Jarvis Walker live bait pump/aerator

If you are serious about keeping live baits for any length of time, then you will need a live bait pump. I have a Flambeau bait bucket, which has a slot in the side to attach a live bait pump – so I was on the look-out for a decent live bait pump.

The Jarvis Walker deluxe 2 speed aerator looked like it might fit the bill.

Live bait pump : essential for keping sandeels alive for longer

Jarvis Walker Deluxe Aerator instructions

The pump has the following features :

–  2 speeds of operation

– Powered by 1 D sized battery (not included)  – Do not use rechargeable batteries

– Air stone and air hose included

The pump comes with the necessary air hose and air stone

the air stone creates lots of tiny bubbles

The pump has a clip attached to the back to enable it to attach to bait buckets…


Although the product makes no claims about being waterproof, the pump does have a seal around the edge (similar to an “O” ring) and a screw to keep the front and back of the pump together.

A seal (of sorts) around the edge of the case

Thumb screw on the case

The thumbscrew ensures that the case remains closed

On top of the case, you have 3 main items :-

– The on/off switch and speed controller

– The air hose connector

– The air inlet valve

The on/off switch is activated by pressing the rubber grommet – press once to switch to HIGH speed, press again to switch to LOW speed and press again to turn the pump OFF.

The ON/OFF/SPEED selector on the right hand side of the case

The air hose is connected to a valve in the middle. The air hose itself is a bit too flexible and if you are not careful, you can end up getting kinks in it – not really a problem, more something to be aware of when you are feeding the hose into the bucket…

The air hose in the middle

The air has to get in from somewhere (the case is sealed, so air cannot get in from the inside of the case. So there is an air inlet valve on the top of the case on the left hand side…

Air goes in.... bubbles come out !

It is possible for water to get into the hole in this valve, but the chamber below (inside the case) is sealed (its a rubber bladder which the motor compresses from outside in order to force the air out, and along the air hose). So in theory, water should not be able to enter the battery compartment from the air inlet valve.

A few pictures showing the internals of the pump….

Case and cover

Motor, pump and battery compartment

Closeup showing motor and pump

The pump takes a D sized battery (NOTE : You must not use rechargeable batteries)…

The pump uses a large D sized cell

Battery in place

Okay, so that’s a quick tour of the pump – but would it fit the Flambeau bait bucket and would water ingress be an issue. There was only one way to find out…

The flambeau bait bucket and live bait pump

The bait bucket is designed to be towed along in the water behind a boat. But to be honest, on a kayak, that is not very practical, so the best method is to keep the bait bucket in the tankwell whilst paddling and use a bait pump to keep the bait alive. Then when anchoring/fishing, tether the bait bucket to the side of the kayak and switch off/remove the bait pump.

The bait bucket has a slot on one side which can be used to clip on a bait pump…

Slot in bait bucket and clip on bait pump

Luckily, the clip fitted perfectly…

Phew ! The clip fits !

I threaded the air hose through the top of the bait bucket and underneath the gap in the spring loaded door.

The air hose in place inside the bait bucket

I filled the bucket up with water and checked that the pump worked…

Pump is working

But now for the all important test – would water ingress be a serious issue ?

I turned the tap on and poured it directly over the pump whilst it was switched on. I continued to do this for several minutes.

Soak test !

A proper drenching !

The pump continued to work even after a couple of minutes of continuous drenching.

Pump still working

After the test, I switched the pump off and opened up the case to check for water damage. There was some water inside the case – not very much, and I suspect it may have got in through the seal, either way, it was not enough to stop the pump, and for a product in this price range, I reckon that is as good as you are going to get.

My verdict – well I reckon for under £11, the Jarvis Walker live bait pump represents good value for money – only time will tell whether it stands up to the rigours of saltwater kayak fishing, but the way I look at it, even if it only lasts a couple of seasons, then that is still pretty darn good for the money… especially if it bags me a few shiny bass !

The Jarvis Walker Delux 2 speed live bait pump is available for £10.99 from Veals Mail order…