Fishing Live Bait Pen 4′ x 2′ x 2′

(11 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.

UPC: 860002041810 SKU: BP48x24x24 Category:


4x2 bait pen posed

  • Main Post 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

4x2 bait pen collapsed
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.

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.
4x2 bait pen opened

Spacious 107 Gallons

Yet it Collapses to 8″ Tall

Fully opened the bait pen measures 48 inches tall by 24 inches wide by 24 inches deep (about 107 gallons) but by removing the 2 center rods (store them in the collapsed bait pen) the bait pen will collapse to just 8 inches high (including handle) by 48 inches by 24 inches 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 2 center rods into the top and bottom fixtures in the center of the basket.

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.
4x2 bait pen cover closed

High Density Polyethylene Netting

Rugged, Durable, Long Lasting

A foam column is attached on the top, 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

Additional information

Weight 13 lbs
Dimensions 49 × 25 × 9 in

Bait Baskets LLC

11 reviews for Fishing Live Bait Pen 4′ x 2′ x 2′

  1. JeffC (verified owner)

    So far so good. I’m using it to keep shiners and minnows alive for our weekend fishing cabin on the St. Johns River. Happy to say all the shiners stay alive week after week, but I have come in to some dead minnows and I’m not sure why as some of them stay alive just fine. Might have to buy a second one for minnows only. Great construction and great customer service, I highly recommend!

    [Owner since 12/2019]

    • twlack

      Hi Jeff,
      There are lots of varieties of shiners, minnows and chubs. But I do know it usually comes down to how well a fish handles lack of oxygen. Menhaden, for instance, need to be well oxygenated. If you do not get them right back into well oxygenated water after netting them many will not survive no matter how well they are treated after that dry time. And no matter how well you handle them prior to putting them in the bait pen they will die overnight if the pen is in low oxygen, still water.

      Lots of other variables but that is the one that seems to be the most important.

      Thanks for the review,

      P.S. If your dock has electricity the aquarium pumps at Walmart are very inexpensive. Get a big air stone and put a bucket over the pump to keep it dry. Throw the stone in the bottom of the pen to add more oxygen to the water.

  2. Street (verified owner)

    Great product! Floats well, balanced when moving around, held 6 dozen goggle eyes with no issues, would recommend it to others

    [Owner since 1/2018]

  3. Mark

    I use this bait pen at my marina dock in Gloucester, MA and it performs as advertised.. I have the 4x2x2 oval pen, and have been able to hold mackerel I’ve caught for a few days, which is what I hoped for when I made the purchase. I don’t keep it in the water all the time, so I’ have not had any issues with algae growth. Fishing for bait a day or two ahead, or keeping spare bait from one outing to the next, saves time when it’s going for the stripers, etc.

    [Owner since 8/2016]

  4. jake (verified owner)

    love it. keep the shrimps alive in the tx summer heat

    [Owner since 6/2017]

  5. Rex Pendergrass (verified owner)

    I love this product, works very well at my dock…

    [Owner since 1/2017]

  6. Christopher Marks

    This is a great product and It worked very well. I would absolutely purchase another one. I use it for a week at a time in the Keys. I like that it folds up and takes very little room to store. A couple of issues.
    1 The mess is very sharp it’s easily to cover your hands with gloves, but your arms get torn up when your reach inside.
    2 I use it in the Keys, the barracudas tear the mess up trying to get at the bait. Last year I had to use 500 wire ties to fix the damage they did

    [Owner since 3/2014]

  7. Richard Gioia

    great product, I have kept bait alive for months. It does need to be taken out and cleaned with pressure washer at the end of season.

    [Owner since 3/2014]

  8. Drake (verified owner)

    Always travel with and very happy with it. Will probably by a bigger one soon

    [Owner since 10/2015]

  9. Carmen Sferrazza (verified owner)

    I am happy with the bait baskets in general This is my second one. Some issues I have which if fixed would make it better .

    – the mesh is too small. My first one when left in the water become very fouled and could not be cleaned. It was so bad I had to throw it out. I will have to take the new one out more often and clean it. Bit of a pain for sure.

