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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Another Live Well Design  (Read 2579 times)

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krusty

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There are many live well designs posted online. But I was not happy with them for one reason or another. So I decided to make my own using features I liked from these live wells. These were the criteria that shaped my design.

1) It must keep anchovies alive when halibut fishing, and mackerels lively when fishing for yellowtails. I knew that anchovies would not stay alive long in a recirculated and aerated live well, so I went with a bilge pump that would constantly draw water from the ocean. I chose to go with a 12V bilge pump running at 6V to slow down the water flow so that the bait does not get knocked around inside the live well. For the bilge pump, I went with a Tsunami recirculating live well aerator kit because it came with an aerator spray head and a stainless steel strainer.



2) It must be self contained like the Hobie live well, with a battery compartment and optional rod holders. But I bulked at it $300 price. Another negative is the battery compartment not being sealed, so the battery and wiring could get drenched in salt water if you roll your kayak or eat it during a surf landing. It was also plumbed exclusively for Hobies so it would not fit my Ocean Kayak Trident 13. I decided on a Pelican 1060 micro case to keep the battery and fuse dry. The pump is controlled using a waterproof switch.



3) It must be small and low profile to keep the center of gravity of the live well as low as possible to prevent rolling your kayak. So no giant live wells made from 5 gallon buckets and Vittles Vault Outback Stackable 40. I decided on the smaller Vittles Vault Outback Plus 15.



4) It must draw water through one of the scuppers, instead of having the pump hang over the side of the kayak. The last thing I need was to drag a bilge pump around when trolling. Plus it just looks ghetto to have a bilge pump hanging over the side of your kayak.

5) It must be self priming. Upon inspection of the scuppers in my Trident 13's rear well, I noticed that the waterline is only 0.5" below the top of the scuppers. You can check this while on the water or just paddle the filthy American River, which will leave a semi-permanent waterline on your kayak. So if I insert the intake of the bilge pump into the scupper and lean slightly over, the pump will be primed and start drawing water.

6) It must not drain the tank if the pump is turned off or loses power. This was another flaw I wanted to address in the Hobie live well. Due to the position of its pump at the bottom of the Hobie live well, it would drain the well through the pump outlet if it is ever turned off or loses power. Connecting the output of the bilge pump to the aerator spray head, and placing it near the top of the live well solves this problem.

Here are a few pictures of my live well. The plastic fitting on the left is for the aerator spray head. The PVC pipe on the right is the drain. I also added webbing and brass swivel snaps to all 4 corners of the live well for a secure connection to the kayak.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 02:39:35 PM by krusty »


Sailfish

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Very nice design! Thanks for sharing Tim.
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Mienboy

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Looks good,post some pics when your on the water
My biggest worry is that my wife(when I'm dead)will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it


NoSoupForU

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I like it a lot!  Well thought out.  I'm curious how much all the parts ended up costing you?

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PISCEAN

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very nice!
I've been thinking of a live bait tank for some time but have never gone ahead with the project.
I've liked the idea of pet food containers as a base, and your outfitting looks clean & pro.
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SteveS

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Love it.

I have shied away from the square shape as i was worried the delicate little f'ing anchovies would beat themselves to death on the corners...

Am i just being overly cautious?


PescaDONo

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That's badass! I hope you're bringing it to Ocean Cove this weekend, I'll have a Tonna questions for you.

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Herb Superb

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Very nice, Tim! Now i know who t go to for bait  :smt003


Str8FishiN

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I might re-engineer my bait well with some of your ideas.  Thanks for sharing Tim!
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NoSoupForU

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Love it.

I have shied away from the square shape as i was worried the delicate little f'ing anchovies would beat themselves to death on the corners...

Am i just being overly cautious?
You probably could make a cylinder inside with a flexible sheet of plastic and put some holes in it for drainage if you are worried about the corners.
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FishingForTheCure

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Love it.

I have shied away from the square shape as i was worried the delicate little f'ing anchovies would beat themselves to death on the corners...

Am i just being overly cautious?
I was a little curious about this as well.  Waiting for feedback.  There's always a percentage of dead count for various reasons but makes me wonder if it would be higher because of corners.  Looks like those corners are chamfers rather than sharp corners so that should help quite a bit.  Like the idea of the rolled plastic sheet as someone mentioned.  Would decrease the interior capacity for bait a bit but can easily be removed for baits that are less prone to injury.  Nice ideas.  Do the exposed (4) screw heads have any problems with the bait?


Jude

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Pacific

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Very nice! What is your materials cost estimate?


lucky13

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Looks great Tim. I would totally knock that off if I didn't already have one.


beenfishin

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Very clean and well thought out!
                     
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