A Livewell is a special tank designed for boats that allows you to keep your bait and fish alive during your fishing escapades. However, for the Livewell to function optimally, it has to draw fresh water into the tank and keep it aerated. This is where a Livewell pump for boat comes in handy.
Essentially, the pump works by bringing in fresh water into the tank and moving it back into the lake as a result keeping your catch alive. Without this pump, the Livewell won’t function, and you may end up with dead fish when you get back to shore.
So what is the best Livewell pump?
Well, here is a comprehensive list of top-rated Livewell pumps that you should consider for your boat.
Comparison of Best LIVEWELL PUMP
ATTWOOD TSUNAMI AERATOR PUMP
12 Volt /24 Volt
JOHNSON PUMP OF AMERICA 28572
RULE REPLACEMENT CARTRIDGE
JOHNSON PUMPS 48903
JOHNSON PUMPS OF AMERICA 38502
1. Attwood Tsunami Aerator Pump
The Attwood Tsunami T500 Aerator Pump is one of my favorite Livewell pumps, thanks to its appealing aesthetics and superior functionality. The aerator pump comes with dozens of auxiliary features that guarantee the ultimate Livewell performance.
Unlike other similar Livewell pumps, this unit supports different voltages ranging from 12V DC to13.6V DC. This makes it compatible with most types of Livewell systems. Moreover, it has an output rating of 450 gallons per hour at nominal voltage and 500 gallons per hour at design voltage.
Apart from its incomparable power, I loved the fact that this aerator pump features a compact design that suits my small Livewell tank. Essentially, the pump offers a dependable aeration performance even in confined spaces such as Livewell tanks and small boat bait systems.
Another exciting aspect of this pump is that it is very easy to clean and maintain. The pump features a motor cartridge that locks and unlocks conveniently for secure placement and easy cleaning or replacement.
In terms of durability, the Attwood 4640-7 Tsunami T500 Aerator Pump features top-class materials. The pump is made of high-quality bearings and premium rated brushes, magnets, and alloys designed to withstand harsh, corrosive conditions and water damage. Additionally, it comes with a patented shaft seal that prevents the Livewell from leaking due to tinned wiring or misalignment.
With all these features to boast about, it is not surprising that this Attwood Livewell pump is highly acclaimed by most fishing enthusiasts.
- Compact design for reliable aeration
- Supports nominal and design voltage of 12V and 13.6V respectively
- Made using advanced materials for enhanced durability
- Features a patented shaft seal for leakage prevention
- Not ideal for large Livewell systems due to low flow
2. Johnson Pump of America 28572
For those who prefer homemade products, you will absolutely fall in love with the Johnson Pump America Marine Cartridge. Johnson Pump is a brand that has been manufacturing marine pumps for over 40 years. With this in mind, you can always rest assured that this unit will live up to
expectations as far as pumping your Livewell system are concerned.
Apparently, this motor cartridge does not come with many features, but it promises a more superior performance compared to other units within its class. Although packaged as a replacement cartridge, it works efficiently as a Livewell pump as well.
One of the most outstanding features about this unit is that it has an output of 750 gallons per hour at a nominal voltage of 12V DC. This allows you to clean out your tank quickly and keep your Livewell system aerated throughout your fishing session.
What is more amazing is that installing and wiring this unit is very easy. The fact that it is compact and lightweight makes it easy to install on any boat system. All you have to do is to connect the alligator clips to your 12V battery whenever you need to pump your Livewell system.
Whether you are a recreational or professional angler, you can always rely on the Johnson Pump America Marine Cartridge to keep your Livewell aerated all the time.
