Blue back herring are not the easiest bait to keep alive. Improper care can very easily cause these baitfish to die. When keeping herring in your bait tank or live well there are a few guidelines to go by.
1: (Plenty of water) Over crowding bait can cause them to get stressed out and die. When blue backs get stressed their backs turn almost black. Two baits per gallon of water is a good rule of thumb.
2: (Oxygenated water) There must be some form of aeration in the water.
3: (Water temperature) When temperatures are higher during late spring and summer non-chlorinated ice is needed to cool down the bait water. Most ice companies filter out chlorine to speed up the freezing process. Reddy Ice, which is found in most stores is non-chlorinated ice. Keep your water under 65 degrees, and no less than 50 degrees.
4: ( Non chlorinated water) Chlorine is harmful to blue backs. City water has chlorine, which has to be neutralized. Bait Saver and Ammo-lock are products that neutralize chlorine to a safe level for the bait. Foam must be kept out of you tank.
Use “Foam Off” (not coffee creamer) to get rid of the foam. Use these products as directed. Bait Saver, Ammo-lock, and Foam off are all commercial product that can be purchased in the store.
5: (Salt Content) Make sure that there is salt in your tank. Herring lose their scales, get stressed, and then die. Salt keeps a good slime coat on the bait to protect the bait from harmful substances. A good rule of thumb ( 1 cup of salt for every 10 gallons of water

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