Most of the local harbors strictly cater to the big boats and the private boats. A $25 “Half-Scoop” of bait overwhelm any kayak rigged bait tank. Luckily in Dana Point, Everingham Bros. Bait Company( )allows us kayak fisherman to purchase a $10 Kayak scoop. Plenty of bait for a day of fishing. They typically will have either sardine or anchovy, with the occasional mini-mac mixed in. The bait usually comes well cured (nice healthy slime on the outside of the bait fish) and you can check out their website here to see what they have in stock.
The classic kayak bait tank / live well will cost you more money to make or buy, but the return is worth it. A classic kayak bait tank / live well uses a cooler, bucket or container that fits in the tank well of a fishing kayak. it uses a bilge pump to lift the water into the tank and a drain letting the water out creating circulation and keeping the fish alive. Below we have provided a How-To on the classic kayak bait tank / live well.
I hope this gives you some kind of an idea of how to make a bait tank. This does take some time and thought to make a good kayak bait tank. Just think of it this way – you need power to make water go in the tank, and water needs to go out faster than it comes in. It’s that simple.
There are numerous pre-fabricated kayak bait tanks on the market, all of them good products, but if you have some free time (and like a fun project) then building a kayak bait tank may be the perfect project for you. First, one needs to know if in fact they even need a bait tank. Do you fish for large fish in the Ocean such as King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Cobia or Sailfish? Do you fish for inshore species such as Flounder, Redfish or Speckled Trout? How about Freshwater fish; Flathead Catfish, Crappie or Striper? Yes? Hands down, you will catch more fish if you have a good, live-bait tank.