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Fizzing Smallmouths

Fizzing Smallmouths

Non-tournament anglers won’t kill smallmouths caught deep if they follow a few simple rules. Release the fish quickly, at boatside, without bringing them out of the water. In our experience, that works almost 100 percent of the time.

But if smallmouths are overtaxed they might float back up. Have a needle handy and fizz them quickly. Fizzing, though controversial, gives a bloated smallmouth the best chance for survival it has at that point. And we now have two methods of fizzing, through the side and down the throat.

Gene Gilliland, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation fisheries biologist, has fizzed thousands of bass. “Fish have amazing regenerative...

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