“Before this, I was lifting the lid to check my livewells every time I got in the driver’s seat to move spots,” says tournament bass pro Christian Greico. “On hot days, or if I had a fish I knew had been hooked deep, I’d also stop fishing every 20 to 30 minutes to go back there and open the lid.”

That’s nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, it’s standard operating procedure for tournament bass anglers, who obsessively check the condition of the fish in their livewells. Warm water, injury from hooks, pump failures can all cause fish to die, and bringing dead fish to the weigh-in isn’t only bad for the resource and the sport; it also results in penalties that can have huge competitive consequences.


A Fisherman's Perspective on Livewells

At the start of the 2023 season, Greico, who fishes all over the country on Major League Fishing’s Tackle Warehouse Invitational circuit, agreed to try an innovative solution he hoped would mean more time casting and less time checking his wells. Deceptively simple, it is a small acrylic viewport that installs in the livewell lid, allowing Greico — or his co-angler — to see at a glance what’s going on in the well, rather than kneeling down to open the lid.

pro bass fisherman at fish weigh in

Now, a few months into his season, Greico says the new viewports in the twin livewell lids of his Nitro Z20 have made a meaningful difference in his fishing.


“If I have a co-angler,” he says, “they can see straight into the well and tell me right away if one of the fish is starting to float up or isn’t looking healthy, and I can get some G-Juice (a water conditioner that adds electrolytes and promotes healing) in there, or some ice, or figure out if one of the pumps went out.” Without a co-angler, Greico can check his wells with just a glance over his shoulder as he gets into or out of the driver’s seat.

For tournament bass anglers like Greico, keeping fish healthy in the livewell until weigh-in time is absolutely critical.

Durable Design

Greico’s on-water experience mirrors Boat Outfitters testing results: he has found no appreciable difference in the temperature of his wells with the viewports installed. In fact, the only temperature-related issue he’s had with his livewells this year came when they froze shut in the cold at Lake Guntersville, Alabama, in February!

The livewell viewports installed on Greico’s Nitro Z20 means more time spent casting and less time spent checking the condition of his fish.

drone view of pro bass boat

The question he gets asked most frequently by other anglers who see the viewports, says Greico, is: “Doesn’t that heat up the water?” That was also the primary concern of the design team at Boat Outfitters.

In fact, much of the R&D process consisted of finding the right materials — a strong, rigid transparent plastic that blocked UV and heat and an effective anti-fog coating that was durable enough for the job. To further combat heat and fogging, air vents were incorporated into the carefully engineered frame, which is machined from King Starboard, a marine-grade, high-density polyethylene.

Availabile Now

The next question other anglers ask Greico, he says, is: “Where can I buy those?” Although they’re purely utilitarian, the viewports also add a bit of custom flair to the boat. “Aesthetically, they just look kind of cool.

I’ve gotten a ton of compliments and lots of interest in them.” Boat Outfitters currently offers the viewport in 3 different sizes. Although this viewport was designed for bass boats, the viewport can be an upgrade beyond the bass boat community.  

new livewell viewport installed to bass boat livewell hatch

The livewell viewport is deceptively simple with a UV-blocking, anti-fog window and a vented Starboard frame. 

The biggest design challenge was identifying materials that would block UV to keep the interior cool and resist fogging.

Installation is an easy job for confident DIYers. Simply use the included template to trace the cutout, use an appropriate saw and blade to cut the opening, then fasten in place with machine screws, nuts and marine-grade sealant.

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