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West Coast guys, how often do you use your live well?

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West Coast guys, how often do you use your live well?

Old 11-21-2019, 12:11 PM
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Default West Coast guys, how often do you use your live well?

Currently I do about 95% diving every year, but would like to get more into H&L fishing because I'm getting older, have friends that H&L but don't dive and fishing trips are generally shorter and easier on the body than spear fishing. Can also extend my days on the water if I mix in some H&L along with the spearing as I don't have to worry about depths, visibility and cold water temps. My current boat has a live well and I have never used it in the years I have owned the boat, never used the live well on my previous boat and I'm looking at having a new boat built that I can customize the way I want. My current thought is to just leave out a live well completely, but don't want to regret that decision if I get more into fishing and find the need for one. I would be doing would be mainly bottom fishing for grouper and snapper, with hopes of finding a cobia here and there and from my limited experience, dead baits are fine for those species and live is not necessary...am I correct? If I decide I want one occasionally, I think one from Keepalive.com would serve my purposes, but not 100% sure. In the future when I sell the boat, I don't know how big of a factor it will be either.

So, if you live on the West Coast of FL and fish regularly, do you use your live well much? If so, what type of fishing are you doing and what are you targeting? Would a boat without a live well be a deal breaker for you?
Old 11-21-2019, 12:32 PM
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I would absolutely want a live well on any boat for offshore (or inshore) fishing around here. A lack of one would hurt resale value if it's a boat targeted towards offshore fishermen.

Although I haven't gotten into offshore fishing (yet), as I understand it the dead bait works fine a lot of the time but many of the best fish come from live pinfish or other live baits.
Old 11-21-2019, 12:37 PM
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I haven't used mine in about a year, I don't think it matters all that much whether the bait is alive or dead for the stuff over here, it's just easier to get frozen the night before and not work all that hard. Although the grand kids think that it's great that we have an aquarium on the boat. But yes the resale is better

Last edited by Hudson2014; 11-21-2019 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Adding words
Old 11-21-2019, 12:42 PM
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Try heading out offshore to realize your pump is shot. Then you remember how much you miss it. LOL
Old 11-21-2019, 01:18 PM
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It’s worth having. Who knows you could start long fishing too. Also makes a good place for lobster in the keys. You can always have a valve on it and use it as storage.
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Old 11-21-2019, 04:27 PM
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Would help if we knew what type of boat you are getting. Unless you're getting a poling skiff or something boats without live wells are not fishing boats. Edit: No fisherman gonna buy your boat on resale with no live well.
Old 11-21-2019, 05:28 PM
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A boat without a livewell(multiple is best) is like a day without sunshine.
Old 11-21-2019, 06:03 PM
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Are you looking into an Eastward?

I'm a charter guy so we use ours for all kinds of things. Bait, fin storage, lobster storage in keys, scallops, cooler, etc.
Old 11-21-2019, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by steelcityfishanddive View Post
Are you looking into an Eastward?

It's on my list....on my third cat now, so next boat will be a cat as well.
Old 11-21-2019, 06:09 PM
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I'm headed over first thing tomorrow to drop off a couple items for #10. She should be done shortly and will be making it's way over here. I designed a custom station that has a livewell built into the top half and a pull out cooler underneath. The station will also house the water tank, water heater, and tackle storage on the side.

A comm shooter who's on here is a couple spots behind us and is doing tank storage center and skipping the livewell I believe.
Old 11-21-2019, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by DarcizzleOffshore View Post
Would help if we knew what type of boat you are getting. Unless you're getting a poling skiff or something boats without live wells are not fishing boats. Edit: No fisherman gonna buy your boat on resale with no live well.

In my best sarcasm font......thanks for taking the time to actually read my post and giving a relevant answer.
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:17 PM
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I've got both an offshore boat and a flats skiff. Both have livewells and I would not put them in the water without one. Offhore, I want a minimum of 3 dozen live pins, inshore I like to black out the well (not always possible, but at least 100 pieces of whitebait.
Yes, you can catch snapper & grouper on dead bait and even lures, but you cant beat live bait.
Capt Bob Lewis of fishing kite fame once told me to build a livewell, then build a boat around it.
Old 11-21-2019, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Diverboy View Post
In my best sarcasm font......thanks for taking the time to actually read my post and giving a relevant answer.

