Hand inside water full of minnows.

Minnows are the cream of the crop when it comes to live bait. Minnows will catch everything from bluegill and sunfish in the east to largemouth bass and walleye in the west. Minnows are second to none for live bait fishing when it comes to sheer versatility and effectiveness. With so many anglers in so many parts of the world wanting to hook minnows to catch some nice fish, the baggies you get at bait stores are not exactly ideal.

Because of this, it has created an industry on its own when it comes to keeping minnows alive. Oxygen is what makes or breaks the trip when some frisky bait is purchased to take fishing. With that, the best live bait aerator on the market is up for debate because minnows are so fragile. I believe that the Frabill Magnum Bait Station is the best aerator for live bait and I will get to why.

Benefits Of The Frabill Magnum Bait Station

When it comes to selecting a good aeration method for your bait, you can always just use a five-gallon bucket with a fish tank aeration system on it. They make one of those as well. If you are like me at all, you prefer to invest the money you would spend on that expensive aerator and bucket into something a lot nicer quality. Perhaps it’s much more user-friendly. Bonus points if it requires no assembly. The Frabill Magnum aerator fits that perfectly. There is no external pump to worry about. The pump is built into the unit itself.

In addition, this aerator is amazing. There are two settings that are built-in that allow ease of access to switch between a low bubble mode and a high bubble mode. The high bubble mode is perfect for providing ample amounts of oxygen for around 100 minnows. The low bubble mode is great for housing less bait as well as for when you do not want to drain the battery as fast. The tank is completely waterproof, has an easy carry handle, and even includes a bait net to lift your minnows.

What makes this one different from others on the market?

There are quite a few things that make this great bait aerator different from all the rest. First, it is the only one I have found that has an internal pump within. All the other ones on the market have some sort of external pump that attaches via some sort of external bracket or mounting brace. This one has a slot that is built into the tank and attaches with rivets. Personally, this should be the standard. There are quite a few different sizes to choose from and every single one has the same great features.

The pump puts out so many bubbles inside the entirely sealed tub that it even has the ability to keep the water oxygenated for a time while off. Personally, one would believe that all pumps do that but trust me, they don’t. Many times when you see something similar, a lot of the oxygen that would be in the water escapes through the air via the sides of the lid opening. This one is different because it removes that entirely. This one also costs less than many competitors like the Engel live bait cooler. Finally, the unit runs very quietly.

One thing important to note is that blowing bubbles can often be noisy. In that case, you can scare away the fish from the area you are in and your bait really won’t perform as well as it should. Although many others provide ample aeration, this is usually at the expense of loud sounds from the motor. The Frabill motor whispers quietly which allows you to actually catch the fish after sneaking up on them because they don’t swim away from the noises.

How To Use A Frabill Magnum Bait Station Aerator

The unit is very simple to use. First, insert the net into the product before adding water. Add water to the unit. Insert batteries into the aerator pump that is attached. Toggle the switch to one of the two settings by taking into consideration the number of minnows you have. The more bubbles setting is for a high volume of bait.

The slower one is for less. Add your baitfish to the water after acclimating them to it. Shut the unit’s lid and latch down both latches so that the lid remains stationary and secure. The bubbles that flow inside should keep releasing oxygen into the water and provide the ideal conditions for making fish easy to take care of.

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Product Description and Features

  • Easy carry handle
  • High strength durable composite molded base
  • Commerical-grade insulation
  • Unmatched oxygen output bubbler
  • Battery operated
  • 12v adapter included
  • Waterproof seal
  • Heavy-duty latches

The general construction of this product is simple but effective. There are a few different sizes to choose from. A 19 and a 13. Both have a handle that is perfect for carrying them around. It’s made of a high-strength durable plastic composite molded base. Inside is commercial-grade foam insulation which provides unmatched temperature regulation regardless of the weather. There is a shoulder strap included if you are into that. The bubbler takes two D-batteries (not included).

You can also run the unit off of your car’s battery by plugging in the 12v adapter (included) into your vehicle’s corresponding port. There is also an adapter for a 110v included but the 110 adapter is not. If you want to go that route, you will need one of those first. The pump is amazing in its performance because it allows oxygen to circulate all around the interior. There are grooved heavy-duty latches that make closing it for an airtight seal easy. The seal on the inside is perfectly waterproof.

Who is the Product for?

