All About “Fizzing”

This has nothing to do about a leak in your favorite carbonated drink container. It does however, have plenty to do with treating your captured bass with the optimum care after it has been brought up quickly from deeper water.

At our recent State meeting in Milesburg on the Ides of March, the issue of “fizzing” was discussed. Most bass anglers have never fizzed a fish; some have expressed hesitation when it comes to visibly sticking a needle in a fish. Fizzing a fish has proven to be more of a life saving procedure than a death sentence.

So what is fizzing? It’s a procedure aimed at releasing built-up air from the swim bladder of a bass. Why fizz? This build up of air pressure puts undo strain on internal organs and impairs a fish’s ability to swim and maneuver properly. When a bass swims in deep water, the water pressure reduces air in the fish’s air bladder. This reduction in buoyancy allows the fish to stay in the deeper water as they wish.  As the fish is retrieved from deep water during capture, the quickly reduced pressure of the water is replaced with air. This air inflates the bladder and results in an unhealthy and abnormal condition. Bass boats are not currently offering a fish decompression chamber option yet so we have to take matters in our own hands.

There are two easily observable indicators that alert you to perform the fizzing procedure:
1) The bass will float upside down
2) The bass will be in a tail up position rather than horizontal

Fizzing should occur as soon as you notice the signs that a bass is having these difficulties. If you are fishing in deep water, you should be aware that this situation may occur. Check your live well as frequently as you change rods or lures.

This is a site with one of the better videos showing the procedure.

The tool for fizzing can be purchased from: BASS Pro-Fizz FZ-1 Part # 3100-A
For $26.95 UPC 094922186706 go to:

If you don’t think twice about setting a barbed hook and later yanking it out, then please learn how and when to fizz a fish in trouble. It’ll help them live to maybe see you again.