Fishing Live Bait Pen 2′ x 2′

Rated 4.86 out of 5 based on 36 customer ratings
(39 customer reviews)


1/4″ mesh net, Extra-Tough High Density Polyethylene, UV resistant, no metal parts to rust or corrode, solvent welded frame, collapses to 8″ tall, cover is hinged with an elastic, ball ended, lanyard for quick access.

SKU: BP24x24 Category:


Fishing Live Bait Pen 2 x 2

24″ Dia. x 24″ Deep

  • Cylindrical, Bait Won’t Hurt Themselves Swimming Into a Corner
  • All Plastic, No Corroding Parts
  • 1/4″ Netting is High Density Polyethylene, UV Resistant, Semi Rigid and Extremely Durable
  • Frame is Solid (not flexible conduit) 1/2″ PVC Pipe and Fixtures All Solvent Welded
  • Lid Opens on a PVC Hinge
  • Elastic Lanyard Keeps Cover Securely Closed
  • Collapses to 8″ High for Easy Storage

Keep your live bait fish healthier and alive much longer in this durable, easy to use bait pen.

Cylindrical Design No Cornering

The cylindrical design of this bait basket will prolong the life of any bait fish that likes to swim because there are no corners or even vertical supports for them to swim into (commonly called cornering) and hurt themselves. This includes menhaden, herring, sardines, mullet, silver jennies and many others. As they swim around they will contact no obstacles but the smooth 1/4 inch mesh screen.

2x2 bait pen collapsed

Spacious 47 Gallons Yet it Collapses to 8″ Tall

All UV Resistant Plastic No Metal, No Corrosion

The bait pen is made completely of plastic with no metal parts to rust or corrode in the water especially salt water which is where I use mine. The basket offered here is brand new, has never been in the water. The frame is solid (not flexible conduit) PVC pipe and fixtures all solvent welded. The net is a special high density polyethylene, UV resistant, semi rigid and extremely durable 1/4 inch mesh. Sturdy enough for long years of use and fine enough to use for shrimp if that’s what you need to pen. All net and ties are of UV resistant plastic for many years of use in direct sun.

Fully opened the bait pen measures 24 inches in diameter by 24 inches tall (about 47 gallons) but by removing the center rod (store it in the collapsed bait pen) the bait pen will collapse to just 8 inches high (including handle) by 24 inches around for storage. I wrap the dock line (10 feet included) around the collapsed bait basket to keep it secured in the collapsed state. It is quickly returned to full height by inserting the center rod into the top and bottom fixtures in the center of the basket.

2x2 bait pen with top opened

Lid is PVC Frame and Hinge

Wide Opening, Secure Seal

The lid opens on a PVC frame and hinge to reveal one half of the entire top of the bait pen. An elastic lanyard is stretched over the handle to keep the lid firmly closed but is easily grabbed by the plastic ball on the lanyard for ease of releasing the cover when netting your bait fish.

High Density Polyethylene Netting — Rugged, Durable, Long Lasting

A foam column is attached on the top, inside bait to keep the basket afloat when in the water. It is attached inside the basket to keep it from catching and tearing on dock pilings, boat motors, rocks or anything sharp it may come into contact with. The polyethylene mesh is more than heavy enough to keep from tearing easily on these obstructions. I’ve walked out on my dock in the early morning to see a small alligator sitting on top of my bait basket, tired and hungry but unable to bother my bait fish. I often use it to keep crabs alive until I get a chance to cook them. They try but they are unable to cut there way out, therfore your bait is save from crabs trying to get in.

See the new Instructional Video

The video shows the 2′ X 2′ fishing live bait pen and how it expands for use and collapses for storage. You also get a good idea of the toughness of the netting and simplicity of it’s construction. The 4′ X 2′ fishing live bait pen works in the same way except it has 2 uprights on either side of the door instead of the single, centrally located, upright shown in the 2′ X 2′ pen video.
View Video

Fishing Live Bait Pen 2′ x 2′

Fishing Live Bait Pen 2′ x 2′

Editor Rating

Additional information

Weight 8 lbs
Dimensions 25 × 25 × 8 in

39 reviews for Fishing Live Bait Pen 2′ x 2′

  1. Rated 5 out of 5


    I have been enjoying the pen since I purchased it. I have a pin fish trap and when I catch pin fish I dump them in the holding pen. I drop in food to keep them happy and they stay nice and fresh for weeks. I can keep pin fish and shrimp together. I take out the fish I need to use when I go out. If I don’t use them I put them back in the pen.
    I have kept over 20 fish at a time. Awesome product.

