Fishing kayaks are designed considering all the stuff you need to do kayak fishing with pleasure. When I was a beginner, I used to think about fishing kayaks live wells.
After my adventure to this kayak fishing arena I discovered that there are something that you can convert them without any serious effort or, can add a live well or, you may not need a live well. There are something more than a live well.
Before I dive into the topic, let me ask a questions why do you need a live well? If you have a reason to keep the fish live and secure for a long period, you are in the right place.
In this article, I will discuss everything you need to know and what you need to keep the fish alive and what could be the alternatives if you are not able to use my ideas.
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Do you really need live well for kayak fishing?
If you ask me the same question, my answer will be no. Because I am not a regular kayak angler and I don’t catch fish for food. I catch them for fun and release them back to the water. I found some anglers keep their fish in the fish net under the water. Hence their caught fish remain alive for long time.
If you are willing to do kayak fishing frequently and want to make them as your food or your are going to join a fishing tournament, then you can think about the live wells.
Fish live wells help you to keep your baitfish and fish alive for a long period. Some people also want a live well as they are not a frequent angler. It is not that costly to purchase or make it yourself. But, it may make your kayaking trip hard if you want to do both kayak touring and fishing together.
So think yourself do you really need a live well for kayak fishing or not? If you are purely a kayak fisher or wants to do only fishing then you can add this feature.
Do fishing kayak have live well?
Fishing kayak does not come up with live well but they have enough storage area where you can make or add a live well. Majority of the fishing kayaks are designed to meet some common necessities for fishing like rod holder, storage compartments, skegs, footrests and a nice seat.
So, options are available if you want to add some extra features along with the common features. You can purchase a live well and put it on your kayak storage area. Otherwise you can make it at your home simply by spending a few bucks.
Lets discuss different types of fish live well and decide which type is suitable for you.
Different types of live wells
There are different types of live wells available in the market. Again the required type depends on your purpose. The size of of the live well also important for selection of a live well.
If you are going to a kayak fishing tournaments then make sure which type of fish you are going to catch because different fish requires different water temperature and circulation to keep them alive.
A few things should keep in mind before selection of a live well as a beginner like capacity, waterflow, interior shape, oxygen supply system etc. Larger capacity is required for large boats. Smaller or kayak size live well are suitable for kayak fishing. some common type of live wells are-
- Pressurized live well
- Portable live well
- Non-pressurized live well
- Mesh or net underwater live well
What makes a great live well?
A live well is a tank that contains water with circulation and air supply to maintain proper oxygen supply so that fish can survive for long time. There are certain factors that make a live well good for fish and baitfish. Dissolved Oxygen is one of the most important factors for fish to keep the fish alive in the live well.
Always look for a live well that has a oxygen injection system if you are going for a long time fishing or a long day fishing tournament. It is really tough to keep the fish alive for long time without injection system.
Most of the fish well do not contain oxygen injection system. Oxygen injection system help you to inject oxygen into the water using diffuser stone at the bottom of the tank.
Where to get a fishing kayak live well?
You can get a live well from the local fishing or bating store or order online. If you don’t want to spend much on it, you can make the live well by yourself.
There are plenty of YouTube videos that teach how to make a fish live well at home. If you are like me and don’t want to get hassle go for online like Amazon or other platform.
Be sure first your requirement and about your kayak size and capacity. If you want to make a fish live well by yourself, there is a guideline with video tutorial.
How to make a fish live well?
Making a fish live well is not a very hard thing to do. You need just a few items and tools to make it. You will need a container (Plastic or metal), a marine adhesive sealant , a pump, a spray head, a PVC pipe, hose clamp, drilling machine. Etc.
First thing is to make two holes using the drill machine. The size of the hole should be according to the size of the water spray head and the hose.
After making the hole, insert the spray head into the hole and the pump inlet at the bottom hole. Check for its perfectness. If everything ok put the spray head and pump inlet into the holes and apply the adhesive sealant and keep it for almost 24 hours for drying up.
After 24 hours, install the PVC pipe between spray head and the pump. Finally add some water so that it coverup the inlet of the pump and run the pump to check the live well works or not.
If everything ok, then you are ready to use the live well. Here is video tutorial for easy understanding of the process.
How to install oxygen injection system?
Oxygen injection system require a few components like- a filled oxygen cylinder, a regulator, a plastic pipe, and a diffuser stone.
Make a hole on the upper area of your tank above the water level. The size of the hole should be according to the size of the pipe. The diameter of the pipe is near about ¼ inch.
Connect the regulator on the oxygen cylinder and then connect the pipe between regulator and the diffuser stone. Put the diffuser stone at the bottom of the tank and open the regulator to supply oxygen. Start the system and look for stream of the air bubble emitting from the diffuser stone.
Kayaks do not have inbuilt live wells. They have some storage compartment where you can add or convert them as a live well. Live well for baitfish and fish available to purchase from local store or online. If anyone do not want to spend more on this, they can make it at home by spending only a few bucks.