Best Livewell Pump: Pick Which One Is Right For Your Boat

It’s a bright sunny day, you’re out on the water catching magnificent amounts of fish thinking about how lucky you are. But as long as you returned to the land you found out that all the fish you caught had died! How would you feel? Terrible, right? You must be wondering what could possibly have gone wrong? Well, the livewell pump you were using did not work and your luck ran out.

If you’re new to fishing, allow me to explain. Livewell is the tank on a fishing boat where you keep your live bait and catch fish. And the livewell pump actually brings in the oxygen by which they remain alive. The pump circulates water from outside the boat into the tank. That is exactly why it’s an absolute necessity to have a good livewell pump.

Now buying a good livewell pump can be a bit confusing at times. Because you get plenty of variety and a wide range of products. Which one should you choose? Which one is best suitable for you? Also, I know “cost” is a big factor here. Is it worth buying the most expensive one? All your questions will be answered here.

We, the team of have done the homework for you. You have gone through thousands of people’s feedback over the internet and shortlisted five of the best livewell pumps available in the market. So without further ado, let’s get started…

top 5 Best Livewell Pump reviews

If you are looking for a premium quality pump at a relatively cheap price, this one is ideal for you. It offers the convenience of using only one intake for both the live well and raw-water washdown pump. It does the job quite perfectly just like other over-priced livewell pumps out there.

  • Budget-friendly
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easy to install

This mini monster can assume you have plenty of oxygen in your livewell so that your caught fish can live much longer. It is a compact and well-engineered design pump to ensure that it provides you with high volumes of water output from the smallest package possible.

  • Value for money
  • Easy to install
  • Durable

These lightweight pumps will give you the best livewell setup to keep your catch and bait calm and healthy without the disturbance of noise and vibration! And they work with almost any standard livewell system, you can easily clean and maintain it and you won’t break a sweat during installation.

  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Silent savior. It’s vibration-free
  • Less power consuming

This Attwood T-500 Tsunami Recirq Aerator Kit contains everything needed to recirculate livewell water to keep the water cooler and rich in oxygen. This kit pumps water out of the livewell, through a hose to an aerator spray head that delivers the water back into the livewell. This self-contained system can be added to any livewell that already has a freshwater fill system, or it can be used as a backup pump as a fail-safe system.

  • Best suitable for small to medium systems
  • Innovative engineering and compact design
  • Shaft for leakage prevention

If you are out there looking for a livewell pump for long term use, then you need to install this one. It is known for its durability and it has never failed to achieve its purpose. It has been made with a strong ABS plastic that is able to handle the water pressure quite perfectly.

  • Pumps water relatively faster
  • Well distributed and build design
  • Highly durable

What to look for before buying a livewell pump

When you shop for a livewell pump, you have a lot of options available to you! How can you know which pump will work best for your boat? After all, it’s not like you can just try one on in the store! Don’t worry, you can choose the top livewell pump for your fishing setup without going crazy. Just keep the following thoughts in mind as you consider different livewell pump options.



Before purchasing the pump you have in mind, it is important you know your livewell water capacity level. Each pump has its own different capacity level in their output as their special feature and in your purchase, you need to ensure you pick a pump that will be able to replace the capacity to your satisfaction.


Bigger is not always better

Most people will consider buying a big livewell pump with the perception that the bigger the pump, the higher the capacity. However, you need to note that a pump with too much capacity is prone to airlocks which can result in damaging your bait. A pump with an average size is the best choice. However, if you must buy a pump with a high capacity, ensure it has an anti-airlock mechanism to keep your bait safe.


Flow Rate

How powerful is the pump? Select a pump that has sufficient flow output and one that will match with your needs in terms of distance it will draw fresh water and tank capacity. Remember the longer the distance it will draw water, the lower the output.

Generally, a Livewell tank needs water to be replaced every 10 minutes. That means you need to replace the water 6 times in an hour. So if the capacity of the one you have is 100 gallons, then you need a pump with a flow rate of 600 GPH.

