RECIRCULATING LIVE BAIT COOLER PROJECT

Got a fishing boat you've worked on or are still working on... Bought a new fishing boat and want to share your pride and joy with others? (or just brag!)

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Bob Fisher
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RECIRCULATING LIVE BAIT COOLER PROJECT

Post by Bob Fisher » Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:20 pm

FISHING BOAT PROJECTS
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Recirculating Live-Bait Cooler

A simple, cost-effective, do-it-yourself, portable, live bait tank alternative for your fishing boat!

I needed a short term, portable solution for a live bait tank for my new project fishing boat. And yes, I am aware that most fishing boats these days come with built in tanks. With that in mind, this article is therefore for the fisherman who has the older style fishing boat that is LACKING a BUILT-IN, LIVE-BAIT-TANK!

I'm not prepared to drill holes in the hull on the project boat...yet. Then build a tank, fit the pumps, run the plumbing and wiring etc etc etc... until:

a) I know exactly how it's going to be done
b) I have the time to do it properly
c) I decide to keep the boat

So I came up with a short term solution. All of the parts were readily available in my garage. I must have too many parts...

Cooler

I had a number of coolers (eskys) available to use so I just picked one that I use the least (actually not at all).

12 Volt Bait Pump

I have a number of bilge pumps and bait pumps laying around. I tested it with a 350 gph pump first but I wasn't happy with the resulting flow so I opted for the bigger 500gph unit. To avoid putting extra/unecessary holes in the cooler I simply drilled out the existing drain hole with a hole saw.

Flexible Hose

I ran a piece of flexible bilge hose from the bait pump up to the lid. I drilled another hole, with the holesaw, in the back edge of the lid. I could find nothing to connect the flexible hose to the PVC T-Piece so I kept scrounging until I found a plastic irrigation riser that was threaded on both ends. The diameter of the riser was such that it could be screwed into the bilge hose resulting in a snug fit. I pushed the riser through the lid and screwed it into the PVC T-Piece which had one section threaded (female) that matched the (male) thread on the riser.

Strainer

The bait pump came connected to a long, plastic, threaded pipe with a locking nut on the end. This unit was designed to go through the hull or the walls of a bait tank. I pushed the pipe through the hole that I had drilled in the side of the cooler and cut the end off the pipe so that it was just long enough to screw the strainer onto. The locking nut wasn't required and was discarded.

PVC Pipe and Fittings

I measured and cut two small pieces of PVC pipe. I drilled a series of holes in each piece and then pushed them into the T-Piece. Then I simply pushed on the end caps!

Hose Clamp and Cable Ties

I secured the bilge hose to the bait pump with a hose clamp and then strapped the positive and negative wiring to the pump with a couple of cable ties.

Join the Forum!

If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, simply join the forum and ask or contribute!!!
Attachments
Live-Bait-Cooler-03.jpg
Photo 3: Spray heads attached to the inside of the lid - Outlet from the pump
Recirculating Live Bait Cooler Project
Bob Fisher, SportfishWorld
Live-Bait-Cooler-03.jpg (15.97 KiB) Viewed 9849 times
Live-Bait-Cooler-02.jpg
Photo 2: Strainer in the bottom of the cooler - Inlet for the pump
Recirculating Live Bait Cooler Project
Bob Fisher, SportfishWorld
Live-Bait-Cooler-02.jpg (15.05 KiB) Viewed 9849 times
Live-Bait-Cooler-01.jpg
Photo 1: 500 GPH Bait Pump
Recirculating Live Bait Cooler Project
Bob Fisher, SportfishWorld
Live-Bait-Cooler-01.jpg (37.46 KiB) Viewed 9849 times
Live-Bait-Tank-02.jpg
Photo 5: Rear view showing the bilge hose going into the back of the cooler lid. The hose has been sealed and fastened with marine grade adhesive sealant.
Recirculating Live Bait Tank Project
Bob Fisher, SportfishWorld
Live-Bait-Tank-02.jpg (30.74 KiB) Viewed 9787 times
Live-Bait-Tank-01.jpg
Photo 4: Overhead view showing pump, strainer and spray heads.
Recirculating Live Bait Tank Project
Bob Fisher, SportfishWorld
Live-Bait-Tank-01.jpg (29.71 KiB) Viewed 9787 times
Live-Bait-Tank-Switch.jpg
One final, finishing touch. I added an on/off switch at the bait tank end. The power source comes from a cigarette lighter, auto or marine! and I didn't want to plug/unplug it to turn it on and off. I bent a piece of aluminum as the bracket for the switch
Live-Bait-Tank-Switch.jpg (64.84 KiB) Viewed 9716 times
Last edited by Bob Fisher on Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:50 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Capt. Aussie Bob Fisher
SportfishWorld, LLC.

