Do fishing kayaks have livewells? Kayak fishing is becoming more popular as a result of its affordability compared to boats and ease of loading and transportation to the lake. While not having a full-size boat allows you to fish in more locations on the lake, you do give up certain pleasures like the capacity for more than one seat and amenities like livewells.
When you purchase a kayak, a livewell does not automatically come with it. If you wanted a real livewell, you would have to install one after purchasing the kayak. There are a variety of methods you may add to your kayak, and if you’re a little handy, it really isn’t that difficult.
Do Fishing Kayaks Have Livewells?
Fishing kayaks are, as the name suggests, made to be used by fishermen as they fish. The live well and its storage possibilities are a very desired, but not necessary, feature that distinguishes an excellent fishing kayak from an ordinary one. You can keep your catch alive and out of the water for a lot longer with a solid livewell than you can with a cooler.
Fishing kayaks come with a variety of storage compartments that may be converted into livewells using portable or built-in methods. Because a fishing kayak doesn’t have many places for storage, you can keep all of your tackle boxes and gear inside so they won’t get wet while you’re out on the water.
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Does My Fishing Kayak Need A Livewell?
A live well may or may not be necessary, depending on what you want to catch. The likelihood of requiring one in your kayak is low if you plan to solely catch and release fish. If there’s any possibility you’ll capture fish for food or to use as bait, it becomes more crucial. Even in this case, compartmentalizing them would be sufficient.
It may become more important if you are planning long trips or absolutely have to take your bait with you and can’t catch it while out there. It also may depend on how frequently someone plans to go out in their boat. I’m fortunate never to have needed this item myself (I don’t stay out for days at a time) but it’s worth having some extra just in case.
It is not necessary to add the cost of installing a live well into your kayak as long as you are merely fishing for fun and releasing the fish back into the water. If you find that this seems like a lot of work, you may want to consider catch coolers instead. Here, we look at a few of the better ones.
How Much Time Can Fish Survive In A Livewell?
You could get 5-7 hours if you have a complete system pumping air into the livewell and a cooler keeping the water cold; if not, you might be able to keep them alive for 3 hours (at a push). Some species are just tougher than others. Unless you are on a massive fishing boat, fish will not last you for days. However, we are going a fishing kayak here!
When I fish from a kayak, I use a small jigging rod with a sabiki setup (6 hooks for small bait or lures) and I drop it over the side while I wait for a big bite. If you have found your spot correctly, there should be bait fish nearby, and you can use them right away from one hook onto the other!
Which Fishing Kayaks Have Livewells?
Despite the fact that it is a good feature, I would advise against making a purchase decision based only on whether or not the kayak includes a live well. One of the few kayaks with built-in living wells is the Malibu Kayak – you may view their selection here. Fish will stay alive longer in the bait tank of the stealth 14 fishing kayak than they would in a cooler.
How Can A Livewell Be Purchased, Installed, And Used On A Fishing Kayak?
The majority of systems operate by continuously pumping water through a tank, with the excess draining overboard or into a scupper. livewells aren’t difficult to use. Typically, they install in the tank well and are found on ships from the US Navy to the Royal Navy.
Buying A Livewell From A Store
How do you install a livewell in your kayak? It might be as simple as plugging it in, or as difficult as finding one that fits your boat’s dimensions. These are only the beginnings; many fishing-savvy kayak stores provide regionally preferred variations comparable to what you’d make at home, but these people are skilled in producing hundreds of them. Spend $150 or more, at least.
DIY Fishing Kayak Livewells
A suitable container, an affordable submersible bilge pump like the Attwood T500, and some hardware are all you need to make your own. Any plastic container will do, however, rectangular containers are better for bass than those with circular sides for bait. Bulk pet food bins, 5-gallon utility buckets, and small coolers are also common containers.
Inflow / Outflow
Pump draggers are the most basic fishing kayak livewells; the pump is practically tossed overboard next to the kayak. Priming is often necessary for these machines, and you may use a used coffee cup or integrated hand pump. A second hose pointing overboard or a number of holes bored at the proper level is all that is required.
