What is a live well?
Livewells are tanks found on many fishing boats, deck boats, and pontoons that are used to keep bait and caught fish alive. It works by pumping fresh water from the lake you are boating on into the tank and then back out. This flow of water keeps the water fresh and oxygenated, allowing fish to breath properly.
How does it work?
The concept of an aerated livewell is pretty simple. A pump pulls water in through the hull and into the livewell. A drain allows the water to escape and be replaced. The aerator agitates the water to stimulate the oxygen in the water.
The amount of water going into the well needs to be regulated. There is a flow adjustment tap that makes sure enough water is coming in, but not so much that it creates a current or overflows the well. There's also an overflow drain to help with this.
The second piece of the puzzle is power. Each and every Legend Boat console comes with a handy on/off toggle switch.
Oxygen levels are the single most important factor for livewells. Too much or too little and your catch will die. 5 parts per million is the magic number.
A livewell can be any shape or size. Your Legend Boats comes in 3 orientations:
We take the water from the lake and deliver it your live well because that's the water your fish just came out of. Well, that's not exactly true. Most of the fish you reel in are going to come from deep down where the water is much cooler. Consider adding a little bit of ice to your live well to help match the temperature your fish just came from.
Keeping your livewell's filter clean is priority #1. Clean your livewell each time you use it to prevent stones, scales, and... whatever else comes out of your catch from clogging your drain and aerator. Keeping the flow going will keep your water clean and safe for your catch.
Keep a thermometer in your livewell. A sudden, drastic change in temperature will shock your fish. You're going to want to put in some effort to maintain an even water temperature. There are many factors that will effect water temperature - size, depth, and time of year for example, but this chart gives a good representation of how the temperature drops the deeper you fish into a lake.
Fixing a Problem:
There's not too much that could go wrong with your livewell on/off toggle switch. It's either not drawing power from the batter or one of the connections - at the switch or at the pump - has become disconnected. Check your connections with a volt meter and proceed accordingly.
This is fairly easy to determine. Plug your drain and fill your livewell with water. If the water level doesn't stay where you left it, you have a leak. Unless you're dealing with some major temperature issues the lining of your livewell is rarely a problem. The most common place for a leak is around the seams.
The next place to check is your hoses. Again with extreme weather or drastic temperature changes livewell hoses can crack.
Legend Boats takes livewells seriously. They're all covered with components tucked neatly out of the way making any kind of wear and tear damage virtually impossible. Avoid extreme temperatures and you should be fine.
This happens when water pours in faster than it drains. Either your pump is working harder than it should, or your drain is clogged. Your Legend Boats' livewell comes equipped with a flow adjustment to control how much water pumps in. Turn this down to the desired level if you find your livewell overflowing. If overflow continues, your next inspection is the drain. If you have fish in your livewell often their scales and waste will add up and start causing clogs, which is why it's important to clean it often.
A pump problem is usually the most difficult issue to deal with. It could be an electrical issue, it could be a plumbing issue, or the pump itself could be malfunctioning or broken. If it is the pump, you'll need to be fairly handy to repair/replace it yourself. We recommend further research or brining the boat to your local authorized Legend Boats' service center for assistance.
It's always a good idea, especially during Spring Startup, to test your livewell before you leave for the day. All this takes is a bucket full of water and a hose. Run the hose through the intake hole on your hull - you may need an adapter. Make sure that the bucket is higher than the intake just as it would be out on the water. Otherwise, you won't have gravity pushing down on the water and your pump will be overworked.
A properly working livewell is essential for catch and release fishing, and if you plan on being out in the sun all day long you don't want the smell of a dead fish creeping in. A little bit of diligence will keep your time out on the water happy and stress free.
Yours In Boating,