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Wanderer

Engel bait coolers

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So I’m sure a lot of you saw they were on sale at the C store around Christmas.  The sale apparently got them to a price point people were willing to go for a try.  I heard the Rogers store sold out.

I grabbed a 13 quart and 19 quart; one for small minnows and hoping the 19 would do for suckers.  I have to admit I had high hopes (not expectations) for performance going into this.  All my hopes haven’t been realized but with a few weeks of use under the belt, I do have some opinions.  

Would I buy again?  Probably at the sale price.  I’ll have to wait for a whole season of use before saying I’d pay full retail, but maybe.

Would you?

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love them my 13qt has been great and they are tough. Hold up to a lot of smashing in the sleds being pulled around from spot to spot.  Only thing I changed out to a $4 bubbler from walmart to downsize and not have to use the bigger one that comes with it. Never had an issue now in 3 years of using it.

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Other than the bubbler being loud as all get out and and the lid icing up when its really cold I love mine.

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May work well for a wheel house but there a little big to haul in a porty when a small coolers works well.

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Same size as a small cooler.  Or at least close to the size minnow buckets I’ve been using.  Just not round.

Actually hauling bait in a porty is one of the main reasons I wanted one.  Latch that lid down and doesn’t matter if it’s right side up, tilted or upside down; it’s not spilling or splashing all over.   All my other buckets I kept the oxygen bag in the bucket and wrapped up the bag with the rubber band or at least snapped it in the lid when I moved.

Last weekend fishing in the hub we sat on em.  Never felt like they were being stressed.  Had crappie minnows in the small one and put the fish in the bigger one so they wouldn’t freeze.  

They stacked nice in the back seat of the truck.

The one thing I had high hopes for was keeping bait from one weekend to the next.  If I had steady refrigerator temps to work with, success might’ve been better but I wound tossing the last of em yesterday.  You can’t beat cool, fresh water for bait.  Not even with a bubbler.  I lost about half before giving up.  At that point the value of the bait didn’t outweigh a couple D cell batteries, which I have more than 30 hours of run time on.

I’d prefer they included a 120v AC power supply over the 12v DC one but I can work around that.

I can tell ya those minnows wiggle like crazy till they tip over!  That last half were still kicking strong.  I’m anxious to use super lively minnows this weekend.

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4 hours ago, leech~~ said:

May work well for a wheel house but there a little big to haul in a porty when a small coolers works well.

Bingo....in a wheel house where u need to keep minnows alive for days they work great and plug into the wall for the bubbler.....in a day trip with a flipover a small strikemaster minnow bucket is hard to beat.

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I’ll give ya that BINGO.  But like the Engel’s, it’s not a coverall. ;)

A cooler would be overkill for a handful of crappie minnows on a day trip.  My problem is I have suckers with me almost every time I hit the ice.

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Not just for the wheel house I use my 13qt year round and got it for ice fishing in the portable. it fits just fine in the flip over.

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I’m looking forward to trying the 13 out for leeches next summer.  The Leech Locker has been OK but with the net insert I should be able to change water much easier.  I buy em by the 1/2 pound.

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I have the 13qt and would buy again in a heartbeat. Will eep bait for weeks, not days. Simply change out the water every couple days and bait lasts. I picked up a small dc to ac converter that the 12v plug from the Engels plugs into, and then that plugs into a 110v AC outlet. Cost around $5 at Target. Uses no battery power while at home. The truck has both the 12v and an AC outlet in it which means no battery use while in transport. Wheel house has both a 12v and 110v outlet just for the Engels, so again no battery use there. The only time it runs off the D battery is when running the portable, and it lasts long enough. Don' need to run it nonstop, turn it on for 15-20 minutes each hour, especially with crappie minnows/fatheads. But I also have an extra 12v outlet in the portable that it can be plugged into if need be as well. Best bait cooler around for use in the portable IMO. Once the lid is latched you can turn it upside down and it doesn't leak. Mine gets used 4 seasons, and has lasted longer already than 95% of the other bait containers I've used. And I'd say at least a half dozen guys who'e fished with me have gone out and bought one after seeing it in use.

One other tip for using it in the hottest part of summer. I use one of the Clam battery bags for "Vex" size battety. They have a 12v outlet attached to the bag, and the bag has a bit of insulation to it. I just put the battery/bag in the fridge with the Engels and plug it in.