The most popular bilge pumps have a capacity of 360 or 500 gallons per hour. That’s excessive for a kayak’s typical 5-gallon tank. The answer is to intentionally underpower the pump by using a 6-volt battery or to connect the pump such that it operates backward. Rechargeable sealed lead-acid batteries are preferred by most people. A single disposable lantern battery will work in an emergency.
When it comes down to it, all you really need is a circuit of electricity. On/off toggles, fuse-protected timer switches, and waterproof battery boxes are mountable for those who choose more attractive equipment. Use marine-grade fixtures only otherwise they won’t survive very long. If there is a lid, bait and bass won’t leap out.
Utilizing Your Livewell
Move carefully and corner-trap one when it’s time to pick one up. Unintentional swimming might result from rotating your head and shoulders over the side. Try not to overcrowd your fin bait for the best results. The trickiest aspect of handling bass is often taking them out of the tank, according to the bass boogie. Don’t construct covered corners into your tank and think about a culling system that clamps onto the mouth of each fish. Damaged, stressed-out bait doesn’t catch fish as effectively as those in excellent condition.
Read more: Is a Sit-On-Top Kayak Better for Fishing?
How To Maintain A Clean Live Well and Storage?
Fish are kept alive in the live well until they are captured. In order to maintain the water’s health and safety for other fish, the tank must be kept clean. This is true for every kayak storage option available. It doesn’t take long for the stench of fish to turn from fishy to downright putrid.
I am lucky that I don’t get seasick, but imagine if you don’t clean your boat well and then find yourself stranded on a lake or in the sea for seven hours with nothing but the scent of rotting fish.
Any angler who has ever fished knows that a variety of things, including dirt, leaves, and even marine life like crabs and urchins may get up in your life well. We are now developing an essay to assist you in maintaining and cleaning a live well – and the various storage choices you have for a fishing kayak.
How Do You Use Livewell?
A live well is a tank of water and fish that fishermen use to keep their catch alive until it can be released back into the wild. In order to prevent their catch from suffocating or dying of lack of oxygen, fishermen utilize live wells. A tank with fish and water inside is called a live well.
There are three main types of livewells – aerated, non-aerated and portable – and each type has its own distinct design and circulation system. Aerated livewells have no circulation system at all and depend on natural currents for oxygenation, while a pump continually pumps air through them.
- Since portable tanks are so lightweight, you can carry one by yourself. They include an integrated filtration system that makes them simple to move from boat to boat.
- Fish survive longer in livewells, which are often employed in fishing. By preserving water temperature and aeration, these devices contribute to extending the life of the catch.
- Livewells are available in a wide range of sizes, from modest receptacles that may house a few fish to huge tanks that can house hundreds or even thousands of fish.
- The most typical kind is an aerated livewell with pumps and heaters that keep the water at a consistent temperature between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit while in transit.
- This enables fishermen to take their fresh catch home rather than discarding it in the lake or ocean where it was taken, possibly infecting nearby birds, seals, otters, turtles, and other marine life.
Let’s check if there are any kayaks available that come with livewells or at least the possibility to install one. These systems to keep both catches and bait alive may start to become pricey very fast.
What is kayak fishing, exactly?
Fishing kayaks combine the speed and agility of a recreational kayak with the stability and comfort of a sit-on-top fishing boat. They feature an adequate inside room to enable you to dry out your gear and store additional gear on deck. They also provide easier access to shallow water where fish may be lurking.
Livewells are not standard in fishing kayaks. There are methods for temporarily preserving bait, but to have a completely functional livewell, kayaks must be adapted or transportable alternatives must be investigated. Malibu Kayaks is one of the few companies that incorporate a live well into some of their kayak models.
Can You Create Your Own Livewell?
The only way you may possess a true livewell is to construct one yourself, so do not be alarmed! We have the ideal video that explains some basic terms and demonstrates how to integrate a livewell with an electric engine and freshwater plumbing. You will need to alter your kayak in order to accomplish this, but this video essentially shows you how to pipe your own livewell in.
