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  1. #1
    Seaman
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    Default Using a live well

    I have never had a boat that had, nor have I even been on a boat that had a live well. I don't know anyone who does, so tell me please how to use one. Do you run it all the time there is fish in there or just periodically to give them a little fresh "air" now and again or what? Then again, maybe it is just supposed to be for live bait????
    What's the proper way to use this?

    p.s. stay tuned; the boat has a trolling motor and I have never used one of those either...ha ha
    Last edited by cpowell; July 3rd, 2007 at 09:35 PM. Reason: addition of thought

  2. #2
    Fleet Admiral jtexas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    They need fresh water every once in a while, and the old water taken out - run the fill pump a while. When the weather warms up, and/or the livewell gets crowded, the water needs refreshing more often. Hate it when fish die in the livewell - I won't clean a fish that died from any cause other than filletitization - unless they were on ice first - they just don't taste right.
    It's all about the tools.

    "If the ocean is glass flat and the sun is shining, you open up the special memory compartment of your brain and start recording the smells, sounds, sights and feelings." -- Philster

    "Poets talk about 'spots of time,' but it is really fishermen who experience eternity compressed into a moment. No one can tell what a spot of time is until suddenly the whole world is a fish and the fish is gone. I shall remember that son of a b**** forever." -- N. Maclean

  3. #3
    Commander
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    I keep a couple of one liter frozen bottles of ice with me in my cooler. If I'm out for a while and it's hot I place one of the bottles in the live well to keep the temp down and replace it with the other one after an hour or two. It helps the fish live longer with less oxygen and I think keeps the meat fresher for eating.
    1996 Crestliner 2160 Phantom, 1996 Evinrude 130 HP

  4. #4
    Chief Petty Officer all thumbs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    When fishing in cold water I have an automatic position on my livewell that I leave on, unless motoring to another area. In warm weather I do like cpowell and add frozen bottles. Most often I just bring a cooler of ice for the fish.

  5. #5
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus SpinnerBait_Nut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    I just turn my timer/s on and not worry about it.


    "JUST KEEP ON, KEEPING ON"
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

  6. #6
    Seaman
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    Thanks to all who replied. The well seems to work really well and so far I have remembered to get the fish out at the end of each day....ha ha
    I worry about running the battery down and having to try to hand crank the motor so I think I will just give them a fresh drink now and again. Particularly when putting a new fish in.
    It's been raining here near Houston for a couple of weeks but in between showers the fishing has been great for us!!!

  7. #7
    Fleet Admiral jtexas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    with any luck, we'll start releasing some water down your way, so maybe we can get our boats in the water..........
    It's all about the tools.

    "If the ocean is glass flat and the sun is shining, you open up the special memory compartment of your brain and start recording the smells, sounds, sights and feelings." -- Philster

    "Poets talk about 'spots of time,' but it is really fishermen who experience eternity compressed into a moment. No one can tell what a spot of time is until suddenly the whole world is a fish and the fish is gone. I shall remember that son of a b**** forever." -- N. Maclean

  8. #8
    Seaman
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    Um, thanks but I think we have all we need right now. Wait till about August or September. That's when we will really need it.
    Last week in Houston we got 6 inches of rain in a little over an hour, so they said.
    It has been raining for the last three weeks almost daily. It's really been a bummer. I am sure that all this fresh water has also messed up the saltwater bay fishing too. I'm going to try that later this summer though.

  9. #9
    Petty Officer 1st Class licketdsplit756's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    front live well is filled with ice for the beer fish and tha back livewell is filled with ice for the beer batter for the fish lol YA MIGHT BE A READ NECK IF YA THINK THOSE LIVEWELLS WERE ACTUALLY MADE FOR FISH. drink responsibly.