This deluxe aerator is for anglers of all anglers that love being able to reach inside a tub of water with lively minnows instead of dead ones. It certainly is targeted toward live bait fishermen who use baitfish a lot. This would include people who fish for flathead catfish, crappie, bass, walleye, pike, and pretty much any other species that prefer live bait as a meal. Those who do a lot of bobber fishing with minnows or shad will see a much better return on investment.

Even so, this aerator tank is not just for people who do a lot of fishing with live bait often although it certainly is for them too. This is actually one of the items that can help anglers who don’t fish often. You see, many people may like to fish and don’t get a chance to. When they do, they like live bait because it catches fish, flat out. For those people, it can remove a lot of stress when they can fish live bait that is healthy and lively. Crappie anglers and flathead fishermen rejoice!

What I like about the Product

  • Maintains constant temperature
  • Durable
  • Has models to fit different budgets
  • Easy to carry
  • Unmatched aeration
  • Long battery life
  • No spills
  • Bait net included

There is a lot to love about this product as a live bait fisherman. For one, you can count on it to stay at the right temperature regardless of what the weather looks like outside. The insulation on it is commercial and excellent. It keeps out the cold and the heat which is exactly what you need it to do to for success. Next, it is constructed with a heavy-duty durable base that is plenty thick enough to withstand the abuse we fishermen will put it through. It comes in multiple sizes all the way up to 30 quarts which do change the price on it.

That means you can find one to fit your budget. The price is right where it needs to be and for the money, it does a fantastic job. The carry handle makes it very easy to transport when you need to. The handle is designed for one-handed or two-handed use and works equally well for both. The bubbler puts off more than enough bubbles to keep your bait alive during the day. You get a ton of battery life off of one set of batteries too. I like the different options for controlling the bubble amount as well.

The inner gasket forms a perfect waterproof seal on the inside. The bubbler is also running to the unit from the lid. This means absolutely no spilling in your car or boat whatsoever. Finally, the included net is incredibly helpful for lifting your bait out of the water instead of having to chase it around inside the tank. This means your bait will be more lively and provide more action in the water. This also reduces the stress on the bait as a whole too.

What I don’t like about the Product

  • Batteries eventually need to be replaced
  • Screws that attach the bubbler are hard to remove
  • Bait net sometimes impedes closing it

If there is one complaint someone may ask about, it’s the way the bubbler functions. A very small amount of people have claimed that the aerator malfunctions from time to time. I know every rose has its thorn but the very small subset of people who have claimed so have never really elaborated on what malfunction they are talking about. Does it stop working? I have yet to see this happen so I cannot confirm its validity for this product or if it was a user error. I do know it has not happened to me but I have seen people claim about other things malfunctioning and never really say why. Those are the what-ifs but there are a few actual things to consider beforehand.

For one, the aerator runs on batteries. Yes, I am aware that most do but that isn’t the point I am making. Unless you buy rechargeables, the batteries will always be a constant bill for you. For one set of rechargeable D batteries, it can cost anywhere from a couple of dollars to over ten or twenty dollars a pack. A charger for those is its own investment. It just makes sense to me that by including a 12v and 110-volt adapter with it that they can make one more port for plugging a battery pack in.

Next, it’s the screws that hold the bubbler inside. They take a while to take off and if you do decide to change batteries, it has to be done every single time. There are also two of them. It does waste time on the water if you find yourself having to swap them in the middle of a trip. Also, the net can sometimes impede closing the unit unless properly inserted. A safety feature? Maybe. Is it Annoying? Absolutely. Aside from that, there isn’t much I can say negatively about it. It is a great item to invest in!

What Else Should I Know Before Buying One?

Frabill has great customer service and great products so naturally, many can appreciate buying directly from their factory. The problem with this is that Frabill always likes to overcharge the consumer for the exact same product elsewhere. They know people love them so they do make people pay more for their brand reliability. People pay for it too. If you are having trouble with your finances however and are looking for the best price to receive the same product, consider Amazon by clicking the link below!

—-> See Additional Reviews On Amazon <—-

Final Thoughts

To sum up my review of the best live bait aerator, look no further than the Frabill Magnum Bait Station. It has the best aerator on the market for live bait and anything anybody may want to have for keeping baitfish alive. It is one of the greatest products for this task on store shelves today. The value for what you get is superb. You get a terrific bubble stone that is effective, customizable, easy to use, efficient, and well-priced. It does what it is designed to do and does it well.


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