Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
DavidCarvajal

Bilge Pump

8 posts in this topic

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • nice story, fishing has a way of easing the pains we have. even when we hurt like crazy when done for the day we are looking forward to the next outing.
    • way to go, guys yep, the toms not about to give up even though its close to closing time have seen several strutters the past couple weeks and heard gobbles yesterday while fishing
    • great job. makes it 5 for 5 for team 5 congrats on a nice tom, 57 and that willl give our team score a boost
    • One More Cast      Photo by:  Roger Abraham   If any of you out there are regular readers of my tales, you have followed my recent struggles with back and knees.  I can’t put a name to this drive I have to be on the stream as of late.  It borders on obsession. I guess in my mind if I am healthy enough to fish the world is right with me and I am not getting old and feeble.      Today I was a witness to that I am not the only one.  Lots of anglers and hunters live to go out into the outdoors. .  It is what drives them.  It makes them feel alive.  It is their passion.  I told my fishing buddy Abe today my thoughts.  I told him how I was feeling a little old.  I guess my 60th birthday coming up next month makes me feel mortal.  Abe laughed and said I was a young buck compared to him.  Abe turns 76 this year.     Abe told me tales about catching big trout in tiny streams in Wisconsin and out west.  The twinkle in his eye when he reminisced I had seen before in many trout anglers.      We fished a stretch for 2 hours.  I sat down and rested often.  Abe kept on fishing. He got hung up in a box elder branch and lost a lure.  Abe told me box elders trees were his nemesis when he fished.   He asked me which tree was my kryptonite.  I told him, "ones with branches."  We both had a chuckle and continued fishing.   I thought to myself this guy is really driven.  I hope I am like him at 76.     We got to the vehicle and Abe wanted to continue fishing.  Abe’s waders sprang a leak earlier and he fell in the water a couple times.  He was quite wet.  He wanted to change in to dry clothes before we continue.  Abe peeled off his wet shirt and there were two things stuck to his chest.  He could tell by my questioning look he needed to tell me what was up.     Abe told me he had been having heart problems lately and he was supposed to be wearing a heart monitor.  He left it in the car because he was afraid of getting the electronics wet.  Here I have been whining about being old and the guy I was fishing with left his heart monitor in his vehicle.      Abe reassured me that he was in no danger and he could continue fishing.  I started brainstorming on a place to fish where it was not so hard walking.  Now that I knew he was not as healthy as he looked I wanted an easy place to fish.  I knew the place and it was upstream 5 miles.     We arrived at the well manicured field.  It looked like a golf green.  I picked the area because the farmer kept sheep and goats on the land and the weeds and brush were gone because of the goats.  We walked and fished.     Abe told tales of the old days and of fish lost and landed.  I walked a little forward to fish and looked back to check up on Abe.  What I saw when I looked back scared me and I immediately asked Abe if he was ok.  Abe was laying flat on the ground face down.  I thought the worst and he could tell by my face.  He told me to calm down.  His back was acting up and he needed to straight it out and that was the best way to do it.   We fished a little bit more and he took a photo of me.  He liked the lighting. He told me it captured the essence of trout fishing.  He did not have a camera.  I let him use mine.  He was not camera savvy and needed an impromptu lesson on how to use it.   We drove to his car and we talked about our love of the outdoors. We shook hands and headed our separate ways and promised to fish again soon.  As I drove home I smiled and thought about how I am going to be when I am 76.  I hope I am like Abe and my eyes still twinkle when I talk of chasing trout and I am still driven to make one more cast.
    • The past week has had me having multiple close calls and missing a brute at 45 yards.  Tonight I talked my dad to give it another try and there were birds in the field when we got there.  Birds ended up leaving as we tried to sneak in.  A short 20 minutes later they were back and we watched and worked the big group of toms and hens for more than 2 hours before we got one to commit.  Dad shot him with his 20 gauge at 48 yards,(this thing shoots an awesome pattern).  The 3 year old was down and only flopped a few times.   Nice 1+ inch spurs, 10" beard and heavy.  A good evening for sure!
    • Sorry to disappoint guys, but this tom was not my first bird of the season. Apparently that's part of the rules. The score won't count towards the team. I don't have any measurements for the jake I shot so we will have a zero from me.    At least my freezer is full. 
    • Way to  go 1957 !! Congrats!!
    • sugar is not a drug. 
    • Another good day today out on Superior ,,,, Had my first double and triple in the new rig today ,,, the day didnt start out with perfect weather but the fishing more then made up for it ,,, The mud  covers a lot of water but fishing the tea  colored water and edges of the mud paid off ,,, the cohos grew 5 inches  from eating this years smelt,,,, had some go 23 inches today 
  • Our Sponsors