    [Owner since 10/2018]

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Kevin (verified owner)

    Been searching for a solid bait pen with no metal parts! Problem solved! If your thinking about buying this bait pen, just do it. You won’t be sorry!

    [Owner since 11/2018]

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    L Deni (verified owner)

    I was concerned that the pen would be a bit small but its perfect. Great quality workmanship, durable, easy to disassemble. Can’t say enough good things about this pen.

    [Owner since 6/2018]

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jeff (verified owner)

    I give this a 5-star because it came exactly as described and I found the reviews to be accurate. It came compressed to a small sized box but did not require much assembly – just the quick placement of the vertical post which takes a couple seconds. Its very well built, rugged, and the netting is held in place very well. The netting is very tough, rigid and durable. The rope provided is very handy for attaching to my slip. The top has a nice elastic band that keeps the top firmly shut. My only complaint would be the top doesn’t stay open when you are trying to get your bait into the basket – but that topic was already discussed in the reviews. I will try pinching as suggested – but I think there could be a simple design solution for the next revision of the product that makes this the perfect product..

    I got the 2X2 and use it for Atlantic Mackeral. Works great and keeps a perfect amount for me (10-15 fish).

    [Owner since 6/2018]

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Pankaj Narkhede (verified owner)

    The bait basket is awesome. But seems useless for me as the bait dies in a day or so.

    [Owner since 6/2018]

    • twlack

      So much depends on the type of bait you’re keeping, the water conditions, how you caught and treated your bait before putting them into the bait pen. I’ll try to get a list of suggestions onto a web page soon.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Michael (verified owner)

    As advertised! Much cheaper than other pens and works just as well. Nothing to rust. One improvement could be a way to hold open the latch when removing bait. Otherwise I love it.

    [Owner since 2/2018]

    • twlack

      Hi Mike,
      When you open the cover pinch the netting a little where it folds, right behind the cross bar, and the cover stays open. It doesn’t take much of a pinch you can do it with one hand. And the netting has a short memory so it will not stay creased for very long.


  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Bruce (verified owner)

    Great product for a reasonable cost! Good job! Made in America!

    [Owner since 2/2018]

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    Patrick Reidy (verified owner)

    This product is outstanding! It works great. I keep hundreds of shrimp in this for days at a time grabbing what I need for each day of fishing. I am going to buy the larger pen for pinfish. I highly recommend this product.

    [Owner since 12/2017]

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Douglas Imbody (verified owner)

    Bought 2 best pen made

    [Owner since 7/2016]

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Duane Lapp

    The bait pen is perfect for keeping my Bait alive and fresh. I would highly recommend this. I live on a salt water creek and cast net for my bait. It goes up and down with the tides and keeps the bait fresh.

    [Owner since 11/2017]

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    Patricia Lattanzi (verified owner)

    This is a very nice and well built bait pen. It is very light weight, easy to handle and easy opening. Also is a great design. May order another one.

    [Owner since 10/2017]

  12. Rated 5 out of 5

    Todd Flis (verified owner)

    Excellent! Fast shipping, great quality! Very happy with it ……

    [Owner since 8/2017]

  13. Rated 5 out of 5


    It works great. Much lighter than other similar size cages. Fish seem to stay alive longer.

    [Owner since 8/2017]

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    Robert Leonard (verified owner)

    Perfect bait pen for traveling or week end tournaments!

    [Owner since 7/2017]

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    Fuzzy Davis (verified owner)

    Love it!

    [Owner since 8/2016]

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    Wimpy Dawg (verified owner)

    Well constructed and everything is as advertised. I live on a salt water tidal river and it works great to always have live bait at the ready, but in this environment it does accumulate a lot of growth on the basket within a short period of time so other than it being a bit of a chore to clean the crap off of it every couple of weeks it’s been great. The bait seems to last a long time in there.