- The cartridge comes with ignition protection for extended life
- Very easy to install
- High output (750GPH)
- Extremely affordable
- Recommended for small, recreational fishing boats
3. Rule Replacement Cartridge
The rule is another brand renowned for manufacturing top quality Livewell pumps and related marine accessories. The company has been in the market for decades releasing reliable pumps for recreational and commercial fishing boats. With that said, it does not come as a shocker that I had to feature this unit as one of the best replacement cartridges for any Livewell aerator pump
Conspicuously, this Rule motor cartridge is not an actual Livewell pump but a replacement cartridge. In essence, the unit allows you to replace a burnt-out or a damaged motor rather than swap the entire Livewell system for a new one. This goes a long way to eliminate the need of having to buy another bait well pump. Moreover, changing the motor only saves time allowing you to continue with your fishing excursions uninterrupted.
The fact that this cartridge does not come with sophisticated features makes it very easy to install. You just need to plug in the cartridge into the pump and re-solder the lead for it to function. However, it is advisable that you use heat shrink clips when doing the wiring to prevent the wires
from separating when beating around in the boat.
Most importantly, the cartridge supports up to 700 gallons per hour at a nominal voltage of 12V. This ensures that the Livewell remains aerated optimally while your fish and bait stay alive during the entire fishing episode.
- Extremely easy to install
- Eliminates the need of buying a new Livewell pump
- Supports up to 700 gallons per hour
- Not ideal for tournament fishing
4. Johnson Pumps 48903 1000 GPH
If you are looking for a robust, highly efficient, all-in-one Livewell aerator pump, then consider acquiring this 1000GPH thruster from Johnson Pumps.
This unit features two ports with a cumulative output of 1250 gallons per hour at a voltage of the 12V. While one port serves the Livewell tank, the other port connects to the raw water washdown pump, keeping your boat high and dry. This eliminates the need to install two separate pumps on your boat.
Another amazing feature is that the pump has a tapered inlet seal that is capable of handling high pressures with relative ease. This ensures a continuous flow of water through the seacock and the
upper outlet port.
But that’s not all… This 1000GPH pump also features an aerator kit that can convert any ice chest into a portable Livewell tank. The fact that you do not have to drill any holes on the chest, means that you can always revert to its original purpose.
What is more interesting is that the pump is capable of aerating up to two different 35-gallon live bait wells at the same time. This allows you to keep your catch fresh and your bait alive even during hot, sunny days.
The best part is that all Johnson Pumps units are factory tested to work with all types of Livewell systems. This means that you can always be sure that the pump will work with your bait well tank straight out of the box.
- Twin ports eliminate the need for a separate bilge pump
- Easy to set up
- Capable of handling high pressure
- Supports up to 1250 GPH cumulatively
- Warranty information is not available publicly
5. Johnson Pumps of America 38502
The Johnson Pumps of America 38502 is yet another great aerator pump popular with most anglers. This is because it offers dozens of auxiliary features that are not available with any other
The first feature is that this aerator pump is fully submersible, meaning that you do not have to prime it as you have to install it to function underwater. Another advantage of this is that the pump does not require a lot of energy to move water from the lake into the tank and back to the lake. Instead, natural water pressure drives water into the pump subsequently saving energy. This makes this unit one of the best Livewell aerators pumps available in the market.
Another interesting feature that I discovered is that the motor comes with a hermetic seal that not only keeps the pump airtight but also prevents captivation. What is more amazing is that the seal is saltwater tough, meaning that this Livewell pump can withstand harsh, corrosive conditions
especially when fishing in seawater.
This Livewell pump for a boat is also ignition protected, which simply means that the unit cannot cause a fire when installed near flammable components. The best part is that the pump is very quiet during operation. Apparently, you won’t even notice that you have a Livewell pump installed in your boat.
With so many features at your disposal, there is no reason why you should invest in the Johnson Pumps of America 38502 Cartridge Aerator Pump.
- Self-priming pump
- Ignition protected for enhanced safety
- The pump is resistant to corrosion
- Quiet operation
- The pump can only push 500 gallons per hour
Jabsco Rule Marine Rule Replacement Motor
If your Livewell pump is constantly malfunctioning for no apparent reason, chances are that the motor is finally giving in. When this occurs, you may either swap the entire aerator system or replace the damaged motor to restore the Livewell to its functional best.
