Monday, March 18, 2013

Product Review - Engel 13 Qt. Live Bait Cooler

Normally I prefer to fish with artificial lures, but there are certain situations when I fish with , or like to have fresh bait.   During those times, I would tote around a Frabill troll tank, but that had some issues.  During tournaments, if I spend the time to catch bait, if I decide to use it, I want it to be fresh and lively.  Unfortunately, during the summer to keep baits such as shrimp and mullet lively, that tank is in the water the whole day.  This slows me down, and makes me susceptible to the current and other factors.  To mitigate this, I decided to turn to Engel Coolers.  

Baitwell (between the seat and green box) rigged on the Skimmer 128

After hearing great things about their products, I figured that if the livewell didn't work out the way I wanted, at least I would have a quality cooler to take out on the water.  With a few trips under its belt, I have been pleasantly surprised by the results.  I went with the 13 Quart Cooler and noticed a few things before I even got it.
  1. When purchasing items on line, I appreciate it when the process my order quickly.  I placed my      order on a Saturday, and by 0900 on the following Monday my order was purchased.
     2.  It was shipped the same day it was processed, and I didn't have to pay anything extra.

When I got the cooler, which was five days after the order was placed, I noticed the quality of the cooler.  I was excited and couldn't wait to get it out on the water.  My next trip I put it in use.  It fit rather nicely in my tankwell with a small box and rod holders.  It kept 5 dozen shiners lively all day.  I decided to test its water tightness, and when turned upside down, there was minimal leaking from the aerator hose port.  This area can be plugged from the inside when the hose is not in use.  The top seals were flawless.  

My for my next trip I decided to see how it would work on the Skimmer 128, with the Yak Attack BlackPak.  I was able to put it between the BlackPak and the seat, but was unable to secure it to the kayak.  I was however able to put the cooler between my legs comfortably without it getting in the way.  Utilizing the BlackPak, or full size crate, it fit nicely behind the crate, while being secured to the kayak.  This is the most likely scenario and option when im tournament fishing.  My fishing buddy commented at the end of the day on the liveliness and quality of the bait and said he would end up purchasing one himself.

As a cooler itself, I tested it with ice in my truck.  It held ice with minimal melt for a week, parked in the sun everyday.  It is extremely quick and easy to remove the aerator and hose (included with the cooler), if you decide to use it as a stand alone cooler.

At around $70 with shipping included, if you are looking for a live bait management solution when fishing, check it out.  Im sure you will be pleased!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Bill - it was on my "To Order List" already. After seeing it in action this past weekend down in SC (Luther had one), Rob's comments and now yours. It's a done deal. I'll be ordering one soon! Nice review!