Many anglers avoid fizzing bass out of fear that doing so may injure or reduce its chance of survival; although this could be true if fizzing is performed incorrectly, this typically is not the case in most instances.
When bass are quickly pulled from deep waters, their swim bladders fill with air quickly, leading to barotrauma. To alleviate this condition, they should be fizzed to help dissipate it quickly.
Insert the Needle Through the Mouth
Venting or fizzing bass after they have been caught may seem like an act done with good intentions; however, some anglers could actually be doing more harm than good by performing the procedure without properly sanitizing their needle and understanding its anatomy. To prevent hurting the fish during fizzing, fizzing should take place through either its mouth or side rather than throat.
The swim bladder is a gas-filled organ found at the top of a fish’s abdomen, near its spinal cord, that helps them maintain buoyancy and equilibrium. When they suffer from barotrauma, their bladder fills with air instead of gas from blood exchange, leaving them floating at the surface without being able to dive below; their survival chances become extremely limited, so any attempt at diving below water must be made rapidly or it risks death from barotrauma requiring intervention with chlorine gas (fizzing).
Traditional methods of fizzing bass fish involve inserting a hollow needle through its mouth or stomach into its swim bladder, but recent studies have demonstrated that this may cause irreparable damage to its internal organs and it is now recommended to fizz bass through their side rather than mouth.
Bass fizzing may not be difficult, but it does require precision. Anglers should use an instrument designed specifically for this task – one such tool developed by BASS Federation is called Pro Fizz FZ-1 and offers several fizzing positions along with a lifetime warranty.
Before using this device, anglers should place a fish into their live well and allow it to relax before fizzing it with their device. This will reduce stress for both bass and angler alike and reduce energy waste caused by attempts at submersion that could potentially harm them further. Anglers should wear non-slip fish gloves during this process to protect their hands during fizzing sessions.
Anglers wanting to conduct an effective fizz should align the needle with the pectoral fin and count two or three scales back from its tip to ensure they have located their target fish. Once in position, anglers should pierce through soft skin into its swim bladder – an indication of which will be an eruption of bubbles – then insert their needle through soft tissue into its swim bladder; which will be indicated by an explosion of bubbles. After several minutes have elapsed, remove their fish from the needle and return it into its home environment – ready for another fizz a couple hours of fizzing!
Insert the Needle Through the Side
As either a tournament angler or recreational fisher, catching bass in deep water comes with its own set of responsibilities. You have an obligation as the caretaker of a fish to ensure it can survive before returning it to its native lake. One way of accomplishing this goal is fizzing, which involves puncturing its swim bladder with a needle to release any excess air that accumulates within, helping prevent barotrauma stress and damage caused by pressure fluctuations in the lake environment.
Barotrauma occurs when fish are pulled up too rapidly from deep water. The pressure change causes their swim bladder to overinflate, potentially pushing against vital organs and leading to fatal results. Fish caught from deep waters often suffer this condition – this is why fizzing should always be used.
There are multiple methods for fizzing fish, with the most popular choice among bass anglers being through its side body. You could also attempt fizzing via mouth or anal openings.
For an effective side-fizz, hold the bass upright and count three scales back from its pectoral fin until you find its swim bladder area. Use a sharp needle to insert it carefully into this spot, release air with one quick movement, and hear/feel a pop as the air escapes – then once resubmerged your fish should be good to go!
If you prefer using tools rather than needles to fizz fish, there are numerous tools that can make fizzing easier. For instance, the BASS Federation has created the Pro Fizz FZ-1 as a retractable needle with two fizzing settings – one for side fizzing and another for mouth fizzing.
Owinging to fears it can harm the fish, many state fisheries discourage fizzing because it may harm it. However, research conducted in Ontario and California demonstrates that it significantly reduces stress when pulling up too quickly from deeper waters. Unfortunately, fizzing may still cause internal organ damage, but anglers can use weighted clips attached to a bass’ pelvic and anal fins in order to maintain their upright positioning in their livewell and minimize struggling. This saves energy and stress.
Insert the Needle Through the Back
Bass anglers who take tournament fishing seriously have a responsibility to ensure the survival of fish they catch and release, one such problem being over inflated swim bladders, or barotrauma. This condition occurs when bass are brought quickly up to the surface without their air bladder being able to adjust quickly enough, leading them to remain floating at the surface in an inability to submerge position; to prevent this happening, these bass need to be “fizzed”, a process which involves puncturing their swim bladder with a needle to release excess air out allowing submersion when necessary – otherwise death awaits! To protect these fish against this problem, bass anglers who engage in tournament fishing should perform this practice as it allows bass anglers who release caught bass back into their habitat after release allowing their release.
Pro-Fizz FZ-1 tools provide an effective and easy way to fizz bass fishes quickly. Their spring-loaded needle is difficult to accidentally deploy and creates a C-shaped flap in the side of their skin that heals quickly; additionally, there’s also an option that enables anglers to insert it through its back instead of mouth which some believe causes less damage.
Though many state fishery agencies discourage fizzing due to fears it might spread infection, research conducted in Ontario, California and Texas shows it significantly improves bass survival when compared with non-fizzed fish. While some anglers remain concerned with spreading infection among fizzed fish through fizzing needles used on them, sanitizing each needle before use and taking care not to pierce skin are effective ways of mitigating such risks.
No bass has any chance of survival on the surface if they aren’t fizzed, making it essential for anglers to learn how and when to fizz their fish. Some companies have created the Bass Blaster which makes fizzing easier by venting swim bladders without manually inserting needles.
Insert the Needle Through the Anal Opening
At the surface, fish swim bladders expand with air. To avoid barotrauma and death from barotrauma, fizzing is one way to deflate these swim bladders; it involves poking a hollow needle through their skin at specific locations to deflate their swim bladders; this requires precision as well as knowledge of fish anatomy for successful completion. Although older methods suggested inserting needles through mouth openings directly, new evidence suggests this method can be too dangerous; instead the preferred technique involves inserting it at an area on side near their pectoral fin instead.
Location varies for every fish; typically about half an inch behind their pectoral fin. Needle should be inserted between scales so as to not cause injury to fish. Once bass have been fizzzed, they should remain submerged in water and their behavior should return to normal in minutes.
Bass caught and released without being properly fizzed are more likely to suffer barotrauma or drown as they attempt to swim up to the surface to expel air from their swim bladders. Therefore, anglers should learn how to fizz fish correctly so they can save as many lives possible.
Some anglers opt not to fizz their fish when fishing from deep waters, but others understand the responsibility associated with doing so and understand that any risk involved in possibly injuring a fish is better than leaving it vulnerable and possibly dying due to expanded swim bladders.
Bass fishing guides and tournament organizers should use their best judgment when determining whether a fish needs fizzing. Candidates for fizzing include any signs of swim bladder distress such as blood in its mouth or an overly-inflated swim bladder protrusion from either its mouth or abdomen.