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Got a question about fishing, that you have never been able to figure out?

Well, along comes old Fishin' Tipster, Weekend Semi-Pro and resident backlash picking champion, with the solution.

Man, those $15 per dozen shiners just won't live long in hot weather. Even if you keep the livewell water cool, those big old 'minners' go belly-up as soon as they hit that hot surface water of the lake. Expensive problem, for sure!!! Well, the old Tipster has a pretty good solution which greatly reduces shiner mortality!

The present water temperature at the Stick Marsh has been 84-88 up in the day, and not below 80 at daylight. (of course, that's a LOT better than the 90-94 surface temps we sometimes have in the middle of summer!!) Shiners do not tolerate heat well and die easily. Here is what I do to lessen their mortality rate. It really has worked well these past few days. First, leave the shiners in the oxygenated bag they provide at the baitshop. As soon as you get to the Stick marsh, put the unopened bag(s) in the livewell(s) and pump lake water into the well(s). Do this for 30-60 minutes BEFORE opening the bag and dumping the bait into the well(s). This will allow the baitshop water (usually around 55-58 degrees) to warm up gradually and start to reach the temperature of the lake water. This prevents a sudden temperature shock to the shiners. It works.

Another very important thing to remember is this: DO NOT attempt to add ice to the live well waters to cool it down. The water the ice is made from almost always contains chlorine, which is deadly to the shiners. Plus, taking those shiners from cool water and tossing them into the warm lake water will surely cause a sudden temperature shock.Just let the temperatrure in the well and the lake get as close together as possible in a slow, gradual manner. Most of the shiners will adapt reasonably well.

Finally, a word about aerators. If you use a standalone container as a bait well, DO NOT under any circumstances EVER use an aerator device that places the aerator pump motor IN THAT CONTAINER. Most of these devices use a bilge pump motor. Electric motors give off a LOT OF HEAT when they run. You will roast your shiners or other live bait very quickly.

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A common question that we get: "Is there somewhere close to get bait and tackle?" This is where we get our bait.

Pete and Tina Heinz / 9 South Mulberry St. / Fellsmere, FL 32948 / 772-571-9855

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