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barra_on_fly
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Post by barra_on_fly » Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:02 am

Have to let us know how it goes. I want to do something similar but have it pump fresh (as in new) water through with holes in the top for over flow and sit it on the gator platform when chasing bill fish.

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IGLOO WATER COOLER LIVE BAIT TANK

Post by Bob Fisher » Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:34 pm

Portable, raw-water, live-bait tank system

This was another one that I made for a previous boat that draws in raw water (freshwater) as opposed to the current, recirculating one that I just built. This version requires that holes be drilled in the boat (fibreglass) or possibly a small bracket welded on the transom (aluminium) as the pump sits outside the boat.

Alternatively, another method would be a thru-hull pickup with the inlet hose and the pump all inside the boat. Your bait tank could still be fed from a flexible hose, sit out on the swim platform and be removable.
barra_on_fly wrote:Have to let us know how it goes. I want to do something similar but have it pump fresh (as in new) water through with holes in the top for over flow and sit it on the gator platform when chasing bill fish.
G'Day Mate,

Your requirement sounds similar to the live bait tank 'system' that I built for another project boat, SportfishII. That one pumped raw water into the tank that overflowed out of a series of tiny holes drilled around the top. It too was portable and when the tank and hose were not required they could easily be removed.

Igloo Water Cooler
It was constructed from a large, circular Igloo water cooler that sat out on the swim platform. It was held up tight against the stern by heavy duty rubber straps.

Rule Bilge Pump
I had a submersible, Rule bilge pump on a bracket below the water line on the transom.

Plumbing
The bilge pump hose went from the pump and then up and through the top of the transom - up as high as possible. Inside the boat I put a ninety degree elbow (hose fitting) and ran another hose to a marine grade, flush deck (male) hose 'outlet' that had a protective cover for when it was not in use. A short length of clear, reinforced hose connected it to the tank.

Power
The power to the pump was supplied from the ships main (12V) power supply and was controlled by a rocker switch that I fitted in the dashboard. There was an inline fuse fitted of course.
Attachments
igloo-live-bait-tank-01.jpg
IGLOO WATER COOLER LIVE BAIT TANK. Because it's insulated it helps keep the water temperature down.
igloo-live-bait-tank-01.jpg (29.86 KiB) Viewed 9754 times
SportfishII-live-bait-tank-.jpg
Live Bait Tank Plumbing System.
Turn on the pump with the tank removed and the hose disconnected from the outlet and the water would shoot up into the air! I did this just for fun sometimes...
SportfishII-live-bait-tank-.jpg (37.95 KiB) Viewed 9751 times
Last edited by Bob Fisher on Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:57 pm, edited 11 times in total.
Capt. Aussie Bob Fisher
SportfishWorld, LLC.

Bob Fisher
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PORTABLE LIVE BAIT TANK SYSTEMS

Post by Bob Fisher » Sun Jun 08, 2008 5:12 pm

Live Bait Tank Systems for Fishing Boats

Due to a new request we now have two live-bait systems illustrated:

1) Portable Raw Water Live Bait Tank

2) Portable Recirculating Live Bait Tank
Capt. Aussie Bob Fisher
SportfishWorld, LLC.

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