Live Bait Care


BEFORE YOU CREATE THE OXYGEN DEPRIVATION CRISIS: Always prepare your livewell water by bubbling oxygen into the water several minutes before netting live bait, shrimp or hooking tournament fish.

Reversing the cellular oxygen debt as quickly as possible is vital. Have your livewell oxygenated before live bait fish and shrimp are netted at the bait shop to ensure  optimum live bait quality.

Catching and netting bait fish and shrimp activates acute stress responses, causes excessive slime production, maximum adrenaline production (fight or flight response), maximizing intercellular oxygen depletion (severe physiological tissue oxygen debt), lactic acidosis and excessive cortisol production (a metabolic waste toxin) .

Hooking and playing a tournament fish also causes identical adverse physiological responses including tremendous cellular oxygen deprivation which is the most serious stressor. It is most important to reverse the cellular oxygen debt and oxygen deprivation stress as quickly as possible in seconds.

What is oxygen deprivation stress with  profound fear and horror like for people? It’s like waterboarding. . Hold your breath when your live bait or fish are out of the water and then put them back into the oxygenated livewell water when you need a breath.

Live bait fish and shrimp may be reeled in, placed back into the oxygenated bait tank water, supercharged again with a quick 30-second submersion and cast out again for a second tour of duty, then a 3rd, 4th…. This procedure may be repeated several times as needed. The Oxygen Edge™ reduces live bait replacement costs for the rest of your life.


Sometimes, oxygen systems are discouraged by bait shop owners because oxygen keeps bait alive and healthy longer than air. With supplemental oxygen administration, fishermen transport healthy live bait and tournament fish for hours, days, weeks.

Supplemental oxygen dramatically improves live bait quality and tournament fish survival during transport in summer livewells.

Oxygen ensures less stress for fishermen, more early morning sleep, saves money, ensures high quality live bait, and saves time.   Fishermen that use oxygen enjoy fewer trips to the bait shop, no early morning bait lines or predawn cast netting.  Live bait dealers expect less live bait sales when anglers oxygenate live bait.


Live bait dealers that use compressed oxygen on live catch boats and in their shop tanks will have the best live bait because they provide the best possible bait care for their product from harvest to final sale. Expect excellent live bait quality from these dealers.

FACT: It’s worth driving extra miles for this quality live bait. With an oxygen system you can buy live bait from the dealer that sells high quality baits and transport those bait safely overland for hours to the boat ramp. Begin your fishing trip with highest quality live bait you can find, then “SUPERCHARGE” them with pure oxygen.

Buying live bait: Avoid bait dealers selling live bait fish and bait shrimp that are sickly, lethargic, exhibiting white spots on the head and body, damaged scales or “red-nose.” With oxygen, you control all livewell water quality and can transport and stockpile live bait fish and shrimp for days.   Buy or catch live bait a day or two before your fishing trip and keep them overnight.

Avoid aggravation and those early morning bait lines.  Buy your live bait later, around 7-9 PM the day before your fishing trip, keep them overnight at home or camp. Don’t buying sickly, red-nose, poor quality bait and avoid getting up early every morning to throw that cast net.  Leave early and be at your favorite spot early the next morning with high quality live bait you kept healthy overnight.

Igloo water coolers make great livewells for live baitfish.   Water coolers are insulated, have tall water column, drain at the bottom, are insulated, have a secure lid and are easily cleaned. They are great transport bait tanks, convenient to use in boats, planes and vehicles. They work exceptionally well with The Oxygen Edge.

Bait shrimp need more livewell bottom surface area or hanging webbing to prevent overcrowding, pinching injuries, cannibalism…shrimp need room. Transporting shrimp and baitfish in one livewell for a few hours is OK, not overnight. Never put mud minnows and shrimp together even for a short period of time.

Your ability to managing safe livewell water quality is the key to successful live bait care and transport.


Flushing live bait tanks and livewells with fresh water dilutes toxic metabolic waste, foam, pH, ammonia, nitrites, dissolved carbon dioxide and carbonic acid. Some bait tank chemicals may assist in controlling bait tank water quality, but chemicals and water quality testing equipment is expensive and cumbersome.

Partial water exchanges are important and eliminate the need for most bait tank additives, especially for bait fish, shrimp and tournament fish. After 25-30 hours of captivity, exchange 90% of livewell water and stockpile live bait fish, bass and crappie for weeks. The more you feed the captives, the more water exchanges you must make. Exchange 30%-50% of the total livewell water capacity, then, refill the well. Five gallon plastic drinking water bottles are excellent for storing exchange water at home or extended overland transports, especially for transporting live bait fish, tournament bass, crappie and walleye in boats, autos and airplanes. Bait tank exchange water may be stored for months and used as needed.

Keeping bait in bait pens in areas of poor water quality (low oxygen in the summer-hypoxia) can be deadly and disappointing when your bait dies overnight and you must delay your trip to catch more runners. Fix that problem – drop the OE diffuser into the pen and bubble pure oxygen into the pen overnight. Metabolic waste build up is a not an issue in pens.


The Oxygen Edge™ cools bait tank water about 2 degrees F. below ambient temperature. The pressure change at the diffusing rock creates a cooling effect just like your home air conditioning system. If you’re fishing in 90 degree summer water, maintain your bait tank water temperature between 87-92 degrees F. for the best quality bait performance on the hook.

Temperature shock begins when bait tank water temperature acutely changes 5 degrees F., up or down. We do not recommend cooling live well water with ice for live bait fish and shrimp when using The Oxygen Edge™ because the dissolved oxygen concentrations will remain highly supersaturated, even in warm or hot bait tank water in the most adverse summer conditions. Warm livewell water temperature has marginal effect on the dissolved oxygen supersaturation with The Oxygen Edge™.

Using an oxygen system is very different from using mechanical aeration or water pumps.