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Author Topic:   Fish boxes on the 23 Outrage
diveorfish posted 10-07-2002 08:06 PM ET (US)   Profile for diveorfish   Send Email to diveorfish  
I know these sound like dumb questions but I am new to fishing on a boat of this size so here goes: On my boat I have two fish boxes and both drain to thru hulls, both have plugs, and both have macerator pump outs. My question is: Can they be filled with water so when you put fish in them they stay alive? Or, are you only supposed to put ice in them to ice the fish down? What do most of you do who have this type of fish box?

The reason I am asking is that I pulled the plug and water came gushing up but only enough to fill the box. I then caught a couple of strippers and put them in the box and they stayed alive for hours.

I'm not sure that these boxes are designed to hold water like bathtubs though because one end has corners that are bolted and caulked together.

Enlightenment is appreciated.

ivansfo posted 10-08-2002 01:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for ivansfo  Send Email to ivansfo     

I have a 23 Conquest and have the one fish box on the starboard floor. I've been doing the same as you found to pump in water. I just pulled the drain plug out and leave it out all day to keep my catch alive. I must say it works great!

At the end of the day, I pull my bilge drain plug and only about 1-2 cups of water leak out. Most of that probably came from me washing down the deck a few times during each trip.


homey posted 10-08-2002 01:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for homey  Send Email to homey     
Most people who saltwater fish would place ice in those boxes.(if they are going to keep the fish for dinner)Make sure the fish are flat. They will be much easier to fillet.(not so easy when they are still flopping around) The ice will eventually melt and can be drained/pumped out with the macerator.
Bass fisherman usually keep their fish alive in tournaments. After the weigh in they return the fish to the lake. Good Luck!
Swellmonster posted 10-08-2002 06:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
I keep my little guys in their too. Just plug up the back and let water in.
Put the bottom plug back in when you start moving cause the water will flow out and put the fish to sleep.
diveorfish posted 10-08-2002 01:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for diveorfish  Send Email to diveorfish     
Ivansfo: I saw a nice 23 Conquest with twin 135’s at the Brothers (two small islands north of the Richmond bridge) last Saturday morning. Was that you by any chance? For that matter was that anybody who posts to this site?
ivansfo posted 10-08-2002 07:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for ivansfo  Send Email to ivansfo     

Yep, that was probably me :-) I was out there chasing striped bass on Saturday and Sunday.

The bite was wide open on Saturday and it was a lot of fun catching and releasing those bass.

What boat were you in?


ivansfo posted 10-08-2002 07:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for ivansfo  Send Email to ivansfo     
Ahh...I think I remember! You must have been the 23 Outrage with twin Mercs anchored just south of the Brothers islands! The only other boat in the area was a Proline walkaround. Before leaving the area, I saw two people on your boat reeling in fish.

After making a couple of drifts there without finding any stripers, I ran up to join the fleet of boats north of the Sister's islands. This is where we found the bass.


scotts152001 posted 10-08-2002 08:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for scotts152001  Send Email to scotts152001     
I had a similar question about the fish boxes on my 96 24' Outrage, but I was afraid to sound stupid so I didn't pose the question. I did contact Whaler and get the following response. Pretty cool that you can ask a question and get a response the same day. I wonder how many boat companies have this type of customer service.

"Basically, the smaller drains on the aft wall of the fishwells should be
left open most of the time.
This allows the melted ice water (when icing fish in the fishwells) to
drain into the bilge area and then get pumped out via bilge pump.
Excess water and fish scales etc. can be eliminated by pulling the
thru-hull drain plugs while underway. (put the drain plugs back into the
thru-hull tubes before stopping to prevent water from entering.
When moored leave the small drain tubes unplugged to allow any rainwater
that may enter the fishwells to drain via the bilge pump, however, most
should drain out the deck scuppers.
If needed, you should be able to order smaller drain plugs for these tubes
through your dealer.

There was an optional fishwell pump out system that was available from the
factory. This system had round grates where the small drain tubes are
located (on the back wall of the fishwell) and a pump would eliminate the
melted ice water."

Anyone up for a run for Albacore? I've never done it and am looking for someone to run with.

