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Basshole18

Need advice for makeshift cooler/livewell for Small boat tourneys!

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I am currently fishing a small boat tournament trail and doing well. My only problem is our boat is only 12 feet and has limit space with all of our gear packed into it and it has no livewell so we need to use a cooler with an aerator system in it. Most of the others do the same and most have more intricate systems. We simply have a medium cooler with one spray pole aerator. We have not lost any fish yet but we did have to release on at the last tourney due to it getting very weak. It did not end up hurting us but it could have. I am looking for advice on how to make the most efficient cooler-livewell. How many aerators should I use? How many ice packs should I put in it? etc.,  etc. Any advice will be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you in advance!!!!!!!

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I use the 28ish dollar thing from wallmart and it works pretty well. I usually turn it on every 1/2 hour and run it about 5 minutes then repeat.

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This is the one I've used for years and it does real well. I hacked the wires and clamped an alligator clips (comes with the kit) for 12v battery. Last all day long.

Attach the sprayer under the lid and you can open and close your cooler. All set.

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_1293____SearchResults

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More efficient? Just use more ice bud. Freeze 3-4 one gallon milk jugs and use those. Do not use straight ice because the chlorine from the water can harm the fish. Put them in throughout the day. Get a temperature gauge and keep the water 68-72 degrees. It's like a nice hotel in there for them bass  ;) I also have an oxygenator, and feel that it really helps. DEFINETLY use some Catch and Release by Surelife. I can't tell you how great the stuff is. My brother and I fish jon boat tourneys here and we have a 100 qt cooler to keep our fish.  Got it on sale for 30 bucks at Gander Mountain. I feel it is too big because the fish don't need space, just oxygen. Let me know if it helps.

Matt

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I use the 28ish dollar thing from wallmart and it works pretty well. I usually turn it on every 1/2 hour and run it about 5 minutes then repeat.

Peasey, even though it seems to you that your aeration system is working well, I strongly suggest you consider running it non-stop rather than the 5 minute cycles.  That may work for 1 or 2 small keepers, but a freshly landed 5 or 6lber uses ALOT of oxygen.  Running it so little may keep your fish alive, but they could be seriously oxygen deprived.  

Running an aerator all day takes barely anything from a battery, but saves your fish from delayed mortality, IMO.

Sorry to hijack your thread, Basshole.

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