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You can also get a 110v power adapter for it that plugs right into the bubbler.  I think I paid around $15 for it.   I have the 19 quart one and so far I really like it.

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Not yet.  But when it’s that cold I’m usually wearing light gloves.  The other thing is I don’t lock down the latches all the time.  You can leave the latches up and hook the buckle for carrying and the spring tension from the gasket will keep the buckle hooked.

Otherwise just leave it completely unlatched if you’re going in it constantly.

I like not needing a minnow scoop anymore also.  Just lift the net liner, pick your minnow and drop it back in.  No more scoop or submerging my fingers or hand to grab a minnow.

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what size are most of you purchasing?  I went to the C store and they were all out so I went on line and ordered one up and just went with the 30 quart size figuring it can be used as a seat also but got to thinking if this might be overkill?

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Depends on your modes of transport and the bait you use.  It’s pretty good sized but not gigantic.  It would be the better choice for keeping bait from week to week also, I think.

 

I got the the 13 and 19 cuz they were out of the 30’s.

 

Over last weekend on Winnie we didn’t lose even one minnow.  Fatheads, shiners both small and large and large/decoy suckers.  Well, we lost most of the shiners to fish... :D

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Posted (edited)

Thanks! Any size to ur catch on winnie?

Edited by ozzie

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4 hours ago, ozzie said:

Thanks! Any size to ur catch on winnie?

 

Nothing major but some good keepers.  Perch weren’t jumbos but some could take down a 3 inch shiner on a #1 Gammy circle hook.  Choked on em but wouldn’t leave em alone!  About 30 keepers.

 

6 pike 24-30 inches

3 eyes 17-22 inches

2 pout, didn’t weigh or measure (as if you could!)

 

I quit fishing tullibees after icing enough for the smoker.  Landed 5, kept 4, lost 3.

 

94BDEAC7-75E3-47AD-B204-4E97CA2B7853.thumb.jpeg.d31fc369b27c3686b49193477b654591.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

heck yeah!!  sounds like a great time and that pout looks cool!!!  thanks for sharing

Edited by ozzie

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On ‎1‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 9:41 AM, ozzie said:

what size are most of you purchasing?  I went to the C store and they were all out so I went on line and ordered one up and just went with the 30 quart size figuring it can be used as a seat also but got to thinking if this might be overkill?

30 qt size will get quite heavy when filled with water.  Unless you are using it to keep bait at home I wouldn't go bigger than the 19 qt for boat/fish house. 

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I think you are right on this...I have the 30 and will keep it, as the main reason for it is to keep bait from one week to the next, but I agree that when full I am not sure I would bring this every where.  Funny thing is that it come with a shoulder strap!  gallon of water is like 8 lbs n times that by 7 gallon capacity...heavy!!!  I think in the near future I will add a smaller one to the arsenal but for now I will make this work since they ain't cheap!:D  Thanks for all the advice!!!  Good Luck

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I probably paid for the cooler in keeping minnows, shiners, and leeches alive last winter and this last summer. Keeps most if not all alive for 2-3 days if you change the water once a day. Buy bait once on Friday night and still have good lively bait on Sunday afternoon. My 13qt was worth every penny.

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On ‎1‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 11:29 AM, YettiStyle said:

 

Anyone run into a problem with wet fingers sticking/freezing to the metal latches when it's really cold?

 

The fingers were a little tacky on the buckles this evening when I was running tip ups but nothing like a tongue to a flag pole!  The lid did freeze down with the buckles clamped all the way down.  I Velcroed a bait knife to the outside so I just used that to pop the lid open.  Was nice to not have break Styrofoam to get into it.

 

The fix to both of those issues is to leave the buckles open but still hooked, like I mentioned in an earlier post.

Edited by Wanderer

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The 30 is a log to have to carry constantly but sure is nice to have to keep the bait lively!  I went last night and purchased another pump in order to plug into the wall...$13 and all I have to do is move the tube from one pump and connect to the other.  I am seeing if I can easily keep minnows alive from one weekend to the next.

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Managed to keep 2 dozen shiners and a decoy sucker alive and kicking well for a full week.  Kept them cool and changed the water once.  The other cooler kept the “mix” going, except the small suckers.

 

Basically $20 worth of bait I didn’t have to re-buy.  I’ll take that. :)

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