With that said, replacing the damaged unit with the Jabsco Rule Marine Rule Replacement motor seems to make more economic sense than buying a new pump.
Notably, this motor supports up to 800 gallons per hour, as a result keeping your catch fresh and bait alive. Its ability to keep the water in the well-aerated for long makes the motor ideal for pumps used in tournament fishing.
Another feature that I admired about this innovative motor is that it is very easy to set up. You just need to remove the old motor, insert the new one and change the wiring, all at the press of a button!
Additionally, the unit is ignition protected, meaning that it will not cause an internal explosion during operation or set fire to flammable pump components. Nonetheless, it is advisable that you monitor water intake as high-speed scoops may damage the pump or motor and flood the
The exciting part is that the Jabsco replacement motor comes with a 3-year warranty that gives tournament anglers peace of mind during fishing excursions. You can use your Livewell without worrying about the possibility of the pump failing when you need it the most.
- Supports flow rate of up to 800 gallons per hour
- Fast and easy replacement
- Ignition protected motor
- Comes with a 3-year warranty
- Not an actual Livewell pump
WHAT TO LOOK FOR BEFORE BUYING A LIVEWELL PUMP
Do you just hate it when a product you’ve bought suddenly stops working for no apparent reason?
Well, just like any other product buying a Livewell pump requires careful consideration. Essentially, you should not opt for the first aerator pump that comes your way. Instead, you should shop around and compare various features to make a more informed decision.
Here are a few factors to consider when purchasing a Livewell pump for your boat.
WATER TRANSFER CAPACITY
The rate at which the pump transfers water from the lake into tank and back can make a huge difference in keeping your catch fresh and healthy. A good pump should have an output flow of 500 GPH or above, which is ideal for replacing water from the tank every 5-10 minutes.
When buying a Livewell pump, consider one that comes with an aerator. This type of pump not only draws water into the tank, but also keeps it aerated. This will keep your fish fresh and healthy, and save you from the costs of buying a separate aerator.
The only shortcoming with this arrangement is that you stand to lose everything in case the pump malfunctions. However, this is not a big issue, as you will discover that most aerator pumps recommended above are long-lasting.
You might be tempted to believe that Livewell pumps do not carry safety risk. However, like any other equipment, Livewell aerator pumps could be dangerous if mishandled. Any leakage could kill your catch and damage your boat. With this in mind, you should go for a pump that features an airtight seal and it is ignition protected.
FRESHWATER OR SALTWATER
Most Livewell pumps are capable of functioning in both freshwater and seawater. However, exposure to chemicals and harsh, corrosive conditions may damage the pump. With this in mind, it is preferable that you opt for saltwater tough pumps that can withstand rust and corrosion.
Noise is also a factor to consider when purchasing a pump. After all, nobody loves a noisy pump. A good aerator pump should have minimal noise levels so as not to scare away the fish. The rule of thumb when checking on the noise level is that the bigger the pump, the more noise it will produce.
Ease of mounting
The pump that you intend to buy should be easy to set up. Ideally, you should go for a unit that does not require you to hire an expert or a boat technician. This will save you from exorbitant installation costs.
Accessories and backups
An ideal Livewell pump should come with extra accessories and backups. In essence, additional accessories such as flow alarms, temperature monitors and backup systems will save you from the agony of having to purchase these gadgets separately.
Moreover, the pump should consist of replaceable parts such as motor cartridges and filters, allowing you to repair the unit without having to replace the entire Livewell system.
Price of the pump
Price is always a factor when buying any product. Considering that a Livewell pump is an important investment, it is only logical that you compare prices before making a purchase.
You will notice that the value of the pump has a bearing on the quality, as top-rated pumps come with a medium to the high price tag. However, this does not mean that you should compromise on your budget. The good news is that most Livewell pumps mentioned above are budget-friendly.
Who Needs a Livewell Pump?
Whether you are a commercial fisherman or a recreational angler, you need a Livewell pump to keep your bait and catch fresh and alive. In any case, no one loves going to shore with dead, smelly fish. This also applies to sports fishing where you need to keep your catch alive throughout the weigh-in process before releasing it back to the water.
