A major enhancement in small boat manufacturing in recent years has been wide scale incorporation of a live well for baits. The fact that menhaden populations are booming in coastal waters is a strong indication of the importance of keeping live bunker handy at all times.
For older or smaller boats without the luxury of a well built into the transom, one easy solution is converting an 18-gallon plastic beverage tub (what you use to hold your Memorial Day weekend keg) into a portable well. And with Engel’s all-new XL Lithium-Ion rechargeable live bait aerator or “bubbler” – recommended for live bait buckets or boxes larger than 19 quarts – keeping baits lively is effective, easy to manage, and pretty darn inexpensive.
Engel’s newest universal aerator is rechargeable and boasts Lithium-Ion USB-C rechargeable batteries, so you don’t have to lug the old 12-volt starter battery around. The unit fits all live bait coolers and bait buckets and features 2 x Electro-Magnetic pumps with no rotational parts, gears, or cogs, so there’s nothing to seize or break. The units feature variable four-speed and intermittent functions, and best of all, they’re built using marine grade saltwater resistant stainless steel hardware with the unit itself sealed watertight with an internal gasket to protect the battery and electronics.
Available in two sizes, the XL version (ENG-AP4 XL PUMP) provides three standard liters per minute air capacity and a Lithium-Ion battery (3X2000mAh / 37.2Wh) that holds up to 48 hours of rechargeable life, ideal for long days on the fluke or striper grounds. The complete package comes with the rechargeable pump and Lithium-ion battery, 48 inches of silicone air hose, a 3-inch hockey-puck style weighted aerator stone, and a 110-v USB charger with a 32-inch USB-C charging cable.
Engel’s Universal Aerator Rechargeable Pro Pump also comes with a 2-year warranty and is what Engel calls “the quietest pump on the market.” The Engel Extra Large Lithium-ion Rechargeable Live Bait Aerator Pump ($69.99) is great for bunker tubs, eel buckets, or keeping killies alive in your new Engel (EN80) cooler that could be yours with a 9th place sea robin in The Fisherman’s Dream Boat Fishing Challenge.