    [Owner since 6/2017]

  17. Rated 5 out of 5


    Works great, thanks, filled it full of with bait and came out the next morning to find a large snook with its snout up against the bait pen, tail sticking out of the water and paying no attention to us onlookers, bait was lively the next morning also.

    [Owner since 6/2017]

  18. Rated 2 out of 5

    Justin Patterson (verified owner)

    Gets the job done but not happy with the quality. real sharp edges all the way around and gaps in bottom were shrimp can get out. Good concept but not good workmanship for the price.

    [Owner since 4/2017]

    • twlack

      Justin, I’m sorry you are dissatisfied. I manufacture every one of them myself and I’m very careful about overlapping the net at the seams. Have you actually lost shrimp or are you just assuming that you will? While I’ve never tried keeping shrimp in mine (my canal is not salty enough) I’m certain the size shrimp I buy could not get out. I’ve actually pulled my pen out of the water after an extended time and found brine shrimp which had grown a little to large to get out. Way too small to put on a hook.

  19. Rated 5 out of 5

    Attn: David Bowman 32 Seahunter (verified owner)

    Received quickly and worked just as described and easily cleaned

    [Owner since 4/2017]

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    Robert Dove (verified owner)

    Just as advertised this bait pen preserves fragile shrimp better than anything else I have tried. When I received the pen I was apprehensive about the workmanship, but the pen has proven to be quite durable. Worth the money.

    [Owner since 10/2014]

  21. Rated 5 out of 5

    Rodger Hoofnagle (verified owner)

    Works really well. The only issue is the foam floatation disintegrates in time and must be replaced, all else is great! I use mine off my dock in fresh water and keep shiners for bass in it.

    [Owner since 5/2014]

  22. Rated 5 out of 5

    Stephen Stubbs

    I’ve had my bait pen for a few years and it works just great! I use it to hold shiners in our 225 acre lake for bass fishing. I’ve left shiners in for a couple of weeks and found the shiners just as hardy the next time I needed them. Great product and well built.

    [Owner since 4/2014]

  23. Rated 4 out of 5

    James Murray

    Great bait pen. I fish freshwater and this will keep any bait I throw in it alive for at least a week, many times longer. I keep crayfish, alewives, and shiners in it. Alewives usually last a week or two, but they are a finicky species that need large areas of water. Shiners, or store bought minnows last upwards of a month, and any native species can last for as long as you keep throwing in a little food every once and a while. Only reason I gave it four stars is because the float that keeps the pen up sometimes slips above the rim, but it is not a big deal at all. Great bait pen that lasts.

    [Owner since 4/2014]

  24. Rated 5 out of 5


    This is an unrewarded and unsolicited review: After purchasing various types of live bait pens and attempting to make a few of my own, I finally found a pen that meets all of my needs. This pen is sturdy and can be used either at the dock to keep baits fresh overnight or at the fishing site hung over the side of the boat. It has dramatically improved my catch rates. There is nothing better than presenting a fresh live bait to a hungry predator. I would absolutely make this purchase again.

    [Owner since 6/2014]

  25. Rated 5 out of 5

    Eric (verified owner)

    My bait basket has been used weekly since I purchased it 2 years ago. We use the bait basket at a floating cabin where it is usually used 3-4 days a week to keep bait shrimp alive. It was quite a chore to try and keep our bait alive 3 or 4 days in a boats livewell constantly flushing water and maintaining oxygen bottles in hopes your bait would live for a day. Now, once at the cabin the bait basket is put in the water and we tranfer our shrimp where it remains lively and healthy until it is used up. The guys who leave their bait on their boats overnight usually wake up to at least half and sometimes none of their bait alive.. Great product and I recommend it when keeping bait fresh and lively make the difference in the bite.

    [Owner since 12/2014]

  26. Rated 4 out of 5

    Ron (verified owner)

    Best I have ever used. Certainly most durable. Would be 5 stars but need to watch out for sharp edges on screen.

    [Owner since 5/2014]

  27. Rated 5 out of 5

    Rob Weber

    Probably one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. Absolutely awesome product

    [Owner since 8/2016]

  28. Rated 5 out of 5

    Toby Credeur

    Great product! Works perfectly.

