Plastic 55 gallon barrels ?

Posted by: RStringer

Plastic 55 gallon barrels ? - 12/04/18 10:09 AM

Has anyone done something like these before? I just took the sawzall and cut out holes in them. Thinking the smaller fish can get away from the bigger ones. I know the tops are open but figured they could dart in and out? Pros vs Cons any ideas or suggests i'm always open for ideas.
https://imgur.com/G4mMHQx
Posted by: DrLuke

Re: Plastic 55 gallon barrels ? - 12/04/18 10:37 AM

My quick 2 cents is, it depends on what kind/size of fish you are providing structure for. Dense and fluffy stuff helps the smallest guys (fry) and larger and looser the bigger guys (LMB waiting in ambush). I've read some of the Pond Boss crew that raise CC and BC add barrels for spawning structure.
It's not meant to drive you crazy by saying 'it depends', but it kinda does. I bet some species of critter would put that structure to use!
Posted by: TGW1

Re: Plastic 55 gallon barrels ? - 12/04/18 11:10 AM

I have taken similar type barrels (old deer feeders) and after removing their legs it became a barrel. I then took some rolled tubing and ran short cut off pieces of tubing through holes drilled and that made it to look like a stump with limbs. I added a sk of quickcrete to the bottom of the barrel so it would stand up. By adding three barrels close to each other it made some good cover. On one of my barrels I used some plant pots from some pecan trees plantings. Added these 2' tall pots to the side of the barrels and then ran the tubing through the pots. Just have some fun doing it all. I try to use stuff I have found along the rd side or around the farm. It keeps cost down and can be like a treasure hunt. smile
Posted by: RStringer

Re: Plastic 55 gallon barrels ? - 12/04/18 03:46 PM

Right now I have cats, crappie and bass and few perch. When I get done draining it (going slow) I was thinking tilapia and large mouths and who know wht else. I'm not real picky just like a lot of action.
Posted by: scott69

Re: Plastic 55 gallon barrels ? - 12/04/18 08:04 PM

i would stand them upright when placing them if it were me. it might be too dark if you put them on their side. i don't think game fish do much in total darkness.

i keep a cage hanging off the side of my dock at all times. it is about 4ft square. small bluegill go thru the 3/4" mesh to avoid predators and to feed. i keep a feeder ring in there at all times so i can hand feed them. they stay long enough in there that they can't get back out. all of the fish in the attached pic went in there on their own when they were fry.
Posted by: anthropic

Re: Plastic 55 gallon barrels ? - 12/05/18 01:38 AM

If you like action, HSB are an absolute blast. Not as moody as LMB, fight much harder. Supposed to be excellent eating, too. If HSB jumped, nobody would care about bass!
Posted by: snrub

Re: Plastic 55 gallon barrels ? - 12/05/18 01:38 AM

That ought to work good. Put weight in the bottom, more than you think you need. Large CC will move stuff around if it is near floating. I have had plastic stuff weighted down with gravel and had CC or snagging it with a hook move it around enough to lose its ballast and it floats to the top and wind blows to the shore.

The more holes for water circulation the better. Something that works really well for smaller holes is a step drill. Harbor Freight sells them pretty reasonable and the quality is fine for drilling plastic. They make a set of smaller ones that are too small but the larger individual (IIRC 1 3/8") work really well. Makes holes to the size you want in steps really fast and does not snag like a straight drill bit going through.

Step drill
Posted by: anthropic

Re: Plastic 55 gallon barrels ? - 12/05/18 02:38 AM

Originally Posted By: scott69
i would stand them upright when placing them if it were me. it might be too dark if you put them on their side. i don't think game fish do much in total darkness.

i keep a cage hanging off the side of my dock at all times. it is about 4ft square. small bluegill go thru the 3/4" mesh to avoid predators and to feed. i keep a feeder ring in there at all times so i can hand feed them. they stay long enough in there that they can't get back out. all of the fish in the attached pic went in there on their own when they were fry.



Scott, where did you get the cage?
Posted by: RStringer

Re: Plastic 55 gallon barrels ? - 12/05/18 12:44 PM

Heres a bass that was caught and put back in the pond. We didn't weight it. That's not me by the way LOL.
https://i.imgur.com/oDspAZ2.jpg
Posted by: RStringer

Re: Plastic 55 gallon barrels ? - 12/05/18 12:45 PM

Thanks for the advice SNRUB prolly will make one with lots of little holes like that in 2 or 3 barrels.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Plastic 55 gallon barrels ? - 12/05/18 02:18 PM

Make the big holes too. Just adding lots of small holes aids in the water exchange which will aid in making sure there is enough DO inside the structure to make it comfortable for fish to use. Varying sizes gives lots of choices from everything down to the level of algae on the surface all the way up the food chain to whatever size fish you are trying to protect. Let the biggest holes be the size fish you want to allow some protection to. Smaller fish can dart either side of the opening to escape predation. But if you do not get enough water exchange capability the center of any structure might not get used much.

Some of my smaller structure pieces I think I did not get enough larger holes in. I should have used a jig saw like you did.
Posted by: Funky

Re: Plastic 55 gallon barrels ? - 03/09/19 08:41 AM

Have been reading through some of these comments, I would just like to add that if you have CC, 55 gallon barrels work well for a spawn cavity, that is if you want them to spawn. I did not think they would spawn in my pond (1/2 acre) but the pond is all clay and they have made caves in the side of it, and yes, I do have more CC now.
Posted by: Dave Davidson1

Re: Plastic 55 gallon barrels ? - 03/09/19 09:11 AM

Yeah, they will work. Just about anything that a cavity spawned can get into works.
Posted by: woodster

Re: Plastic 55 gallon barrels ? - 03/09/19 04:13 PM

I have done this and have had good results. I would be sure to drill holes anywhere air could get trapped so you don't have trouble keeping them down. I kept the covers on mine and used a couple sizes of hole saws to punch holes for fish. Otters hate them so that always brings a smile to my face.
Posted by: scott69

Re: Plastic 55 gallon barrels ? - 03/10/19 12:23 PM

anthropic, sorry i overlooked your question. i built the cage. it has been years since i ordered the mesh and fittings. seems like someone here recommended the place to order supplies from. the pvc fittings are kinda unique. they are 3 way and 4 way fittings.
Posted by: swampsnyper

Re: Plastic 55 gallon barrels ? - 05/13/19 07:13 PM

I just made these. Ran a wire from end to end inside and hung 3 bricks for weight.