How To Keep Menhaden Alive? (8 Useful Tips)

how to keep menhaden alive
how to keep menhaden alive

Menhaden also known as Brevoortia Tyrannus, are usually small and nutrient-packed fish. They support the largest commercial fishery on the Atlantic coast.

Menhaden is also very well known as the “most important fish in the sea”.

The main reason behind this is that these are the species that create a very vital connection between the bottom and the top of any food chain.

Menhadens usually feed on animals and tiny plants that are called plankton, usually by filtering these from the water.

Therefore, menhaden is also a rich source of food for many predator fish, this includes the rockfish (striped bass), weakfish, and bluefish. Aside from this, ospreys, bald eagles, whales, and dolphins often feed on them as well.

Because menhaden can attract tons of other varieties, people should note that these fish are also often used as live bait. This helps in ensuring that users can catch other varieties easily using these fish.


Though, there are also tons of problems that they can run into when trying this out.

When it comes to this, people notice that the variety dies quickly. This is why the question “How to keep menhaden alive?” is often asked. The same query might cross your mind which is why going through this article should help you out.

How To Keep Menhaden Alive?

Menhaden are small varieties that are often used as live bait as mentioned above. When using this technique to catch fish, people should note that several things should be kept in mind.

The bait being used should usually be strong enough to withstand the hook for a long time.

menhaden water

If this is not done and the fish dies, then attracting other varieties can be quite tough. Several things should be taken care of to ensure that your live bait stays alive. Talking about this, here are some simple steps that can be used to teach you how to keep menhaden alive.

  1. The first thing that people should keep in mind is that storing your fish properly is essential. Several factors can cause problems but as long as the variety is stored securely, it should stay alive for a much longer time. Using a tight and durable container is always better.
  2. The location that you are fishing at also plays a huge role in how long your bait will stay alive. This is because if you are visiting an area that is too far away then keeping the menhaden alive will be much more difficult. To prevent this, try selecting a closer location.
  3. The temperature of your storage container should also be maintained at all times. This is because the water getting warmer usually increases the chance of these fish dying. Keeping the storage box away from sunlight usually helps in keeping it colder for a longer time.
  4. If you notice that your storage container is still getting too hot even after keeping it away from direct sunlight, then try using a cooler. These are built in a way that they can stay cooler for a longer time. People can even add some ice to the water to keep it colder.
  5. Making sure that your water is also fresh can be important. Some people try keeping the bait inside tap water which usually kills the variety within a few hours. This is why you should keep these varieties inside freshwater as this helps in keeping them alive for a longer time.
  6. The supply of oxygen inside the water will also be constantly used by the variety which should be kept in mind. If the oxygen runs out, then your fish will also die. This is why companies have come up with aerators that can be plugged inside your storage box to keep the bait alive.
  7. When using menhaden as bait make sure that you only keep these fish out of the water for a short period. Attaching them to a hook and then throwing them quickly is essential as keeping them exposed to air can cause them to die from shock.
  8. Finally, one thing to note is that the hook should be attached to the upper ribs of the variety. This helps in keeping them alive for a longer time by preventing bleeding. They can still die in some cases which is why having tons of live bait with you is recommended.

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