Ed Stone posted 10-08-2002 09:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
I do alot of grouper fishing here in
Florida and I do the same thing. I leave
the plug out and keep the fish alive until
I start to head back, then I throw the
fish in the cooler under the ice.
The fish box works great when you catch
one of those bloody kingfish,they can
really make a mess.If you want to bleed
out a fish the fish box works well also.
If you have a full tank of gas and a
full tank of water,and a lot of people
fishing towards the stern of the boat
water will run over the back edge of
your fish box and cause your bilige to
kick on every few minutes.
Those are some good size fish boxes
on the 23 Outrage.You would have to
catch alot of fish to fill those.
The newer Whalers have air assit hatches
on the fish boxes.They also stay up until
you give them a little push.
Ed Stone
diveorfish posted 10-09-2002 01:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for diveorfish  Send Email to diveorfish     
Thanks all for the responses. Based on the info I guess I will fill one fish box with water and the other with ice. LOL

Ivansfo: That was I. The people who had “fish on” were catching leopard sharks at the time. We also went up and joined the fleet north of the “Sisters” and all limited out on strippers. It was a perfect day until the end. On the way back to the Berkley marina (where we launched from) we stopped at the south side of Alcatraz for a quick shot a halibut or ling and did a couple of drifts. On the second drift my port engine quit and I couldn’t restart it. I had to go from Alcatraz to Berkley on one engine. God I hope this won’t be one of those Optimax horror stories because up till now they have been running flawlessly. My boat is in the shop now.

scotts152001: I really want to take an albacore run but I have never gone before either. I think they are still around. Email me and we’ll talk.

jimb342 posted 10-10-2002 10:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimb342  Send Email to jimb342     
I'll give my take on the boxes. When a hot bite of tuna fishing is on, I use one to place the fish in just after gaffing. When things cool down you can also bleed your catch in the same box. It keeps the mess to a minimum. The other box I keep lots of ice in. You can make a brine if you have enough ice by adding saltwater and salt to it. This gets them really cold really fast. For some more great info, try They have great tips and fishing info in your area and it's free.
Swellmonster posted 10-11-2002 01:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
I had the hydraulic supports on my rig and the salt water destroyed them in less than 1/2 a year.

What are the rear plug sizes in the fishboxes?

Ed Stone posted 10-11-2002 10:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
Hey swell,
The fish boxes on my 23 does not have
the gas assit lifts.I seen them on the
270,and 240 outrages.They appear to be stainless.
There are no plugs on the rear of the
23 Outrage.The plug is in the bottom of
the hull.To the rear of the fish box the
plastic starboard does not go all the way
to the underside of the deck,so before
water over flows onto the deck it exits
into the bilge.
Ed Stone
diveorfish posted 10-12-2002 01:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for diveorfish  Send Email to diveorfish     
Ed: What year is your 23? I could be wrong but on my 23 no water drains into my bilge from the fish box that I can see.

This is a good segway to my next dumb question posed to anyone who owns or has good knowledge of the post-classic, euro-transomed, bowling ball boats: Just how much water are the bilge areas of these boats designed to handle? Inside those areas are pumps, wires, oil tanks, water tanks, fuel lines, oil lines, and plenty of wires, hoses and cables. Can I shove a garden hose in there and wash everything down without damaging anything? Since I hardly ever get water into the bilge area, I don't really know how wet things are supposed to get in there. A guy at my boat shop said the whole area can be filled with water and still be ok. He even said that the batteries could get soaked and still work. Is this true?

aubv posted 10-12-2002 12:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for aubv  Send Email to aubv     

I occasionally take a garden hose and intentionally put about 10-20 gallons of water and boat soap into the bilge, I disconnect the bilge pump and then go run the boat to "wash down" the bilge. I do this just before hauling. Once hauled, I can pull the plug, drain and then reconnect the bilge pump. Batteries in cars get wet all the time but to get the batteries wet in a 23' OR would take a LOT of water in the bilge, considering where they are located. I think there would have to be water to the sump pump, even then I'm not sure the batteries would get wet.

The bilge pump on my 23' never runs despite rain, wash downs and waves over rear deck hatches. The only time I've seen it run is when I put water in the bilge.

Regarding the fish boxes I believe I have checked mine and they are caulked at the top of the starboard to prevent water from flowing into the bilge. I'll check mine again in the next couple of days.

diveorfish posted 10-13-2002 02:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for diveorfish  Send Email to diveorfish     
Aubv: Thanks for the information, I feel much better now. I was always concerned about the hatch over the batteries. It really isn't as waterproof as I would like because that black rubber lining around the hatch doesn't seat exactly against the edges. I remember reading Pascoe's review of the 26 Outrage and he really knocked that hatch and the placement of the batteries in general. Personally I love the placement because I trailer my boat and it is so easy for me just to climb the ladder and get at them for charging etc. The same goes for the battery swithes.
aubv posted 10-13-2002 09:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for aubv  Send Email to aubv     

You can adjust the latch on the hatch over the batteries, to make a tighter seal.


Swellmonster posted 10-14-2002 04:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
My hydraulic shocks were on the anchor and bow hatch.
phatwhaler posted 10-15-2002 09:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for phatwhaler  Send Email to phatwhaler     
If yous guys need replacement gas assists for your bow hatches or whatever. Gulfwind here in Clearwater has the steel ones. I replaced my bow hatch strut for about $15.00. They have stainless but they are almost 50 bucks. My regular steel one lasted six years so I think I'll stay with the cheaper model.

phatwhaler out.

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