    [Owner since 9/2016]

  29. Rated 5 out of 5

    Nate I.

    Excellent bait basket. Bait stays healthy in our lagoon for a few days between fishing trips. Well built and very sturdy. Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a bait basket.

    [Owner since 4/2016]

  30. Rated 5 out of 5

    Bob Dowens (verified owner)

    Very durable, easy access door, best I have owned. Fits a couple dozen and more of small peanut bunker for stripers and snapper blues for fluke fishing. I tie mine off my dock in salt water in Sandy Hook, NJ and even get a few blue crabs trying to make their way in attaching to the side of the netting. I remove mine a couple times a week and squirt it down with a hose to keep it clean and prevent algae or barnacles. A great product!

    [Owner since 4/2016]

  31. Rated 5 out of 5

    TD (verified owner)

    The bait pen is terrific. Well built and has made keeping bait alive much easier for me.

    [Owner since 6/2016]

  32. Rated 5 out of 5

    Larry A. Nixon (verified owner)

    Great product, only problem is barnacles but otherwise this is my second one and a little to keep clean. I would buy another one

    [Owner since 8/2015]

  33. Rated 5 out of 5

    James Chletsos (verified owner)

    Great product overall, well built. We use it as a storage bin for saltwater kellies. Tie it off the dock in our lagoon and have fresh bait for the next day! Only down fall is that the saltwater barnacles tend to destroy it after two seasons.

    [Owner since 9/2015]

    James, I have found leaving it on the dock for a couple days each week will kill the young barnacles and algae. The sun does not damage the pen. I have a pen on my dock that is 7 years old. Replaced cable ties once, foam and lanyard twice. –Tim

  34. Rated 5 out of 5

    Joe Gayle (verified owner)

    Great product well built use both of them every fishing trip to keep bait alive for next day 1 for pilchards 1 for shrimp saves time and money!!

    [Owner since 4/2015]

  35. Rated 5 out of 5

    Scott Chaddock (verified owner)

    Absolutely love it. I’m not sure how I got by before I had it.

    [owner since 4/2015]

  36. Rated 5 out of 5


    I got the big one! Biggest bass I ever caught was on a shiner out of my bait pen.

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Got something to discuss?

Bill Isaacson
3 months 19 days ago

Is your basket resistant to Blue Claw crabs? I have had them tear into other net baskets.

3 months 19 days ago

I used my first basket to hold blue crabs until I had enough for a meal. They were not able to get out. They left little scratch marks in the net but that basket is about 12 years old. My neighbor still uses it.

It has been rebuilt…float & lanyard twice, cable ties once.

3 months 18 days ago

I was more concerned about crabs tearing the netting in an attempt to get to the bait.

11 months 16 days ago

Would this be good for hanging over the side of the boat to empty the cast net in to? For transferring to the live bait well and not making such a huge mess. The bait fish are shad that range in different sizes.

11 months 13 days ago

Hi Tracy,
No, this would not work for that. I never tried it but I have a lot of experience with cast nets and these bait pens and I am certain the netting on the pen would grab the cast net and not let go easily. I’d even bet you’d end up with tears in your cast net.

BUT, I am working on a design for an open top 2×2 that will have a foam ring covering the top edge of the netting allowing the cast net to slide in and out easily…stay tuned.

This is a good idea, I hate picking up jelly fish from my boat floor!

Tony Ja
1 year 5 months ago

Would you ship to Australia? Thanks

1 year 5 months ago

I did ship one 4×2 to Australia. I used the customer’s FedEx account number so he paid for the shipping. I asked him to let me know the total shipping cost. This is from his email to me:

“The charge for the international freight is AUD $427.18 (326.84 USD) on total. Duty and customs will normally be charged on a separate bill and it hasn’t been received yet.”

If you’re still interested send me your address and I can give you the shipping charge. You’ll have to calculate the customs fees, they get paid when you pick up the pen.

1 year 6 months ago

Can you keep shrimp alive in this and any idea how long they will live tied off of a dock? Thanks!

1 year 6 months ago

Yes, it will hold all but the tiniest live shrimp. How long they will survive depends completely on the water you keep them in. Most shrimp require salt water, not brackish. Since I’m on a brackish canal I never tried to keep shrimp. I have had customers tell me they have good luck with them but never a mention of what good luck means.

