Regardless of the type of fishing you do, an aerated livewell is a valuable accessory to have. It assists in keeping fish alive and healthy in the tournament scene, while socially it can keep bait fish or your prized catch fresher for longer. Since my kids have discovered the joys and value of pumping and fishing with live nippers, we have learnt a few things about keeping them alive for longer regardless of whether in the boat or on the shore.
Oxygen: Keeping the water circulating and the oxygen levels up is essential in keeping your nippers alive. After a bit of research and time on Ebay, I came across an aeration unit that can be powered by 3 different sources. Two “D” size batteries, 12volt power outlet (cigarette lighter) or 240 volt household power outlet which means regardless of where I am, beach, boat, car, shore or even at home, I can have aeration and circulation to my nippers or bait. Yes the item is on the “cheaper” end of the construction scale, but it does have a grommet for the power cable and boots over the switches to help keep the water out. At a mere $30 delivered to my door, this has been a great investment and has lasted me a whole summer of use without any sign of failing yet.
Water Temperature: Ideally in a boat, your livewell will circulate fresh water into the system and maintain a constant water temperature. Without a circulating livewell, it isn’t always as easy. Yes, constant water changes will help but sometimes access to the water is limited, especially if you are fishing shore based from an elevated position. This is where we have found using standard “ice bricks” will help keep the water temperature down when the water in the bucket is subject to ambient temperature or the influence of the sun.
Collecting nippers is dependant on the tide and by using these two items, this summer I was able to keep our nippers alive for longer periods at minimal cost. On some days it was for periods of up to 6 hours when the temperature reached the mid 30’s.