  10. #10
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Cool Re: Using a live well

    LOL!!! That was halarious Licket!!!
    ***FISH ON***

  11. #11
    Commander
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    That's much better usage than just lousy fish.
    1996 Crestliner 2160 Phantom, 1996 Evinrude 130 HP

  12. #12
    Seaman
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    I should have thought of that! Yes, much better usage of the space!
    Thanks for the laugh!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    When we fish in Ontario we found the fish stayed alive on the stringer longer than they did in the livewell. Kind of a bummer putting them in and out every time we moved though. Minnows stayed alive real good in the well though. As for the beer in the well, they don't let us do that in Iowa anymore. No beer in the boat period. Some irisponsible drinkers messed it up for all of us. I guess you could troll a sixpack on a downrigger? ........Fish on................Jerry

  14. #14
    Seaman
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    Interesting...because when I take fish off the line they seem strong and lively. Shortly afterward the go belly up though. Not all but a lot. I may try using the stringer myself to see if there is a difference.

  15. #15
    Lieutenant Junior Grade Scoop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    I like a floating fish basket for anything 16" and under. It keeps them fresh and swimming. I have had problems with snapping turtles getting after my stringer.

    I have had good luck with livewells, but have not really used any in hot weather. I would assume in hot weather, you may pull in warmer water with less oxygen. The ice bottles sound like a good idea.

    I have taken fish out of my basket at the dock that I don't have time to fillet and have put them in a bucket and poured a bag of ice over them. Not ideal, but when you have people waiting on you and the water is too hot or shallow for the fish basket by the dock, it works

  16. #16
    Fleet Admiral jtexas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    I always ice my fish down for the ride home - I find they're more agreeable to filleting when cold - less likely to put up a fuss, and besides which, it seems a more comfortable death.

    Had one livewell fatality on Saturday - my fault, never shoulda put it in there as it was bleeding from the gills at the time.
    It's all about the tools.

    "If the ocean is glass flat and the sun is shining, you open up the special memory compartment of your brain and start recording the smells, sounds, sights and feelings." -- Philster

    "Poets talk about 'spots of time,' but it is really fishermen who experience eternity compressed into a moment. No one can tell what a spot of time is until suddenly the whole world is a fish and the fish is gone. I shall remember that son of a b**** forever." -- N. Maclean

  17. #17
    Chief Petty Officer
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    Depending on the functions, you may or may not have all of these functions on your livewell.
    1. Function where pump fills livewell up to an overflow outlet:
    Water will continually circulate from the lake-into the livewell-back into the lake. (constant steady supply of fresh water).
    This is good most any time if water temp is below 80 degrees.
    2. Livewell pump Timer: Lets the pump do it's thing all the time, or just a certain intervals.
    Intervals wide in cold water. More frequent as the water gets warmer. ON ALL THE TIME above 80 degrees.
    3. Recirculate:
    Once the livewell is full of water, this allows you to just re-circulate the water that is in it (no fresh lake water).
    This is good in the summer/hot weather/hot water.
    When you get to the lake in the morning, fill the livewell and close the valves so that no new water can get in. This will be the coolest water of the day. When you put a fish in there, turn it on recirculate, constant on. You can add a frozen bottle of water mid morning and then another early afternoon. That cooler water will not escape and hot water will not replace it on Recirculate.

    NOW...I'm not a Rejuvinade salesman, nor do they sponsor me....but...THE STUFF WORKS. But, it's expensive and I'd say only a summertime livewell additive.

  18. #18
    Seaman
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    Hmm, heat could be the problem, the water here is hot now that summer is in full force and the rain has stopped. Water temp is about 80+ I guess that I need frozen water bottles and to keep the pump on all the time. I have never heard of Rejuvenade but I will look for some at Academy or Gander Mountain.
    Thanks for the tips guys!

  19. #19
    Captain heycods's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    I would say the ice was manditory in the houston area, Just freze Pop bottles of tap water and toss in one an hr. or so. But leave the lids on them to keep from getting the chlorine in the livewell. I put bubble arieators in my livewells and that also seemed to help. I use rear livewell for fish and front for bait. (I have an ice chest built into the deck on my Ark) If I catch enough fish the rear becomes crowded, I add the smaller fish to the front. As for the fresh water pump, like spinner says just turn it on automatic. As the fish get crowded set the timer to run more often. If your boat isnt equiped with a livewell timer, they cost around $30 at academy And are simple to install, they come with instructions.

