Converting East Coast livewell to West Coast bait tank

Modot66

Newbie
Jul 17, 2017
53
23
43
San Diego
Name
Matt
Boat
Triton
hi all,

i'm tackling winter projects, one of which is to replumb and reqire the boat. so while i am this deep in things i figured it is a good time to convert my east coast style livewell to a west coast bait tank (or as close as possible).

my current setup has a fill spout at the top that blasts straight down. there is a recirc loop that picks up water at the bottom then shoots it back in the tank at the top. both of these water jets create a lot of current that beat the bait up. also the recirc pickup is very strong and always gets clogged with fish scales (and fish), hence my attempt to cut holes in the screen.

my understanding is that west coast style bait tanks should fill in about 6-7 minutes from the bottom. they should create a light current for the bait to swim in. and they should drain at this top. i don't think a recirc is needed.

can anyone chime in on my understanding of the bait tank? my thoughts were i was going to convert the recirc intake at the bottom to the tank fill, then i was going to add a 90 degree elbow with a tube pointing up with holes drilled in it. this way the water fills from the bottom half of the tank and creates a light current. then i would delete the recirc loop altogether, and keep the top 1-1/2" drain.

any other ideas or feedback?

old setup:
hSWBtl0.gif


new setup:
F4lrnFx.gif
 
Upvote 0

Capt.C.Delany

The only fishing I do is trolling the Internet
  • Jun 22, 2014
    1,451
    1,845
    No Grave But the Sea
    Name
    Hugh Jassole / The Porcelain Punisher
    Boat
    Paddy Wagon 24' Skippy
    Your idea is perfect. Make sure the up tube has the holes parallel to the side of the tank to create the current.

    Based on everything you said I think you should be just fine and it's exactly the route I would take.
     
    Last edited:
    • Like
    Reactions: mezr 2ice
    Upvote 0

    Plus One

    Coming along...
    Aug 24, 2011
    79
    77
    Hemet
    Name
    Jason
    Boat
    Plus One
    I’m dying to know if this works. We’re preparing to buy a tank for our boat but if you get this to work I’d rather keep the deck space open.
     
    Upvote 0

    mullet

    Metal Fabricator
  • Jan 10, 2006
    4,525
    4,521
    Brookings Oregon
    Name
    mike
    Boat
    19"Gregor
    If the livewell is less then 20 gallons you'd be better off getting a real tank .
     
    • Like
    Reactions: sickcat
    Upvote 0

    Modot66

    Newbie
    Jul 17, 2017
    53
    23
    43
    San Diego
    Name
    Matt
    Boat
    Triton
    I’m dying to know if this works. We’re preparing to buy a tank for our boat but if you get this to work I’d rather keep the deck space open.

    i'll let you know. i'm going to have to cut an access panel in the back rail to get to those hoses in the back. looks like they installed them before putting the top of the boat together. yay.
     
    Upvote 0

    Modot66

    Newbie
    Jul 17, 2017
    53
    23
    43
    San Diego
    Name
    Matt
    Boat
    Triton
    If the livewell is less then 20 gallons you'd be better off getting a real tank .

    that's the goal one day, but right now my budget only allows for this bait tank and the DIY trash can bait tank i use. i can get a half scoop into each and they actually hold bait ok. the trash can holds bait better since i plumbed it right. one day i want to upgrade to a leaning post with bait tank.
     
    Upvote 0

    Modot66

    Newbie
    Jul 17, 2017
    53
    23
    43
    San Diego
    Name
    Matt
    Boat
    Triton
    I would avoid the tube if at all possible. It will damage the bait. Instead, if possible, a little fiberglass work would give you what you need. I am also skeptical that the drain will be able to handle the volume of water being put into the tank.

    the drain has done well the whole time i've fished this boat (5 years or so). i'm gonna have to do a little glass work to fix an access hole i need to cut so i can get to the back hoses (18 year old hoses are starting to crack and are so stiff you can't even move them). so i think i am going to try to fashion some sort of smooth wall with water jets.
     
    Upvote 0

    Joe orosco

    Almost A Member
    Jul 23, 2017
    116
    31
    40
    92505
    Name
    Joe orosco
    Boat
    Triton 195cc
    This is what I came up with. I has the same problem with the water inlet beating up my bait. Got a half scoop a couple weeks ago and went out for about 5 hrs and only lost like 3 pieces of bait. Not pretty but seems to work.

    20201018_203610.jpg
     
    Upvote 0

    Joe orosco

    Almost A Member
    Jul 23, 2017
    116
    31
    40
    92505
    Name
    Joe orosco
    Boat
    Triton 195cc
    I got a thin piece of plexiglass from Lowe's. I heated it up with a small torch to make the bend and used 4200 to secure it.
     

