How to Make a Fish Holding Tank for a Boat

How to Make a Fish Holding Tank for a Boat thumbnail

Fish holding tanks are required for any fisherman that wants to preserve their catch alive until he gets home. They are also suitable for holding live bait. The tanks do not need filtration systems or heaters like home aquariums because they are only temporary enclosures. They can be made using simple materials such as a plastic cooler, a portable air pump, an air stone and some plastic tubing.

    Fill the cooler with water from wherever you’re fishing from. If it’s a lake, use the lake water. If you’re on the ocean or a bay, then use that water. The water must match wherever the fish is taken from.

    Attach one end of the airline tubing to the output (where the air is expelled) of the air pump. The airline tube typically squeezes over a thin air spout that acts as the pump’s output. Make sure it is a secure fit.

    Attach the other end of the airline tubing to an air stone. Air stones are porous rocks that produce bubbles when air is forced through them.

    Place the air stone in the cooler water and activate the pump. Air will begin flowing through the water, oxygenating it for fish.

Tips & Warnings

  • Move fish to and from the holding tank using fishing nets. Fish often have spines that can puncture your skin if you try to move them with your bare hands.

  • Keep the cooler lid closed when fish are in the tank. This will not only prevent them from jumping out, but the dark environment will help reduce stress.

  • Rinse the holding tank out after every use.

  • You can use a portable filter if you wish, but they are not necessary if the fish will only be in the holding tank a few hours.

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