    – the cut edges of the mesh are VERY sharp I have cut my hand on them many times. I am very careful now


    [Owner since 5/2015]

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Got something to discuss?

1 year 11 months ago

For the non hardy fish that need a good amount of oxygen and water flow, could I attach a fitting connected to a good size aerator (small pond size) into the bottom PVC? I would then drill small holes facing inward around the entire bottom ring allowing for continuous oxygenation of the pen. Would this work?

1 year 11 months ago

Hi Robert,
The lower ring is not sealed. There is the center tee which holds the CPVC upright and I drill 2, 1/4″ holes, one in each outer tee so that water will fill the PVC when you drop the pen in the water making it sink more easily.

The pen works without the center upright so that hole could be plugged. The 2 – 1/4″ holes could be plugged with an epoxy paste like J-B Weld

One of those holes could be used to attach your air hose. I would try drilling the holes in the cross bar first, see how that works.

Great idea!


John Herman
1 year 11 months ago

I am in Stuart, Fl on a canal on the St. Lucie. No real flow. My intended purpose is to store blue crabs until I’m hungry, silver dollar size crabs for fishing, finger mullet and occasionally larger mullet. Am I correct in thinking your bait pen would be appropriate for my intended purposes?
Based on what I have read this won’t work for my greenies, correct?


1 year 11 months ago

Hi John,
Greenback and thread fin herring are pretty hardy, you may want to try it at your dock and see how long they last. Menhaden are extremely susceptible to low oxygen levels so they need a good water flow.

Mullet hang on for a long time and crabs live forever. If you don’t feed the crabs they will start picking off the weakest among them for food.


John Herman
1 year 11 months ago

Thank you
One more question. The mesh size will hold silver dollar size crabs??
Thanks again.

1 year 11 months ago

Yes, absolutely. Look through the photos and you’ll find a closeup of the net with a dime placed on it for size.

2 years 2 months ago

Am I able to pick these up locally anywhere in Florida?

2 years 2 months ago

I work from my home and sell only direct online. I am in Port Charlotte, FL and I do occasionally have local people pick them up to save the shipping. Use my contact form if you’re interested.

2 years 10 months ago

Hi! Can this be locked in any way? I have a hard time keeping my shrimp due to sticky fingers. This would be perfect for me but I need something that can be locked.

2 years 10 months ago

How about a clasp like this:

I would replace the screws they provide with bolts that go through the PVC. You may have to bend the clasp a little to fit the round surface of the PVC. Overall it would not be totally secure, someone could bypass it with a few tools but it would make stealing your bait more difficult.

3 years 5 months ago

Hi, I’ve read others experiences with mackerel (in MA). I have been contemplating a 23gallon live well for sometime now but I came across your website and it seems its a great idea and be a substitute from buying all the live well tank/parts etc.
I only intend to use for catching mackerel that day out on water and then go to my striper spot and hang this off the side of my montauk. Do you think this is doable?

3 years 5 months ago

Yes, that absolutely works. The only thing to think about is keeping your bait alive while running to your striper spot.

5 years 9 months ago

I live in Savannah, Georgia and would most often store shrimp. We have regular current, but the summers are obviously hot. Will the shrimp survive in the warm air temps in your basket? Also, how does the pen connect to the dock?

5 years 9 months ago

I don’t have personal experience keeping shrimp. 5 minutes to my bait shop so I buy as needed. But I would say as long as you have water movement so that oxygen levels stay up the shrimp will live. Also the type of water you’re in, if you try to keep shrimp long term in water that is not salty enough they will not survive. You can’t buy shrimp caught in the open ocean and keep them in a brackish water canal.

6 years 1 month ago

is the mesh smal enough to keep a lot of shrimp and if they breed woud it hold the baby ones. thanks

6 years 30 days ago

I’ve been told by several customers that they buy their shrimp in quantity and take what they need for a days fishing from the bait pen when they go out. The mesh will hold very small shrimp. But newly hatched shrimp are awfully small, I don’t think my 1/4″ mesh net is fine enough. I did once pull my pen out of the water after leaving it untouched for a couple weeks and found a hatch of tiny shrimp had become trapped (I was not keeping shrimp in it) when the algae grew so thick it was blocking most of the net opening. The shrimp were way too small to put on a hook so I just dumped them and power washed my bait pen.

