Road trip tomorrow.

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18 to 20 average nice fat fish with a few bigger ones. Should take a decent weight to win this weekend. 24 to 26 I am guessing.

I agree. 25 pounds should be right there.
 


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