Making A 188 Sport More Bass Friendly

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LucasBass

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I have a 2004 188 sport. I am a huge bass guy and tournament fisherman. We usually use my buddies ranger for tourney's, but I would like to make mine a little more usable. The biggest issues i run into for a 8 hour tournament is the livewell size on my 188 sport. I know it has 1 in the back and 1 in the front, but to fit and maintain 5 bass in there for 7-8 hours is risky i think. They are pretty small. I was looking at pulling up the rear deck and installing a larger livewell in the back. It has 2 hatches, but the one hatch has nothing in it. I was going to get a livewell that expands the length of both hatches. I will still have access to my pumps and inner transom from the side compartments.

Has anyone had experience removing the back deck or putting in a new livewell in these boats?

Thanks!
 

Larry Williams

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I want to share an idea that has worked extremely well for me over the past 8 years. I see the subject of live wells come up often and I can make a recommendation that will improve your live fish or bait holding ability greatly and add an extremely quite trouble free operation. Some years ago, motivated by the annoying sudden noises created by the recirculation/aeration systems in a live well system, I decided to try one of the 12 volt "bubble pump" units, specifically the Power Bubbles air pump. I have owned the dual compartment rear livewell configuration in 3 different boats including my 2017 Nitro Z18. The very first thing I installed when I got home with the new Z18 was the two line air pump unit with lines feeding air to the bottom of both sides of the livewell box. The air pump unit comes with two feed lines and air rocks and costs less than $50. The pump is wired to attach to the 12v system (no clips) and I added an on/off switch at the helm. Current draw is extremely low on these pumps- you simply drill two 1/4" holes a the very top of both sides of the livewell and feed the line through to the compartments down low and add a touch of silicone at the drilled holes around the lines. I zip tied the air feeders to the center divider on both sides at the bottom of the tank. I installed the pump unit just behind the livewell boxes inside the back hatch glued to a thick piece of packing foam to be sure no vibration is transferred to the boat body or hull. extremely quite operation with only a very slight hum- if you are over it at the back and it's very quite around you. I turn it on when I hit the water and don't turn it off until I'm home. you can use half the amount of water and never use noisy aeration or recirculation provided by the pump system that circulates water. My fish never die- even with upper 80 degree water temps like we have here in the summers in Louisiana. I have been amazed at how well this works. If you do this, I can guarantee you will say its the best improvement you have ever done to keep fish alive. You can carry fish all day and if you decide to turn them back they will be so lively that you can hardly get them out!
 

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