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Bait In Smaller Boats


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Went fishing with my mate Neil last week , he has come up with a rather nifty setup for bait storage so thought I would share this with other Raiders along with the set up on my boat & invite others to share their ideas

Perhaps to begin , bait generally falls into 3 categories , livies , dead baits & lures / soft plastic. Will leave lures / soft plastic out as it is a subject of it's own & perhaps can be classified as tackle rather than bait.

Livies. Most boats designed for fishing have LBT supplied as std equipment so that is reasonably straight forward. The interesting ones are those where people have designed & installed their own to suit the space available / requirements.

There is a thread currently on FR touching on that aspect.

Some years back I had a 14' aluminium boat with limited space & installed a portable LBT with a small battery aerator to supply oxygen. Not flash but was capable of keeping 2 or 3 Yakka alive for quiet some time


A friend with a similar boat had 3 bench seats. In the centre seat , off to one side, he cut a hole & inserted an aluminium box & lid. When not in use , with a bit of ice added was very good for keeping the drinks cold .

My current setup can be used exclusively for LBT , dead bait or a combination of both. With the drain at the bottom of the LBT & a piece of electrical conduit inserted to retain the water height we normally use it as a combination with the bait buckets on top.


We rarely use live worms , nippers but would be interested to see any set ups currently being used.

Dead Baits. These are perhaps the most challenging for storage , cutting up , passing around the boat & minimising juice or small off cuts ending up on the floor be it at rest or under way.

A lot of boats have cutting boards down near the transom. Great , if that is where you are sitting but when fishing from the front of the boat, well..........

The other aspect , it is not uncommon to have 2 or 3 baits , prawns , pillies , squid etc & throwing them in together can become a bit messy.

Neil's set up covers most of the aspects. There are plans to modify the lid, ( cutting board ) & add hinges to avoid lifting on & off each time a bait is required.


The timber base is raised by having blocks of wood underneath thereby raising the base to support the buckets. The buckets remain in place as they are about half full of water


The silver beneath the timber base is a 4 lt wine bag. When frozen , provides cooling for the bait. (no , it is not full of wine)

The box can be moved or passed around. no need to even leave your seat

David (mottyman) also uses the small buckets but hangs them off the side. Perhaps he will post a photo

So , guy's & gal's , pls add your inventions


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That's extremely crafty Geoff, alot of thought went into it.

I have a half cabin and what i've done is as followed. In front of the u-bed as you walk into the cabin (where you stand and steer), from one side of the boat to the other i've built hard wood storage. One half (or just over) of it is lowered to allow for easy access to the cabin, it's used for life-jacket storage, plus it's a good level to sit on while fishing. The other half i've raised about 50cm and installes a 20L plastic box live bait tank. Drilled a hole underneath where i've connected a hose to drain it and ran the hose out through the side and down to the back of the boat. As it sits high, drainage is no problem as the water is running on a down hill slope. The water input runs from the back of the boat (Bilge pump) with a two way on off switch for either a deck wash or the live bait tank. I've connected a hose from near the top of the bait tank drilled a hole in the side of the boat and ran it out the side to stop the Live bait tank from over flowing keeping the water running constantly. I have also installed a detachable metal basket that hooks inside the live bait tank to put other baits such as prawns, squid etc, keeping them out of the sun. This gives me alot more storage, which we all know is priceless in a boat, extra sitting room and good bait options. Will post photo's tonight.



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Hi Guys,

Here's the one I use in my boat. Problems are that you need to change the water to keep the bait reasonably fresh but on hot days it goes off pretty quick and when underway the water spills out of the buckets.

It has a holder for a knife on one side and plyers on the other.

I had all these wonderful plans to make a new one with a lid/draining cutting board on top but then I stopped using bait so much after discovering Berkley products so it never got off the ground. :biggrin2:

I think I've only used the bait buckets a couple of times in the last 2 years. :wacko:




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In my tinnie, I made brackets similar to Mottymans and I made some that go in the rowlocks - pin type ones.

I incorporated a small tray for bait so I am not reaching for the packets all the time and the main bait can be kept cool, a tinnie holder (because you always catch a fish when you are trying to lubricate yourself) and a rod holder.

I have 3 of them down the side of the boat.

I also bought one of those plastic storage tubs with lid that sits behind the back seat near the transom. I bought a pump and turned it into a live bait tank that self drains over the transom. I put a battery in it and it powers the pump as well as the fish finder.

Since then, I made some bow rails with rod holders and installed some of the plastic ones at the back for trolling.

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