If you are in good ocean water that moves regularly for circulation and you feed them I think they will survive a very long time. And I think they are cannibalistic so you could simply pull a shrimp or two out each day, cut it up and throw it back in. There is a bait shop in one of our local marinas that keep shrimp on the end of their dock with water pumped out of the harbor and their shrimp are always very healthy. I don’t see the difference as long as your water moves.

Michael Petrelli
2 years 17 days ago

How many pilchards could this pen typically hold?

David Bowman
2 years 1 month ago

What is the total delivery time frame to expect to Key Colony Beach, Florida. Heading back down in two weeks.

2 years 1 month ago

I ship from 33953 (South of Tampa, FL). Shipping in Florida is normally next day but a few locations, depending on local delivery, might be 2nd day.

If I get an order before noon it normally goes to FedEx that day. On rare occasions internet sales surprise me and there might be a day delay. Rarely!

Ron Smith
6 years 10 days ago

Hi Tim, I’m looking at the 2′ receiver. I fish mainly in CA and need a portable receiver to keep my bait overnight while fishing white seabass. Will the 2′ keep a scoop of sardines, squid, or anchovies overnight?

6 years 9 days ago

Sardines will do fine overnight, anchovies I’m not familiar with but unless they are extremely hard to keep they will be fine. I’ve never tried to keep squid alive but the only thing I’ve ever had trouble keeping in my pens are eels. And that is because eels will come out of the water and force their way under the top which is hels secure by an elastic lanyard. Eels are pretty strong and tough so I don’t think squid will be able to do that.

But I have no idea how well squid do in captivity.

Hope this helps,

6 years 10 days ago

Will the 2×2 hold 50-100 whitebait?

6 years 9 days ago

Whitebait can be anywhere from a couple inches to 6 even 8 inches so it’s hard to answer your question.

2-3 inch whitebait 50 to 60 should be no problem in the 2×2 but as the bait get bigger the space they need goes up.

Also, it depends on the water you keep them in. If it is moving it keeps them better. If you’re in a relatively still pond or canal it will take more space per fish.

Leslie Griffith
6 years 27 days ago

Just ordered the 2′ X 2′. Got any idea about how many menhaden(2″ – 3″) it will hold overnight. Usually go to the ocean on Friday, catch bait that night and fish Saturday and possibly Sunday.

6 years 25 days ago

I think you’ll easily keep 4-5 dozen at that size for overnight. But menhaden are very sensitive to low oxygen levels. I catch my menhaden a couple miles from my house where I keep them in the pen for the night. The trick is to get them out of the net quickly and into well oxygenated water for the trip home. I put 2 bubblers in a 10 gallon pail and I never put more than about 3 dozen in for the ride home. If they get low on oxygen even for a short time they generally do not recover.

6 years 1 month ago

is it possible to add weights to the bottom ?

needs to hold on a mooring in currents….

thanks BP

6 years 1 month ago

Yes, the net on the bottom will hold a good deal of weight. But the float is only a single swim noodle so it will not keep a lot of weight afloat.

Maybe a better way would be to give it it’s own anchor (or separate line from your mooring anchor) with a line tied to the frame on bottom of the pen.

Jim Teague
6 years 1 month ago

I am interested in the 2′ round pinfish cage. I have a couple of questions. I live on a canal, so I leave the cage in all the time. When I trap pinfish I usually catch about 100. Will this size cage support that many? Secondly: Since the cage is in the water all the time, the growth is fast. I have to frequently remove the cage and pressure wash and even then it is hard to get much of the growth off. Do you know if anyone has tried to apply anti-fouling paint? If so has it been successful? Thank you for any comments you can offer.

6 years 1 month ago

The number of pinfish a 2′ pen will hold depends completely on the size pinfish you use. If 2″ is the size you use, yes, the 2′ will do just fine. If you use 6″ then I doubt they’d last long in that space, although I’ve never seen 100 pinfish in one place except at the bait store in a bathtub sized tank with a pool filter running.

