Jackson Kayak Big Tuna - Got Livewell / Bait-tank?
Since the first time we at Kayak Fishing Supplies saw the Jackson Kayak Big Tuna, we could not wait to have the opportunity to dig into rigging this kayak. The most obvious idea on our minds was making the center hatch into a bait tank. With a little thought and a few hours of time we have done it and are very happy with the results of this experiment.
Kayak Fishing Supplies presents to the kayak angling world the ultimate Big Tuna center hatch bait tank!
The first step in rigging this tank was determining the best way to mount a pump in order to create the cleanest and most functional installation. The solution we came up with was to mount the pump directly into the factory drop in bucket. Installation includes using a strainer on the pump's shaft to ensure the pump will not become fouled with debris. This strainer fitting fits perfectly and is level with the boats bottom, so no worries on catching it on submerged obstacles.
For exhausting of the tank we simply drilled a series of holes with a total exhaust size of 2" into the drop-in. We placed these behind the pump to ensure the best water exchange rate.
After a day of fishing to drain the tank, we installed a threaded drain to make emptying water fast and easy. You may ask with the weight of the water in the bucket insert - will the factory bungee hold that amount of weight? Yes it does, but we felt over time that it will corrode and crack, so we added our polyethylene wrapped bungee for longer life span and strength.
The pump is wired to a 2-pin marine connector to allow disconnect of the pump so you may remove the drop-in tank. The wires then run through a watertight seal and into the kayak.
We used a waterproof toggle switch mounted on the Port side of the kayak near the rear cockpit area. From the switch we ran the wires to the stern hatch for power supply.
With the installation of this 500gph pump the flow in the bait tank (which has a working volume of just under 4 gallons) is rather strong. To combat this we recommend running a 6 volt battery as we do on all of our bait tanks. Should you wish to run 12 volts, no problem as the pump is fitted with 3/4 NPT threads meaning you can simply add a ball valve? Using a ball valve will give you infinite control of the pumps flow whether you choose to use 12 volts or if an even gentler flow is needed using 6 volts for delicate baits.
But wait, what if I want to use my JK Cooler/Fish bag instead of the bait tank pump one day? No problem, simply replace the pump with the threaded plug and your JK cooler fits as before without getting the bottom wet. Or you can simply buy a second Jackson Kayak Big Tuna insert for an even easier transition.
Plumbing the Jackson Kayak Big Tuna with our pump system makes use of this tank incredibly easy and adds even more "cool factor" to this one-of-a-kind tandem.
A big thank you goes to Jackson Kayak for producing such a unique product with so much versatility. We hope that this added extra only helps boost the kayak anglers confidence in this kayak as not only a phenomenal family kayak, but also as a serious fishing boat.