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DavidCarvajal

Bilge Pump

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My recent trip on the Missisippi was tough, windy, white caps and cool. It was my test run with my new {1986} 17 foot aluminum bass boat when we trailered it, the boat kept listing to port on the trailer. Obviously too much water in the boat, we had forgot to turn on the bilge pump and the drain plug had come undone during our outing. I learned to turn on the pump as soon as it's in the water and I got a new plug and I learned they lock with a twist of the handle. But when is the best time to run the Bilge pump and when to stop running it, also I have two functioning livewells aboard when do I run and drain them.

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Drain your bilge, livewells, bait buckets etc. as soon as you get your boat out of the water, that way you're not transporting any water to other bodies of water (that's the law now). I do it as part of my routine when strapping my boat to the trailer and giving it a quick once-over to make sure it's ready to leave the landing.

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Sorry it's that I'm very inexperienced at boating do I run the bilge pump the whole time I'm on the water and when I'm fishing and jigging on the ol man river going for 30 lb catfish or strippers or walleyes. Will it wear down the batteries and using my live wells to keep my bait and keepers alive also wear down the batteries?

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David...you dont need to run bilge pump unless you get water in your boat or if your boat has a slow leak but then you only need to turn it on ever so often just to see if you have water in the boat if you run it all the time you will burn out motor..as for livewells pick the one that works best for you and keep the other one dry..plug the hole were the water comes in from...and you really only need to run it if you get fish you might be keeping to clean..as for bait bucket if its in the livewell or seperate you can run it ever so often to recirculate the water..i have a seperate baitwell on my boat and the livewell and baitwell are on a timer and when out fishing all day i run mine all day and it uses very little battery draw..with it on timer it runs every 5 minutes for like 2 minutes to recirculate the water...When you run to new spots your big motor should charge your battery up some ..hope this helps out some..any other ? just ask you have come to the right place for answers...and good luck with new boat...and dont forget about the trailer it rides on probasbly the most important part because if the trailer fails there no way to pull boat anywhere..

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Dave, if you pull the drain plug after a day on the water and put it back in when starting the day on the water you should have a dry boat. If the boat leaks or your getting water splashing in then you use the bilge only then to get the water out. Turn the bilge on, if you hear or see water coming out the outlet then run the bilge till the water stops. Turn the bilge off. If you run the bilge pump without water it'll eventually get hot.

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do I run the bilge pump the whole time I'm on the water and when I'm fishing and jigging on the ol man river going for 30 lb catfish or strippers or walleyes

Sorry, I misunderstood your question.

Like the others said, only run your bilge pump if you have water in the boat and it's pumping. Unless it's raining or you have a leaking boat --- either leaking from the outside in, or your livewell plumbing leaking inside the boat --- you should not need to run it very much. Flip the bilge pump on, watch for a few seconds to see if water is coming out, flip it off when the water stops coming out. A good time to run the bilge pump is when the boat is moving forward with the bow up in the air - that forces the water to the back where the pump is.

For livewell and baitwells, as long as they are pumping water you can let them run. As long as you have them on a good battery you shouldn't have any issues --- if you have a timer on your pumps then even better. One note about livewells and baitwells though, you're pumping in the surface water which is the hottest water in the lake. In the middle of summer when I use my livewells I pump them full, then switch over to the recirculator and just keep recirculating the same water ---- it keeps it oxygenated and keeps it cooler.

Also, since you can't transport fish in livewell water any more, if I think I'm going to be keeping fish I usually put 5-10 lbs of ice in my livewell before I go out, and no water, and just keep the fish on ice until I can clean them.

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Thank you all, I'll head to the boat shop and get at least one plug for each live well and I'll use the bilge system when I'm moving out and when needed { this bilge is new, the boat salesman/service dept. put it in while I did some final paper work in the marina office. I'm having problems convinceing the wife to come this friday on the Missisippi with me so I'll use it on Polmiller Lake on thursday to prove to her that it is ship shape and I'm a knowledgable rookie/skipper. What's bitting now?

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Another option, if you're concerned about the bilge, is to buy an automatic bilge pump, which has a float switch, and turns on automatically when the water level reaches the float switch.

marine_man

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