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It never hurts to be prepared for the worst.

A bilge pump may seem like an unnecessary accessory to some bass fishermen, but a day of fishing on the lake can turn upside down in a matter of seconds if your boat starts taking on water.

Pro bass fishermen who rely on low riding boats know the financial and personal safety risks of taking on water all too well.

That is why many pro bass fishermen instal bilge pumps on their crafts for emergency situations.

From unpredictable storms that create large waves to hitting a rock and springing a leak.

All boats run the risk of taking on water, but bass boats are especially vulnerable.

Since bass fishing boats generally ride so low in the the water, there is a much higher chance that an unpredictable wave could break over the side and flood the boat.

Once one wave enters the boat, the chances of another wave breaking over the side increase significantly because the boat is sitting even lower than before.

It only takes a few waves to pull a low riding bass boat under the surface.

A situation like this can arise in seconds, and without a bilge pump,the chances bailing enough water on your own before your beautiful bass boat sinks is unlikely to say the least.

Fortunately, the cost of purchasing and installing a bilge pump is minimum, and far outweighs the cost of having to purchase a new bass boat if yours sinks one day because you could not bilge water fast enough yourself.

There are a number of bilge pumps available for bass boats.

Many of them will work well, but only a few are ideal for a serious bass fisherman.

This article will highlight the best bass boat bilge pump to install in your bass fishing boat and which ones to avoid.

How a bilge pump works

There are a wide variety of bilge pumps on the market for bass fishermen.

Although they claim to be unique, they all serve the same purpose, to expel water from the bottom of your craft as quickly as possible.

The pump itself is mounted at the bottom of the boat, typically in an out of the way spot near the stern.

The pump is placed at the stern because it is the lowest point of the craft and any water build up will accumulate at the lowest point.

The pump is wired to the boats battery via 12v wire and it automatically turned on by a floating switch inside the body of the pump.

When water rises high enough for the switch to float, the pump turns on and expels water until the switch is no longer floating.

Water is expelled from the boat by a rubber hose with one end secured to the pump and the other out the side of the boat.

Different pumps require different hose sizes, and the hose size is determined by the GPH (gallons per hour) rating of the pump.

When the pump kicks on water is forced through the hose from the bottom of the boat back into the lake.


There are a few key features to look for when you are shopping for the best bass boat bilge pump and three important questions to ask before making a purchase.

  • Does it have a 12v hookup?
  • Does it have a flow rate of 750GPH or higher?
  • Does it have a built in float switch?

These three features are ideal for a bass boat for a number of reasons.

  • 12v hook up — A 12v hook up is essential in your bilge pump because the pump can be wired through your boats battery. Installing a separate battery source or relying on a pump that operates on AC power is inefficient and more work for you. 12v pumps are also easy to instal, with a red and black wire, the pump can easily be included on your boats fuse block.
  • Flow rate of 750 or higher — The flow rate of your bilge pump is the amount of water your pump can push out of your boat (in gallons) per hour. In the event that your boat has taken on a significant amount of water, you want to be sure that the pump you have installed is able to clear enough water to keep the boat floating until you can reach shore. 750 gallons of water in an hour is approximately 12 gallons of water in 60 seconds. Picture two 5 gallon buckets being expelled from your boat in 60 seconds. That is a lot of water, and it may sound like over kill, but in the event of an emergency, it is always better to be safe than sunk.
  • Built in float switch — A float switch is a floating device inside the housing of your bilge pump that is activated when there is enough water in the boat for the device to float. Once the device is activated, it turns on the bilge pump and begins clearing water until the device is no longer floating. Some pumps come with a manual switch that can be installed on your driving console.

Although this may seem like a nice feature, it is unnecessary and can even be a hazard in at times because you need to physically be there to turn the pump on and off.

There are several scenarios in which having a float switch opposed to a manual switch can save the day.

The most obvious example being if your boat is tied to the dock overnight and a large storm washes large amounts of rain and waves into your vessel, the automatic floating switch will kick on and begin clearing water on its own.


Fortunately, bilge pumps for bass fishing boats are relatively inexpensive and fairly easy to instal.

Cost of a bilge pump is determined by the brand and by the quality of products used to make the pump.

Each pump is comprised of a few key components:

  • 12 volt wire
  • a plastic housing for the pump
  • the motor that operates the pump
  • the hose used to expel water

Each of these components serves an important purpose in the operation of a bilge pump.

The good news for those looking to save a little money is that the quality of each component is not as important as the more expensive brands want you to believe.

A $20 bilge pump will operate just as well as a $100 pump and will last just as long.

Best bilge pumps for bass boats

Here are a few products that work well in bass fishing boats and won’t break the bank.

Everything from top of the line bass fishing boats to your everyday alumacraft is worthy of these bilge pumps listed below.

Before you begin your search here are some things to keep in mind.

Often times a bilge pump will not be needed for months at a time because either the boat is in storage or there was never a need for it.

It is important to frequently test your bilge pump, regardless of its quality, to ensure that it is still operational.

Every pump is susceptible to clogs from debris, battery failure, or cracked hoses.

Onechoices Automatic Submersible Small Boat Bilge Pump 12v 750gph Auto with Float Switch, Bilge Pumps for Boats (750GPH Blue)

This bilge pump meets all of the requirements for an excellent bass boat bilge pump.

With 12 volt capabilities, 750 gph pump, and an automatic float switch.

This pump’s small design makes it ideal for smaller boats with limited space.

View at Amazon to learn more about how this product might work for your boat.

XUMZEE Upgrade Automatic Bilge Pump, 12-Volt, 750GPH, 3-Amp Draw, ¾-Inch Interior Diameter Hose, Water Pump Built-in Float Switch (Automatic – Blue)

This bilge pump provides a 12 volt hook up, 750 gph pump and an automatic switch.

In addition to the small convenient body, this bilge pump is easy to clean increasing its longevity.

View at Amazon for more information on how this product might work for you.

OASIS MARINE – Automatic Boat Bilge Water Pump 12v 1100 GPH 1 1/8 inch Outlet with Built in Float Switch

With a 1100 gph pump, 12v capabilities, and a float switch, the Oasis Marine Bilge Pump is another excellent option for bass fishermen.

This pump also comes with a 2 year warranty, extra long life expectancy (due to high quality components) and is environmentally friendly.

View at Amazon for more information on how this product might work for you.

Better safe than sunk

All fishermen take a risk when they set out for a day on the water, capsizing, unpredictable storms, and unmarked rocks are potential hazards to every boat.

For a bass fishing boats, the risk of taking on water is higher still because of how low they ride in the water.

That is why most pro bass fishermen advise installing a bilge pump before a day on the water, it may be the difference between making is safely to shore or watching your vessel sink to the bottom of the lake.

Bilge pumps are easy to instal, relatively inexpensive, and most importantly, they have the ability to kick on automatically in an emergency situation.

Be prepared for the worst and have a bilge pump installed in your vessel before your next bass outing.

Featured image credit: Image ID: 639177007