Apart from commercial and recreational fishing, anyone in the business of transporting aquatic animals needs to install a Livewell pump. The pump helps keep marine animals alive during transportation until they reach their destination.
Where are livewell pumps used?
Livewell pumps are mandatory in sport fishing considering that tournament fishing requires anglers to catch and release the fish after the weigh-in process. Essentially, the fish has to be alive during this process in order to record accurate measurements.
Interestingly, some Livewell pumps also function as bilge pumps. They consist of two different ports that help aerate your Livewell at the same time keep your boat high and dry.
Top 4 livewell pump brands
1. Attwood livewell pumps
Having a compact design and creative engineering, Tsunami pumps are well known of their quality. The pumps deliver high output flow just from a small package. The brand employs the use of most advanced material available including high-quality bearing, alloys, magnet and state of the art brushes.
Attwood livewell pumps shaft seal prevents the leakages that might be caused due to misalignment. They have caulked as well as tinned wiring eliminating wicking and helps in the resisting corrosion and prevention of water damage. The high-efficiency aerator livewell pump ensures the water moves out at capacities of 800 gph.
2. Johnson livewell pump
A unique pump brand in the market. It is popular due to their uniqueness. Johnson livewell pump has got a twin port that offers the convenience to use a single intake for both livewell as well as raw water wash down pump. Cartridge Aerator Pumps offers convenience and reliable service. In-well Aerator kit that offers the best and easiest way to add oxygen for your bait and fish as well. It is always used as a primary aerator in recirculating when making a long run.
The brands have a special Ice chest aerator kit that helps in converting ice chest into a portable live bait tank. Not forgetting the inclusion of study Bilge, battery clamps, hose, press-on clamp, spray bar, and a clear-cut instruction.
3. Rule livewell pump
Making it into the limelight, rule livewell pump brand is beating the majority in the market with its revolutionary design. Fitted with an impressive motor cartridge removal system with one-handed push button. The innovative system comes with an easy grip rubber overmold. What makes this pump to be a top brand?
Ok, its hose barbs to have a 360Á rotatable base as well as glass filled. With their new release to the market, Rule FC Tournament Series Livewell Pump that can serve for a very long time and very powerful. With very little or completely no noise at all.
Therefore, you hardly get distraction when using the tool. The livewell offers an easy way to replace the motor when it expires due to its versatility feature in replacing the motor cartridges hence convenience. Finally, due to the presence of hook attachments, it is possible to flexibly mount the hose on various or multiple options.
4. Shurflo livewell pump
This is a quality made pump brand. Its pumps are compact and easily fills the bait tank. Shurflo livewell pumps offer easy installation to their pumps. It will take just a couple of minutes to have the pump fixed on your boat. With this kind of brand, you can repair the pump without entirely removing the pump base. When winterizing the system, most of the brands have got to port help you in this process.
It has got a classical set-up. The changeable, pump 'cartridge' and readily available. It eliminates the hustle of plumbing work should there be a need to replace the motor.
Conclusion – What is the Best Livewell Pump?
Whether you are into commercial fishing or sport fishing, choosing the right Livewell pump can go a long way to address your specific needs. A good Livewell pump will not only keep your bait and fish alive but also aerate the water to ensure that your catch remains fresh.
All the same, settling for a particular Livewell pump for the boat might seem to be the toughest challenge for any angler. In any case, all the pumps in our reviews are nearly perfect. Nevertheless, after deliberating with fellow editors for hours, we finally opted for the Attwood Tsunami Aerator as the best Livewell pump.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
Q: Can a Livewell tank function without a pump?
A: A Livewell tank cannot function without a pump. The function of the pump is to circulate water and keep the bait and fish alive. Without this pump, the tank will just be like any other ice chest.
Q: Is a motor cartridge the same as a Livewell pump?
A: A motor cartridge is not an actual pump, but one can convert to function as a pump