What Is Fizzing A Crappie?

Are you curious to know what is fizzing a crappie? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about fizzing a crappie in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is fizzing a crappie?

What Is Fizzing A Crappie?

For anglers who enjoy the thrill of catching crappie, a common practice known as “fizzing” is often employed to help conserve these fish and ensure their survival after being caught and released. Fizzing, also called “venting,” is a technique used to alleviate barotrauma, a condition that can occur when fish are caught from deep water. In this blog post, we will explore what fizzing a crappie means, why it’s important, and how to do it correctly to promote fish conservation.

Understanding Barotrauma

Before delving into fizzing, it’s crucial to understand the concept of barotrauma and why it poses a threat to certain fish species like crappie.

  1. Barotrauma: Barotrauma is a condition that occurs when fish are quickly brought up from deep water to the surface. As fish ascend, the decreasing pressure causes the gases in their swim bladders (an organ that helps fish control buoyancy) to expand. This can lead to several problems, including swim bladder rupture, bulging eyes, and protruding stomachs.
  2. Swim Bladder Function: The swim bladder helps fish maintain their position in the water column and control their buoyancy. When it malfunctions due to barotrauma, fish often struggle to return to their original depth, making them vulnerable to predation or stress.

Fizzing: A Solution For Barotrauma

Fizzing is a technique that addresses the issue of barotrauma and aids in the survival of fish like crappie. Here’s how it works:

  1. Purpose: The primary goal of fizzing is to release the excess gas in the fish’s swim bladder, allowing it to return to its natural buoyancy and depth more easily.
  2. Equipment: To fizz a crappie, you will need a specialized tool called a “venting needle” or “fish venting tool.” These tools are designed to safely puncture the swim bladder without harming the fish.
  3. Procedure:
  • Gently handle the fish with wet hands to minimize stress and avoid damaging its protective slime layer.
  • Hold the fish horizontally and identify the location for venting, typically on the side, near the pectoral fin but below the lateral line.
  • Insert the venting needle at a slight angle and with minimal force to avoid injuring internal organs.
  • Release the gas by making a small puncture in the swim bladder.
  • You may hear a slight hiss as the gas escapes.
  • Allow the fish a moment to regain its buoyancy and control.
  • When the fish begins to swim normally, release it back into the water.
  1. Release: It’s important to gently release the fish back into the water to ensure a smooth recovery. Avoid tossing the fish or allowing it to free-fall into the water, as this can cause further injury.

Benefits Of Fizzing

Fizzing offers several benefits for fish conservation and angling:

  1. Increased Survival: By alleviating barotrauma, fizzing increases the chances of survival for crappie and other species caught in deep water.
  2. Sustainable Fishing: Fizzing promotes responsible and sustainable fishing practices by minimizing the impact of catch-and-release on fish populations.
  3. Preservation of Fisheries: By releasing fish in good condition, fizzing contributes to the overall health and sustainability of fisheries.


Fizzing a crappie is a valuable technique that helps conserve fish populations and promote responsible angling practices. By addressing the issue of barotrauma, anglers can contribute to the survival and well-being of crappie and other deep-water species, ensuring that future generations can enjoy the thrill of catching these prized fish. When done correctly and with care, fizzing becomes an essential tool in the angler’s toolbox for fish conservation.

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At What Depth Do You Need To Fizz Fish?

Fizzing involves venting the excess gas from the swim bladder of a fish after it has been brought up from deep water, usually from a depth of 20 feet or more.

Do You Have To Fizz A Fish?

“You have to know how to fizz a fish so that you don’t kill it”, Myers cautioned. A recent study by Texas Parks and Wildlife shows side fizzing gives fish a 14% higher survival. You Tube videos show biologist inserting a small fizz needle into the fish, roughly a half inch behind the front fin.

Why Do You Have To Fizz A Bass?

“Barotrauma to fish is like ‘the bends’ are to scuba divers,” explains Randy Myers, a fisheries biologist at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. A technique known as “fizzing” — puncturing the air bladder with a needle to vent excess air — can relieve symptoms of barotrauma.

What Happens When You Pull A Fish Up Too Fast?

For fish caught by anglers, these rapid pressure changes occur when fish are reeled to the surface from deep water. Barotrauma injuries include things like eversion, prolapse, torsion and volvulus of the stomach, hemorrhaging of internal organs, hematomas, and loss of vision.

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