Side Fizzing a Bass That’s Floating in Your Livewell!

Side Fizzing a Bass That’s Floating in Your Livewell!

Well, it’s that time of year again! (Thank goodness)

Many of you are tournament bass fishermen and may already know how to ‘fizz’ your fish! This posting is for those of you that may not!

With more and more bass fishing tournaments across the nation, this is good info to copy and place in your boat along with a hypodermic needle. Just copy the content below, and you’ll have it when you need it at your next tournament. Remember, this can be done during the day, on you boat, right from your livewell! in that way, you should never suffer a ‘dead’ fish penalty, which may cost you a ‘check’! (See Link below for complete article)

Side Fizzing a Bass

1. Grasp fish by the lower jaw or around the head region, and position fish so its side is facing up and at the water surface.

2. Position the pectoral fin flat against the body in a natural relaxed position pointing toward the tail.

3. Identify needle insertion location, which is two to three scales behind the tip of the pectoral fin.

4. Orient the beveled side of the 16-gauge, 1½-inch needle facing up. At about a 10- to 20-degree angle, slide needle tip under trailing edge of a scale toward the fish’s head.

5. Submerge fish and needle, raise the needle to a 60- to 90-degree angle, and insert needle until air bubbles exit the needle base.

6. Vent small fish (less than 3 pounds) for three to five seconds and larger fish for five to eight seconds.

7. Remove the needle and observe the fish. If the fish cannot resubmerge, vent additional gas from the fish’s air bladder as described above.

8. If bubbles don’t exit the needle, check for blockage by blowing through the needle. If blockage persists, clear debris from needle using a syringe.

Here’s the original article link, to read the whole thing!!


Scientists test cures for overinflated bass.

One more thing: the average catch-and-release angler needn’t worry about fizzing bass. A fish that’s released quickly will have enough energy to fight the buoyancy and go back under. If it swims down to the approximate depth where it was caught, the air bladder will deflate and symptoms will go away.

A bass that’s held in a livewell, awaiting weigh-in at a tournament, struggles to stay submerged. “After about 10 minutes,” Myers says, “it gets exhausted and rolls upside down.”

Nobody wants to see schools of bass floating belly up at the release site of a fishing tournament. It gives tournaments a bad name. And while they’re struggling at the surface, bass run a greater-than-usual risk of being run over by boats or eaten by predators. If a needle in the air bladder can help them get home sooner, it’s better all around.

Good luck this year and here’s a link to the USA Bassin ‘Table Rock North’ division tourneys now scheduled through April on North Table Rock lake!

Randy Yancey-Tournament Bass Angler and Tournament Director/Host!

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