How Long Does Bait Or Fish Last?
In a typical livewell, fish may survive for around 8 hours on average. Depending on the kind of livewell you add to your kayak, you may have fish remain fresh and alive for 4 to 6 hours. Your fish or bait may only survive for three to four hours if you choose the cooler option and do not force freshwater in.
The more fish or bait you wish to keep in your livewell, you will need a larger livewell since it is wise to avoid overcrowding it. Because you are in a kayak rather than a full-sized boat, your space is constrained. Fish cannot exist without freshwater, thus they have very little chance of living longer without it.
Is Livewell Really Necessary?
Whether you need a livewell in your kayak to keep fish alive or if you are catching them for food or competition will depend on the type of fish you are angling for. A livewell generally won’t be necessary if you’re fishing catch and release.
You should probably have something in your boat to keep the fish alive if you want to use live bait. Even if you’re not fishing for fish, you could just put your catch in the kayak compartment, but your kayak will rapidly begin to smell, and you’ll probably need to wash it out after each trip.
Does It Increase My Kayak’s Resale Value?
It’s possible that you may recoup some of the cost of the parts, but the worth of livewell’s parts won’t significantly rise. The main reason for including a kayak with a livewell is the user’s personal desire. This is because kayaks are not costly, to begin with, and if you are a little handy, installing a livewell with plumbing and a pump is not that expensive.
Going a livewell won’t make a significant profit if all you want to do is resale it. This is true even if you can find someone who needs one badly but are unable to build it yourself. While some fishermen may use live bait or retain the fish they capture, there are others who prefer to catch and release.
Can I Simply Use A Livewell?
You could choose to install a livewell or find a decent cooler that will fit in one of your compartment locations if you lack the knowledge to install such a thing yourself. The first thing you should do if you are going to be a professional angler is to find a cooler that can be quickly removed and cleaned after your fishing excursion.
The second is that you must add fresh water while fishing in order to ensure that your catch receives the oxygen it needs to live. There are various pre-built livewells available for purchase, and one extremely good one with rod holders can be found HERE.
Is Livewell Safe To Put One In My Kayak?
The safest option to install a livewell is to just add a cooler to one of your compartments since you won’t be making any structural alterations. It is quite safe for your kayak to install a fully functional livewell or even just a cooler that fits.
Check all fittings for leaks before entering the water – you don’t want to launch your kayak into the lake only to find that your seal is poor and it’s leaking. Make careful to completely seal each hole you drill if you’re plumbing pipework to circulate water. If you’re taking a kayak out into deeper water where you won’t be able to get out and drag it to land, try it out in shallow water for leaks.
Does Having One make My Kayak Flip Over?
The most crucial aspect of installing a livewell to your kayak is location, as you will find. Although the majority of fishing kayaks have a more flat bottom that prevents you from tipping over easily, adding a few gallons of water together with the cooler and pump weight might upset the balance of your boat and cause it to tip over.
If your kayak flips when you jerk it will lean to one side or the other, and this can make paddling a little more taxing on you. You should find the middle of your boat and place the livewell there to get around this. If you install it correctly, there shouldn’t be any problems with flipping when you jostle to set the hook. Although adding liters of water can make your boat heavier, this isn’t a big deal.
A kayak is a great way to keep your fish and bait alive while out fishing. It won’t take you more than a day to install a fully pumped livewell if you follow the instructions in the video. The most crucial thing to remember is to always test all seals from holes you drill in your kayak.
To ensure that you can get your kayak to safety in case of a leak before it goes to the bottom, always take it out for a test run in 2 to 4 feet of water first. Although adding a livewell to your kayak can increase the amount you get when you sell it, unless you are able to find the proper buyer, you are not going to see a significant return on your investment.
Ready for an adventure like no other? The sit on top fishing kayak is equipped to handle diverse fishing environments, from serene lakes to tumultuous ocean waters. No matter where your angling ambitions take you, this kayak is your trusty companion, your ultimate aquatic ally.