Making a Livewell for my truck?

Old 03-26-2002, 12:27 PM
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Location: Cape Cod, MA.
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Default Making a Livewell for my truck?

OK, I got more questions for you experienced guys here.
I know I need to fish with Herring for stripers in the spring (advice from all of you here). I also know April 20th the season opens at the Cape Cod Canal.

I need ideas and suggestions on putting together a live well to transport them. My truck has a 12v outlet in the back to make things simple.

The two plans I have come up with are...

1) is either buy a cheap 12v tire pump from Wal-Mart and maybe get an air stone from an aquarium store

2) or spend more on a 12v DC to AC converter and get a cheap air pump designed for a fish tank. I have some good sized Rubbermaid storage containers I can fill up with a couple 5 gallon buckets to keep the herring in until I get the boat in the water, then I have a live well on board I can transfer them too.

What have you all done to get the Herring to your boat, or shoreline alive? 15 Herring in a 5 gallon bucket I would think would not last too long before suffocating.

Will either of those plans work?

Thanks again
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Old 03-26-2002, 01:18 PM
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Default Making a Livewell for my truck?

Don't mess with an inverter. You can buy from Bass Pro or Wal_mart the air pump or the water pump for your pupose all pre rigged. You may just ahve to take the alligator clips off and splice for use with a 12V cig outlet. Should work real well. Let me know
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Old 03-26-2002, 07:53 PM
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Default Making a Livewell for my truck?

What have you got built so far????
The best set up I have used and still use
is a blue plastic barrel with a bilge pump a hose with holes and a deep cycle battery.
You can either build it so the barrel lies flat or stands up.If you need more help let me know.
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Old 03-26-2002, 08:38 PM
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Default Making a Livewell for my truck?

It depends how long you want to keep them in your truck????
What I have to transport them to my boat is a 50 gal. blue plastic barrel with a hinged cover which I cutdown to about half so it would not tip over and also so it would fit under my tonneau cover.
All I have is a bilge pump with a hose on it and the hose pumps water above the water level so it creats oxygen.
Wal-Mart sells a little pump with a filter on it which you will need to keep the scales out of the too.
I have kept 30 or so herring in there for a couple of hours but if you are planning on keeping them in there for any amount of time I wouldn't keep but a dozen or so herring in the bucket.
What I had to do to keep the pump stationary was to glue down a little wooden board with 5200 or something like it and then I screwed the pump holder to it....that way I could un-snap the pump out it's holder and clean the filter.
I run the pump from a 12 volt hookup which comes from my trailer wiring harness.
Remember the more herring you put in the bucket, the more oxygen you will need.....don't crowd them and you will be fine......been there done that. Take the dead ones and freeze them for chunking.
Good luck with your project and oh I forgot to mention the whole bucket (free), pump and hose, stainless piano hinge for the top only cost me about $20.00.

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Old 03-27-2002, 07:44 AM
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Default Making a Livewell for my truck?

I have also used the bilge pump and hose for carting around hgerring. One thing I would look into is getting one of the pumps with a tap for a secondary air line. The air line is vented to atmosphere and the flow of water sucks in air and super aerates (SP?) your water. this means you get extra O2 to the fishies. I habve never used one but will on my next mobile live well.

good luck
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Old 03-27-2002, 09:31 AM
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Default Making a Livewell for my truck?

Look for the KeepAlive Aerator,hands the best and will keep fish alive longer than any other option other than a circulating livewell. The secret is in the tiny bubble size which massively increases the surface area and thus increases the dissolved O2 in the water.Go to Captain Stanmans website ( and go to the library section and click on aeration for an excellent article on livewells and aeration.Hope this helps.DOC ED
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Old 03-27-2002, 08:19 PM
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Default Making a Livewell for my truck?

Go here for what sams and doc ed is talking about:

I don't have one yet but will have before this season starts.
Friend on my dock has one and I saw it in action last year and forgot about it until you guys mentioned it.....Thanks

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Old 05-08-2002, 02:32 AM
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Default Making a Livewell for my truck?

I have seen 20 herring kept alive for hours in a 5 galon pail. All you need is ice. Low tempature = higher oxygen holding capacity. Having an extra bucket so you can pour water into the top to add more O2 is a good idea too. You could also shake the bucket vigerously... Ok the water I fish is only about 36F so it is not much shock for them to go from the ice water to the bait tank. It may not work for you southerners (lucky bastards)
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Old 05-14-2002, 02:32 PM
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Default Making a Livewell for my truck?

Hey Guys-

I am selling a Keep Alive 30 gallon bait tank with the 1100 GPH pump to hold approx 30 lbs of bait.

The reason I am selling it is because I need a tank with more volume to transport 100-150 baits over 60 miles of travel. These kits work great for 35 baits or so, but for higher capacity, you have to go to a DC pump with airstone. The tank is in good shape and used only 4 times. The normal price is 180.00 with the upgraded pump. I will sell it for 125 or best offer.

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Old 05-19-2002, 08:36 PM
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Default Making a Livewell for my truck?

what I have used in the past is half of a white 55 gallon drum by taking the top half with the plugs placed on the bottom you can fassion a drain plug in one of the caps.
place the bottom portion upsidedown and beat it into the uther half leaving about a 4" lip.cut a hole in that half large enough to get your dipnet in without any trouble.
for a pump i use a small rule bilge pump 750/900 gpm will work fine. place a/c filter material around it to keep out the sczles and any other debris. Attach it to the bottom of the livewell with suction cups.
this next step is very important.
Using a piece of aquarium tubing and a brass hose barb.drill a hole in the outlet from the pump just large enough to plsce the hose barb into.Cut the hose bard on a 45 degree and epoxy it into the uotlet with the opening downstream.As far as electrical goes I use an old extension cord with alligator clips and attach them to the battery in my truck. I have kept green backs and finger mullet alive overnight with no problem.One thting you might want tokeep in mind is to change the water a few times after you catch your bait as they may ammoniate it at first.
another hint use a black magick marker and draw lines around the drum it seems to keep them swimming in the same direction.

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Old 05-24-2002, 03:50 PM
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Default Making a Livewell for my truck?

We rig a diffuser hose(walmart fishing dept.) to an medical oxygen bottle in a big blue tub with a 500gph rule recirculating the water. You can choke the well, but don't run too much oxygen or the bait will get high and die... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img]
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Old 05-26-2002, 08:46 PM
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Default Making a Livewell for my truck?

500 gallon bilge pump hooked upto a 1/2" pvc with holes drilled in it to sray water. Attach this to a cooler of the appropriate size. You can keep a lot of bait alive for a long time before you need fresh water.
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