6 years 2 months ago

This looks good. If I order the 2x2x2 unit tomorrow can you deliver it to the Florida Keys by the end of March? Thanks for the reply. Brad

6 years 2 months ago

I ship via FedEx Home Delivery. I am in Port Charlotte, FL 33953. If I receive the order before noon it “normally” goes out the same day. FedEx Ground is usually overnight to the Keys.

Dan caldwell
6 years 5 months ago

Looking for a pen that will hold small fresh water minnows!

6 years 5 months ago

The 2×2 would be perfect. The netting is 1/4″ which is pretty fine. I don’t think a bait that could get thru that could go on a hook.

6 years 5 months ago

Hey guys- looks like you have a great product. I am up in new england and primarily fish for stripers and tuna. Would like to keep mackerel, pogies, and/or herring in the pen, probably not more than 3 or 4 days at a time. Would i be able to get away with the smaller pen for say 2 dozen mackerel or similar sized bait for 3 or 4 days? thx

6 years 5 months ago

Hi Brian,
I’ve never kept mackerel in my pen but I am familiar with herring. I was a New England striper fisherman once too. Got tired of the cold and came south.

I don’t think the small pen is quite big enough for 2 dozen 8 inch herring and I would think mackerel would need even more room to swim.

But I’m a little on the fence about this too. If you had the pen in a good current of nice clean cold water, the 2×2 might work.

6 years 6 months ago

how much to ship to Hawaii – economy service?

thanks for taking the time to reply

6 years 6 months ago

FedEx Home Delivery to zip code 96801 is 44.48

USPS is 29.23

But your exact location in Hawaii can make a difference. If you send me your zip I can tell you exactly.

Ken Keleher
6 years 8 months ago

Hey Tim – I have been searching for something like this for a while, I do fly -in trips to remote lakes in Canada for a week long. Even with an areated bucket I am lucky to have live bait for a few days. It seems that most of your customers are salt water fisherman. So my question’s are could the 2′ model hold 100/ 2-3 inch shiner minnows? And any thoughts if otters or Beavers could damage it etc.? Appreciate your reply & thanks. Ken

6 years 8 months ago

Hi Ken,
I think the 100 minnows would not be a problem.

BUT, I have heard of people with otter problems and I don’t think the net would stand up to an otter chewing on it. And a beaver would be even worse. I think a beaver could chew through the PVC tube so they’d have no problem destroying the pen and getting at your bait. I think you need to look at metal cages to stop either.

6 years 8 months ago

Thanks for your honesty Tim, I may still give your bait holder a try. I have to consider the size & weight of a metal cage pen. As you know there is nothing like live bait!

6 years 11 months ago

you think its strong enough to keep a sea lion out of it? and you think it can hold squid?

2 years 4 months ago

Hi Daniel,
I don’t know much about sea lions. Do they have real sharp teeth like a rat? I know a rat can, given enough time, chew through the plastic net. But it takes the gnawing kind of teeth a rat has. I had an alligator trying to get in one and he couldn’t do it.

I’ve never heard of anyone keeping live squid. I’m sure the pen will hold them but do they survive in captivity? I don’t know.


Rick Rivero
7 years 3 months ago

I’ve had problems with catfish eating through regular nylon netting to get to the bait and leaving the pen full of holes. Is that a problem with ,the material you are using?

7 years 3 months ago

The netting I use is also used to hold down loads on trucks. It is extremely tough. Unless you have catfish with razor blade sharp teeth they will not get through my netting. The only animal I ever had get through it was a rat. They are able to slowly gnaw holes. But I have also seen them gnaw through aluminum siding.

Nevin Colver
7 years 4 months ago

Hi, Is it hard to get bait out of the 2 X 2 pen because of the pole in the middle?

7 years 4 months ago

What I do is lay my net towards the front on the bottom of the pen then lift the pen, keeping it tilted forwards until there is no water in the back. A lot of the bait will end up in the net.

8 years 4 months ago

We purcahsed the bait pen as a Christmas Gift for my husband
It is compact for traveling THANKS FOR A WONDERFUL PRODUCT We live in the NE

8 years 11 months ago

Looking forward to using the Bait pen. Very easy to do busness with these guys. I had questions and they were answered very quickly. I received the product about 2-3 days after ordering it.