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Old 06-06-2018, 10:57 AM   #1
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Fish in your AC strainer?

Has anyone had any problems with catching fish in the AC strainer? Iíve been living on the boat for about 7 years, never had an issue with this, and this last week my AC strainer has filled with minnows twice!

Iíve emptied one or two out before, no big deal, but yesterday the pump breaker flipped and I figured I sucked up a bag but it was full to the brim with minnows. I had just cleaned it a few days before.

After having to use a shop vac to get more out I ran the AC for a while and checked it again, no minnows. But after a night with the AC on I noticed the water discharge was a bit slow again so what do I find? Another packed filter basket of minnows.

Is this just odd luck?
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:14 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. ERJ. Do you have a bait license?
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:58 AM   #3
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A 110v swimming-pool style pump feeds my bait tank. As is typical for these type pumps, it has a strainer basket in front of the pump. I have sucked all kinds of stuff into it. For example, squid commonly clog it when I have the underwater lights on. The strangest though occurred when the pump wasn't even on. A little octopus found his way into the basket. Healthy as could be when I found him (not sure how long he had been in there), but he (she?) was happy to be released.
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:08 PM   #4
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Just a few I wouldnít think much of, but Iím talking about being FULL..

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Old 06-06-2018, 01:55 PM   #5
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Jelly fish sucked into the air cond is not uncommon.
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:02 PM   #6
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An oversize strainer with a bigger basket will give you longer times between basket cleanings.
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:17 PM   #7
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I had 3 small mullet get into my engine intake all the way to the strainer....slowed the flow enough to set off my flow alarm...happened in the ICW just north of Charleston.
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:06 PM   #8
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Used to happen regularly in Waterford Harbor in Clear Lake TX. One time I pulled out a fish with a crab eating it. Couldnít have been in there more than 20 minutes as the a/c trips would shut the units down in low flow so I knew immediately . That crab jumped out and escaped into my ER bilge where he was a bugger to track down and catch.

Fish would be hanging around the inlet, the pump would kick on and the would get sucked up into the strainer. Water flowing backwards over the gills killed them fast.

Solved the problem by installing a bronze grill over the opening.
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:39 PM   #9
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Odd that it just started.When was the last time you hauled? Maybe there is some growth around the strainer that's attracting them. Is somebody running underwater lighting nearby?
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Odd that it just started.When was the last time you hauled? Maybe there is some growth around the strainer that's attracting them. Is somebody running underwater lighting nearby?


I had the bottom cleaned by the diver about 3 months ago, and as far as Iíve found there isnít any underwater lighting nearby.

BUT, I may have discovered the problem. I think the guy on the boat next door dropped a baited crab trap in the water behind his boat and thatís attracting all these minnows.

I dumped out about a dozen this morning.
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Old 06-08-2018, 03:31 PM   #11
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The frustration continues...

I canít run the pump for more than an hour or so before it shuts off. The pump is only a few months old, each time I empty about a dozen shad out of the strainer.

I know that the March and BlueC pumps can get mud in those little cooling tube lines, so Iím guessing enough fish guts and slime has found its way in there because the pump was Very hot when it shutdown. After a cooling period it works just fine and water flows at the normal rate again.

I heard from a couple different people that thereís a ďfish killĒ going on in this area because no rains and low oxygen in the water.

And some other people at the marina said theyíve seen pretty big schools of shad in our marina at nights, often times near my boat.

Itís just insane, this has never been an issue before. And no AC last night makes me a grumpy guy this morning.
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:17 PM   #12
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Used to happen regularly in Waterford Harbor in Clear Lake TX.

That's cause Waterford is nearly all mud and they STILL haven't dredged it.
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:24 PM   #13
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Iíve been living on the boat for about 7 years, never had an issue with this, and this last week my AC strainer has filled with minnows twice!

I don't know if its the early warm temperatures this year or not, but my boat slip has had thousands and thousands of minnows swimming around for about a month or two now. Both myself, and my dock neighbor are always talking about how many there are.

There's also been a whole lot more fish of all types in the marina. More than normal. We've even had dolphins in the channel that links the lake to the bay.

And we've already seen 1 alligator which is highly unusual.
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:54 PM   #14
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I use an external strainer that resembles a wedge. The screen has 1/8" holes. Anything that gets through will go the whole way through the system.

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Old 06-09-2018, 08:40 AM   #15
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I use an external strainer that resembles a wedge. The screen has 1/8" holes. Anything that gets through will go the whole way through the system.

Ted


The ďeelgrassĒ external strainers work very well in low fouling waters. Loose stuff like fish dont get captured. But, i was anxious to throw mine away. I spent tons of time scraping oysters off my trinidad coated ext strainers.
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