Now depending on your capacity, you do the math.


Safety check for leaks

Whenever there is a leakage in the device, you need to turn it off as soon as possible. How do you do it?

The interior of the hull and the pump should have a valve in between for a quick shutdown in case of a leakage. Moreover, the motor needs to be ignition-protective in order to avoid burns caused by heavy power-flow.


Freshwater or saltwater

Not every livewell pump will work in both fresh and saltwater. Some will work in both but don’t have as long a lifespan with regular use in saltwater. Some don’t handle silty water or water with chemicals in it — for some, water with chemical contaminants will destroy the pump! Think about where you plan to fish when you shop for your livewell pump and make sure that your selected pump will handle the waters.


Solid Build-Quality

A Livewell pump stays submerged underwater for its entire life. So in order to survive, it needs to be crafted with heavy-duty rugged materials. Make sure your pump is manufactured with strong, rust, and corrosion-free materials.


Easy Installation

How easy is it to mount the livewell pump? Ensure the pump of your choice doesn’t require you to follow a complicated process or special tools that would require hiring expert services. Doing such would mean spending the extra cash for their service which is not cost-effective when you have to use the pump on a regular basis.



Though even the best pumps don’t break the bank, budget concerns are always worth considering. If you worry about cost-effectiveness and longevity, pumps with replaceable cartridges can be a sound investment. That said, if you have to replace the cartridges a lot, it can add up over time. Spend some time thinking about the longevity of your livewell pump, and find the best selection for your price range.


Motor cartridge replacement

A livewell pump for livewells that gives you the flexibility to replace motor cartridges is an excellent choice because you will be able to clean and maintain it effectively. If a pump is well-maintained, its lifespan will be extended and will function efficiently.


Brand Of the Pump

There are a significant number of brands available for you to work with when getting a pump but one thing you need to understand is not all brands will offer you the pump you might be looking for. In your research, get to know the pump with the features that will work best for you and from that ensure you work with a brand that will offer you what you are looking for.

Who needs a livewell pump?

Fishing livewells are increasingly popular for a couple of reasons. For fishermen who use live bait, having a livewell is pretty much the best way to keep that bait alive until you need it. Another huge market for livewells is bass tournament fishing. Because tournament fishing encourages catch and release fishing, being able to keep that big bass alive through the weigh-in so you can release it is important. But regardless of your reason for keeping a livewell, the heart of the entire system is the livewell pump.

This pump is a must-have tool for any person who wants to keep their livewells alive and healthy either for a fishing tournament or any other reason. It will facilitate the circulation of fresh water in the livewell tank to keep the bait or fish breathing.

How does a Livewell pump work?

The concept of an aerated livewell is pretty simple. A pump pulls water in through the hull and into the livewell. A drain allows the water to escape and be replaced. The aerator agitates the water to stimulate the oxygen in the water.

The amount of water going into the well needs to be regulated. There is a flow adjustment tap that makes, sure enough, water is coming in, but not so much that it creates a current or overflows the well. There's also an overflow drain to help with this.

The second piece of the puzzle is power. Each and every Legend Boat console comes with a handy on/off toggle switch. Oxygen levels are the single most important factor for livewells. Too much or too little and your catch will die.

How to set up the best livewell pump

Once you’ve purchased a livewell pump that’s right for your boat, you’ve got to install it! No two boats are exactly the same, so your installation may differ a bit. Make sure that you follow any specific instructions that come with your livewell pump. Here is a general outline of how installation typically works.

With your boat out of the water, use a hole saw to cut a hole in the transom, at least two inches below the waterline.

Using a marine sealant on both the nut and the threaded aerator collar, install the aerator inlet through the transom, then hand tighten the nut. If your livewell pump uses a hose system, it should install similarly here. Take care not to overtighten the nut — after hand-tightening, use a wrench to turn the nut an additional quarter to a half-inch.


The guide above lists the top five best livewell pumps you can find in the market. The guide makes it easy for you to make the right choice. You cannot go wrong by picking any of the pumps reviewed in the guide.

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