What is a livewell on a boat?
A livewell is an essential component of any boat designed to store and keep fish alive while transported. If you are a boat owner, chances are you’ve heard the term “livewell” before. But what exactly is it? What does it do? And why might you need one? Let’s take a look at the basics of a livewell.
What Is a livewell?
A livewell is a tank on your boat that holds water to keep fish alive during transportation. It is typically large enough to hold several fish depending on its size and can be made from fibreglass or other materials in either round or rectangular shapes.
The tank should be insulated so that the water temperature remains consistent while out on the water; otherwise, the fish could die from extreme temperatures. A livewell can be filled with either salt or fresh water, depending on the type of fish you’re transporting.
The purpose of the livewell is to keep your catch alive and in good condition until you reach land again. It acts as a holding tank for your catch, giving them oxygenated water and providing enough space, so they don’t injure each other. Some livewells also include pumps that circulate and aerate the water inside to help keep your fish healthy and energetic during transport.
Types of livewells
Livewells can come in different shapes, types and sizes. Ideally, it would be best to consider whether your livewell needs to be adequately insulated to ensure an optimal temperature is maintained.
Bait tanks are small containers that hold live bait, such as minnows or shiners, used to attract larger gamefish such as bass or walleye. The bait can then be transferred directly into the main live well so it can be transported back home without worrying about killing it in transit. These tanks usually have some aeration system built in as well.
Circulation tanks are typically used on larger boats with more space for a more extensive livewell setup. This type of tank has multiple compartments with separate aeration systems that allow water to flow between chambers while maintaining oxygen levels throughout each case. This helps keep all fish healthy during transport by providing them more room to swim around and additional oxygenated water if needed.
In-boat tanks are similar to circulation tanks, but they don’t necessarily require multiple compartments or separate aerators since they rely on constant circulation within the entire tank itself. They often feature large filters that help keep the tank clean and debris-free while providing adequate oxygen levels for the fish inside.
Round livewells are ideal for smaller boats, as they are typically circular and considerably smaller than other types.
When considering a livewell for a larger boat, rectangular livewells are the perfect choice due to their long and narrow design, which provides ample space for larger fish.
Why do I need one for fishing?
If you enjoy fishing, having a well-functioning livewell could make all the difference between bringing home dinner or returning empty-handed. Without one, you could only keep your catch alive for short periods between trips back to shore. With a proper livewell, however, you can travel longer distances with more confidence that your catch will remain alive throughout the journey.
The benefits of having a livewell
Livewells are an important part of any boat for recreational and commercial use. With a livewell, anglers can store their catch until they reach their destination without worrying about the fish dying due to stress or heat exposure. This ensures that the quality of their catch remains high throughout their journey. Commercial fishermen also benefit from having livewells since they can store large amounts of fish in one place without worrying about transporting them in separate containers. Additionally, because livewells are generally insulated, they can also be used to store food and drinks while out on the water—making them an all-in-one solution for keeping items cool and fresh during long trips.
How to use your livewell
When using your livewell, there are specific steps that you should follow to ensure that your catch stays healthy and alive throughout your journey. First and foremost, ensure that you fill the tank with clean, fresh water before adding your catch—this will help reduce stress levels among the fish due to sudden changes in temperature or pH. Additionally, add an aerator if possible; this will help oxygenate the water, which is crucial for keeping fish alive inside closed tanks over long periods. Lastly, ensure that you don’t overcrowd your tank—this will increase competition among your catch, which can lead to fatalities due to stress or lack of oxygen.
Important features of boat livewells
A livewell must have a pump system to keep the water circulating and oxygenated. Aerators are the more affordable option, though they are less efficient than recirculating pumps which provide stronger water flow and optimal oxygenation. An oxygen system should also be implemented to maintain adequate levels in the water and ensure the health of any fish contained within it. A drain plug is needed for easy draining and cleaning the livewell, while an overflow system helps prevent water from spilling over the edges.
How do I install one on my boat?
Installing a livewell on your boat can be relatively simple, depending on the model and size of your chosen unit. Most boats come pre-equipped with built-in storage space where you can easily mount the unit using bolts and screws provided by the manufacturer. You also must ensure adequate drainage holes for excess water to escape for your new installation to be effective. Additionally, many boats may require additional wiring or plumbing work for their new components to function correctly once installed. If this is something outside of your comfort zone or skill set, then it’s recommended that you seek professional assistance before attempting any DIY install work yourself!
Maintenance and care of a livewell
Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential for keeping the livewell in a healthy condition and ensuring the well-being of the fish. After each use, it is recommended to clean the livewell using mild soap and water. It is essential to monitor oxygen levels in the water, check that the livewell pump is functioning correctly and free from clogs, and maintain the drain plug to prevent unexpected problems. Neglecting regular maintenance can not only lead to the death of fish but also cause contamination, making it difficult to utilise the livewell for future use.
As you can see, having a livewell on board is essential for an angler who wants to keep their catch safe and healthy during transportation. These tanks provide protection against extreme temperatures and offer plenty of benefits in keeping the water oxygenated for large catches. They are also perfect as a spare cooler box when not in use!
If you are an avid angler, having a good quality livewell is essential if you want your catch to stay alive until you return home safely and quickly. Several types of live wells are available, each with unique features designed specifically for different applications depending on your needs and budget constraints.
With careful research and consideration, you should have no problem finding a suitable live well setup for your boat! If you are brave enough, installing one may require extra wiring or plumbing work. Still, it’s worth investing in if fishing is important to you—it could mean the difference between returning with dinner or returning empty-handed!