Her post was relevant. Maybe you didn`t like the answer.

Old 11-21-2019, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by gofastsandman View Post
Her post was relevant. Maybe you didn`t like the answer.

She, just like you, are not from the West Coast and if she had read the post, she would have known I was a diver and there isn't much diving to be done in poling skiff depths. I stated that 95% of my boating use was diving, so no, I'm not having a fishing boat built, I'm having a dive boat built that may be used occasionally for fishing. Was pretty specific in my request for people that live/fish where I do as the majority of the fishing over here is bottom fishing, mentioned I would be bottom fishing as well and questioned if many were using live bait or predominantly dead baits. I specifically excluded East Coast people as I know trolling far outweighs bottom fishing over there and I'm not interested in trolling at all. I have nothing against the East Coast, I used to live over there and love the clarity of the water and the beautiful reefs, but just like fishing, the diving over there is different than it is here and I was trying to find answers relative to my current situation. Not trying to be argumentative, just looking for relative answers to my specific questions.
Old 11-21-2019, 07:20 PM
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Depending on what you're fishing for, and how far you're running out, a simple bait bucket can work.
A few buckets with 5 or 10 pins in them can be drifted, or in the water as you're anchored.
It's a $10 solution until you decide to get more serious.
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Old 11-21-2019, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by steelcityfishanddive View Post
I'm headed over first thing tomorrow to drop off a couple items for #10. She should be done shortly and will be making it's way over here. I designed a custom station that has a livewell built into the top half and a pull out cooler underneath. The station will also house the water tank, water heater, and tackle storage on the side.

A comm shooter who's on here is a couple spots behind us and is doing tank storage center and skipping the livewell I believe.
This what I did on my current boat, if you look closely, you see the bench is sitting over the live well. I had it made so there are just four screws to remove and the bench lifts out on days I wanted to use the live well, but I have not removed it in 5 yrs or so. Thought about on the new boat, deleting the live well and have tank storage built under the dive bench......would be room for two rows of either 5 or 6 tanks per row. Could also possibly build a live well into the corners of the transom, remove the tops and use them for fin storage.


Old 11-21-2019, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Srbenda View Post
Depending on what you're fishing for, and how far you're running out, a simple bait bucket can work.
A few buckets with 5 or 10 pins in them can be drifted, or in the water as you're anchored.
It's a $10 solution until you decide to get more serious.

Thought about that as well, but using a live well from Keepalive.com. One came with my old cat, it was a 30 gallon one that fit perfectly into the transom walk through.....it had a circulator with alligator clamps to hook up to the batteries, which were contained in the boxes on each side of the transom walk through.
Old 11-21-2019, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Diverboy View Post
She, just like you, are not from the West Coast and if she had read the post, she would have known I was a diver and there isn't much diving to be done in poling skiff depths. I stated that 95% of my boating use was diving, so no, I'm not having a fishing boat built, I'm having a dive boat built that may be used occasionally for fishing. Was pretty specific in my request for people that live/fish where I do as the majority of the fishing over here is bottom fishing, mentioned I would be bottom fishing as well and questioned if many were using live bait or predominantly dead baits. I specifically excluded East Coast people as I know trolling far outweighs bottom fishing over there and I'm not interested in trolling at all. I have nothing against the East Coast, I used to live over there and love the clarity of the water and the beautiful reefs, but just like fishing, the diving over there is different than it is here and I was trying to find answers relative to my current situation. Not trying to be argumentative, just looking for relative answers to my specific questions.
I thought you said you may be getting older and wanting to get into more H&L fishing.

My mistake...
Old 11-21-2019, 07:48 PM
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Live by the well. We have an incredibly abundant population of live bait here just waiting to be eaten by all the fish we want to catch, why go burn 10 bucks on a box of freezer burned popsicles?

In case you are trying to weed out opinions that don't align with your desired answer, most of my fishing is offshore bottom fishing here in the Tampa Bay area.

I'm pretty sure my current 30 gallon oval well is going to become at least a 60 on the next boat...
Old 11-21-2019, 07:52 PM
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Yes you need a livewell to successfully bottom fish on the West coast of Fl. There are days when the grouper have lockjaw on dead bait but live pinfish get smashed. Also you will catch lots of squirrel fish which are grouper candy when alive. I cannot image fishing without it.

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