  20. #20
    Seaman
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    We went out the other day and caught a couple of small catfish. I turned on the livewell pump and ran it the rest of the time we were out. In an hour or so the fish were belly up but still moving their gills. In another hour they were still. I felt of the water and it was cool to the touch and "fresh" lake water was coming in through the pump and was circulating out through the overflow. I went ahead and gutted and cleaned them so it wouldn't be a waste. Next time I will try the ice water bottles.
    We're getting TS Erin rain today and the wind is up so it will have to wait till tomorrow.

  21. #21
    Commander FLATHEAD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    One thing to think about for you guys trying to keep fish alive so they are fresh to eat is the bait you are using. If you are using live bait chances are you are hooking the fish deep/in the gut. If you must use live bait try a circle hook. They tend to help the fish get hooked in the jaw. If the fish is bleeding (like someone stated) of course the fish is going to die, same as a fish that has half his gut ripped to retrieve a hook. No amount of cool water or recirculated water will help. Also if you mess with the gills while handling a fish is always bad if you want to keep it alive.

    If I wanted to keep fish to eat I would fillet them immediately when caught and put them on ice.

    I see so many folks catch fish , keep them, bring them in and show them off and then they simply get trashed because in the mean time they got a little on the ripe side. What a waste. Strictly Catch and release guy here, but have no problems with those looking for a good fish fry, but you have to use common sense when handling the fish.

  22. #22
    Captain heycods's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    Quote Originally Posted by imported_FLATHEAD View Post
    One thing to think about for you guys trying to keep fish alive so they are fresh to eat is the bait you are using. If you are using live bait chances are you are hooking the fish deep/in the gut. If you must use live bait try a circle hook. They tend to help the fish get hooked in the jaw. If the fish is bleeding (like someone stated) of course the fish is going to die, same as a fish that has half his gut ripped to retrieve a hook. No amount of cool water or recirculated water will help. Also if you mess with the gills while handling a fish is always bad if you want to keep it alive.

    If I wanted to keep fish to eat I would fillet them immediately when caught and put them on ice.

    I see so many folks catch fish , keep them, bring them in and show them off and then they simply get trashed because in the mean time they got a little on the ripe side. What a waste. Strictly Catch and release guy here, but have no problems with those looking for a good fish fry, but you have to use common sense when handling the fish.

    Illegal here in Tx. to clean your fish while you are on the lake. Dont clean them till you are on the bank!

  23. #23
    Cadet
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    Default Re: Using a live well

    I fish in a couple of Catfishing Tourneys around here and I have a large 196qt walmart cooler we got on sale a couple of years ago 28 bucks a 500gph bilge pump also walmart 15 bucks a spray nozzle from the same area as the bilge pump a couple pvc fitting aTee and 2 cut off valves plus a couple of threaded hose barbs and some 5/8 hose. I took out the drain plug and the bilge pump slides right in I put a screen on the end then I drilled a 3/4 hole at the top just right of the handle slide a piece of pvc pipe thru and glue a threaded coupling on both sides use a little foam to seal the pipe in place mount the sprayhead on the inside and a elbow on the outside with a threaded hose barb on the outside I use hose to connect the pump to the Tee on the top of the tee I mount a simple pvc valve and on the tee middle another pvc valve sounds like a lot but it really isn't with this setup I hook it to a spare Batt with alligator clamps and it will run for 8 to 10 hrs with no problem after you fill the cooler with water [I have a pump but I have also used a 5 gal bucket] hook the pump to the batt it will cycle water up to the spray head and create a current and put oxygen in to the water after a couple of hours disconnect the pump close the top valve and open the side valve turn the pump on shoot the water over the side switch the valves back and refill the cooler start it back up I have keep 5 large cats alive in this setup for hours took them in for the weigh in and released them as frisky as when I caught them and this whole setup can be built for around 50 dollars not counting the Batt and when you dont need a livewell can still be used as a cooler

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