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Small boat, portable live well setup

Trying to figure out the best option for a live well on my boat... I have a 17 Whaler GLS... Thinking of putting up to about a 30 gallon portable round in the back, but wanted to see if anyone has an opinion on the best setup or a similar boat...pics, etc that may help.

I use the boat for freediving on 2nd reef line in south florida mostly..but summer will be here before we know it, and I'll have some opportunities to run offshore. I fish anything every chance I get... Would love to be able to live bait on reef and offshore, fish the inlets and beaches for snook/tarpon...live bait wrecks for some yellowtail, grouper, mutton...and chum live bait spearing in blue water.

Am I better off with keeping it simple and just doing an aerator in say a 30 gallon round? Is 30 too big? Should I have a pump system setup? Is that all worth it?

Also any resources on where to buy a setup and how you made yours are helpful!

Thanks!

Replies

  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,101 Moderator
    30 gallons is 250 pounds. DOn't know your boat, but a 17' is not a lot of boat to add 250# in the stern. For pinfish, a bubbler will be fine, but you will need to change the water every hour or so, depending upon temp. Pilchards need a lot of raw water, meaning a pick-up and pump as well as a drain.
  • aquaholikaquaholik Posts: 332 Deckhand
    10-15 gallon keepalive system should be plenty.
  • Split ShotSplit Shot Posts: 6,190 Admiral
    This is the best portable system I've ever used and have the small one on a 15' whaler. Hold by far the most baits for it's size! Forget the bubbler crap unless it's in addition to your circulating pump.

    Aquaworld ultra tanks.
  • FWCSnookFWCSnook Posts: 886 Officer
    A smaller tank with great flow will keep bait better than a larger tank with poor circulation. You can also get a bigger tank with an adjustable drain system to keep the volume where it needs to be. Extra weight and sloshing water suck in a smaller boat.
  • BobberBobber Posts: 943 Officer
    I have a 1984 17' Whaler Supersport, same boat as yours but with a mahogany interior. The first livewell I used was a Rubbermaid 20 gallon Brute trash can with locking lid, added an acyrlic hatch. Plumbed it with a Rule 500gph bilge pump screwed to the transom, 3/4" input hose, 1.5" discharge hose over the motor well. It worked great for 3-4 dz whitebaits/finger mullet or a dozen googs with 2 dz whitebaits. Centered it over the bilge sump, had no issues with weight. But it did look like a trashcan. Then I plcked up a Kodiak PF-14 baitwell and added a transom scoop/Rule 700gph pump. The baffled water intake is gentler for the bait and the 16" diameter footprint leaves more room at the stern. Only weighs 125lbs full, so weight is no issue yet it still holds 4 dz baits all day in good health.
  • John MannJohn Mann Posts: 9 Greenhorn
    Bobber has the right idea......
    also amsmall aquarium filter filled with purigen or chemi pure or zeolite will negate ALOT of
    organic waste especially ammonia dramatically extend ing the life span of greenies or scaled sardines.
    In addition to water changes. I use zeolite but just because I have it for my aquarium s.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 21,171 AG
    Make sure whatever you get is round or oblong...anything with a corner will have bait beating against it giving them "red nose"....which is not something predators find appealing.
    A supply of fresh incoming water is important on fragile baits like greenies.
    Keeping bait overnight becomes far more problematic in summer....keeping water cool and airated is key.
    Do not over airate...too much current wears baits out.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • MelbourneMarkMelbourneMark Posts: 2,221 Captain
    http://www.boatdepot.com/p-3880/aquaworld-e-z-release-mounting-bracket-pump-ez-500?gclid=CKGVr4fD8MMCFVc6gQod510A0Q

    Mount this pump on transom, and it is removable. Or , just take the hose off when not using the baitwell. If you get baitwell taller than your gunnels, then you can just drape the overflow hose over the side.
  • Split ShotSplit Shot Posts: 6,190 Admiral
    The beauty of the Aqua tanks is that they drain from the bottom thru a baffle system eliminating the scales and impurities. AND the pump show above works as a pick up and doesn't need to run when up on plane. I've kept over 100 LY's in a days trip. I installed a 3 way timer switch to use when I only have shrimp or fewer baits. The tank also works great as a seat.
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,497 Officer
    I have a small 18 ft power cat and installed a 22 gal oval kodiak tank in front of my console that serves as a seat as well. I also added a second drain to it, so i can run with it half full for reduced weight. I use a transom pickup pump and ran the intake hose up between the hull and interliner. My drain hose is three times the diameter of the intake hose to keep with the inflow. I also have a round portable custom 12 gal live well with an custom aerator system to keep live shrimp or pinfish separate from more delicate types of live bait kept in the larger tank. The 12 gal portable live well is positioned back near the transom where i have installed two "Hot" studs, where i alligator clip the aerator pump for 12 V power. For a "Closed aerator system" buy some "Shad Keeper" & "Shrimp Keeper" to neutralize the waste products of these hardy live baits, and you will not have to change the water out for several hours. Shad Keeper will let you keep at least 18 medium size pilchards alive in a small 5 gal closed aerator system up to four hours. The boat came with a small built in live well in the corner of the transom, but it was poorly designed, since the intake pump that was attached to a through hull fitting, lost its primewhen the boat was on plane, so i removed it. capped off the thru hull, and use the space for storage.
    Giimoozaabi
  • haydenfox!#$haydenfox!#$ Posts: 2,406 Captain
    Bobber wrote: »
    I have a 1984 17' Whaler Supersport, same boat as yours but with a mahogany interior. The first livewell I used was a Rubbermaid 20 gallon Brute trash can with locking lid, added an acyrlic hatch. Plumbed it with a Rule 500gph bilge pump screwed to the transom, 3/4" input hose, 1.5" discharge hose over the motor well. It worked great for 3-4 dz whitebaits/finger mullet or a dozen googs with 2 dz whitebaits. Centered it over the bilge sump, had no issues with weight. But it did look like a trashcan. Then I plcked up a Kodiak PF-14 baitwell and added a transom scoop/Rule 700gph pump. The baffled water intake is gentler for the bait and the 16" diameter footprint leaves more room at the stern. Only weighs 125lbs full, so weight is no issue yet it still holds 4 dz baits all day in good health.

    That's a 14 gallon tank? That's a lot of bait in a tight space. Gonna' have to look into that...
  • BobberBobber Posts: 943 Officer
    14 gallons exactly, tall at 23" with a baffled input which gently pushes water in from the bottom of the tank to the top. This means the bait doesn't have to fight a strong current and will spread out vertically. It keeps bait in better shape than the 20 gallon Brute did.
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