Joe McColl
6 years 10 months ago

I live in Florida and Cormorants will tear up cheaper mesh bait pens. Will your bait pens keep Cormorants from chewing a hole in the pen?

6 years 10 months ago

I live in FL as well. I’ve never had, nor heard of, a cormorant getting into one of my pens. It takes a knife sharp edge to cut the netting. I don’t think a cormorant could do it.

Kirk Fay
7 years 10 days ago

How many adult bunker can be placed in the 4x2x2 pen, 8-12 “

7 years 9 days ago

Bunker is a menhaden. They need a lot of oxygen. If your pen is in moving water, giving the bunker good circulation of oxygenated water, you should be able to keep about 3 or 4 dozen in the 4x2x2 pen. I’m estimating, I personally never tried to keep bait that large.

Richard A Miller
7 years 3 months ago

I am looking for a fish pen that will hold 50 to 100 slab size blue gill or red ear. 2×2 or 4x2x2?

7 years 3 months ago

Definitely the 4x2x2. Even then 100 is a lot of fish that size. If you had moving water it would be better, even with the open mesh the oxygen level will fall off inside the pen with still water.

7 years 3 months ago

I fish tuna in the summer months. I leave the dock and go directly to the kelp beds along SoCal coastline. I catch mackerel 6-10 inches typically 8-10 on sabiki rigs, (small hook and feathers)these will last me a day of fishing. I would like to keep unused mackerel in your pens for several days until I go out again. Does this sound doable? Also we have several sea lions in the area of my dock, what’s your bet they will seek out the bait and ruin the net?

4 years 1 month ago

You can’t keep mackerel alive in a bait well or bait pen. They need lots of oxygen and need to move or be in fast moving water. You can use “Tuna tubes”, with forced/jetted water to keep them alive.

7 years 3 months ago

I do not have personal experience with either mackerel nor sea lions. I know I have sold pens to people that intended to keep mackerel but have never heard the results. I have read that they are quite hardy in captivity. And, I have been told that sea lions will go after your bait and that my pens will not keep them out and I believe that is probably true. I think you need a very sturdy metal cage.

Doug Mineo
11 years 8 months ago

looking to buy the bigger pen for scup and bluefish. we use the scup for striped bass and the blues for sharks.. only would be keeping six or seven 16″ blues in the pen. when using it for blues. do you think it is strong enough to hold the blues? pretty tough fish.. also, if I call in my order this morning could I get it by thursday evening?

11 years 8 months ago

It will hold blues.

Place your order online, any time today, and I’ll have it in the hands of FedEx by Wednesday evening. Depending on where in the USA you’re located you’ll have it 1-5 business days later.

12 years 10 months ago

Looks like a great product. I have a 21ft. Maverick Master Angler, which has 90 gallons worth of livewell space. I am interested in your 107 Gallon model. How long do you think it will hold 400 Pilchards if stored in good cool tidal flow?

Thanks, Capt. Jason

12 years 10 months ago

Hi Capt. Jason,
Wow, 400 is a lot of bait. Over the years it has become apparent that if you leave your bait pen in the water for at least 3-5 days prior to putting your bait in the bait will last longer. Part of the diet of Pilchards or sardines is algae so I assume by leaving the pen in the water a few days lets algae get started on the screen which then provides food for the bait.

My neighbor leaves hers in the water all the time taking it out a few times a year to power wash it. I went to pull it up the other day and there was so much algae I couldn’t lift it because the water was extremely slow to drain. She keeps pinfish for weeks and menhaden for up to 2 weeks. Menhaden are not hardy in captivity.

But 400 is a lot of fish. With a nice cool current I’d bet on a week. but I’ve never tried it so I can’t be sure.

Since I don’t know where you’re from how big are the pilchards you get? I’m figuring 3-4 inches?