    KID CREOLE

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Sep 19, 2003
    3,560
    1,940
    60
    San Pedro, Ca.
    www.yayacalls.com
    Name
    Stefan
    Boat
    Grady White 263 Chase
    Modot66,

    I had a very useless factory tank on.my Grady.

    I fixed the problems with a tube of Lifeseal from WM and two Marlon thru hull strainers. $30 fix

    The strainer on the bottom faces sideways, the strainer on the top faces up

    I can get pics of the tank tomorrow

    2540268.jpg


    20201029_174543.jpg
     
    Upvote 0

    Modot66

    Newbie
    Jul 17, 2017
    53
    23
    43
    San Diego
    Name
    Matt
    Boat
    Triton
    I just took the crappy live well out of my Rampage 33 and put in a 75gal Blue Water tank. I tried to modify that POS no bueno.

    yep i am going that route now. just pulled the deck to run water and drain lines. going to find a good one scoop tank to mount on the deck behind the leaning post.

    eNMKd7h.jpg
     
    • Like
    Reactions: sbsurfer
    Upvote 0

    Modot66

    Newbie
    Jul 17, 2017
    53
    23
    43
    San Diego
    Name
    Matt
    Boat
    Triton
    dumb question time... does it matter if i move the drain in the bait tank from the back to the side? i am replacing the thru hull for the bait tank drain which is on the port side, and getting the drain hose back on with the drain in the back is gonna be a B*TCH! if i can move the drain to the port side (same as thru hull) it would be super easy, not to mention super easy to fix or replace later if needed.

    my thinking is they installed the drain in the back as when you are under power the water tends to move to the back. think having it on the side will cause overfilling issues? i am probably overthinking it.
     
    Upvote 0

    Ali

    Master of Nothing
    Admin
    Apr 24, 2003
    22,780
    7,863
    10
    San Diego
    Name
    That Guy
    Boat
    SeaVee 340Z
    Get one of these and replace your sprayer with it. Place it in the 7:30 position if you were looking at it like a click. It should spray counter clockwise.

    It will make a huge difference. Shoot for a 7 min fill time. Enjoy.
    A7D61E1A-2EDC-4EBF-A2C7-1D4627C8FA76.jpeg
     
    Upvote 0

    Fishbones

    Your wife thinks about ME
    Nov 7, 2005
    8,485
    703
    58
    Chula Vista
    Name
    Rich
    Boat
    One Off 28' Custom Built Skipjack (SOUTHWESTERN) & 18' Sylvan (Short Runs)
    dumb question time... does it matter if i move the drain in the bait tank from the back to the side? i am replacing the thru hull for the bait tank drain which is on the port side, and getting the drain hose back on with the drain in the back is gonna be a B*TCH! if i can move the drain to the port side (same as thru hull) it would be super easy, not to mention super easy to fix or replace later if needed.

    my thinking is they installed the drain in the back as when you are under power the water tends to move to the back. think having it on the side will cause overfilling issues? i am probably overthinking it.

    Mine drains to the side with no problems... you can see the drain thru hull fitting in line with my bait tank

    12810491-29B2-4765-9CF4-AAD1BB3D250D.jpeg
     
    Upvote 0

    Modot66

    Newbie
    Jul 17, 2017
    53
    23
    43
    San Diego
    Name
    Matt
    Boat
    Triton
    i'm working on the plumbing with a new deck mounted bluewater tank, and am trying to see if anyone has ever plumbed 2 bait tanks and a washdown off of one 3/4" thru hull? or is that asking too much of a 3/4" inlet?

    i previously was running the 20 gallon factory transom livewell and washdown off of the 3/4" inlet using an 800gph pump. there were never any issues.

    now i am adding a 30 gallon bluewater bait tank which will be my primary bait tank, but i was hoping to keep the option of running the factory transom 20 gallon livewell for things like if i get scoops of sardines but then want to go catch a few macks. or when i go hooping i could just fill up the smaller tank to throw keepers in to.

    in reading other threads it seems people don't have trouble running bigger 50-60 gallon tanks and a washdown off of a 3/4" inlet, so i would think it is possible?

    if this is possible, should i run 2 pumps?

    l7KWs0n.jpg
     
    Upvote 0

    Dragon

    It is what it is...
    May 24, 2006
    423
    300
    SLO Co.
    Name
    Paul
    Boat
    22' Pro Sport CC / 20' Skipjack Open
    Very Possible, you need to up size your pump and get one with 2 outlet fittings (usually another fitting at the base). Now you have (2) outlets. one for the bait (tanks) and one for the wash down. Now you just need to plumb the tanks separately. Then valve them to adjust flow. (balance them)....Short Version :starwarskid5:
     
    Upvote 0