This Is How To Use A Vent Tool To Revive Bull Redfish

How do you know for certain a fish has caught its breath and regained its strength before you release it?

After fighting a fish, it can take a lot of strength and breath out of them.

It is important to make sure the fish has been revived and can swim off on its own before fully releasing the fish.

Check out how to vent bull redfish here!

How To Vent Bull Redfish [VIDEO]

Sign up for FREE to receive the latest saltwater fishing videos, tutorials, product reviews, and fishing product discounts!

➡ Click here to join the Insider Club

Equipment Used:

As fish come up when you reel them in from deeper water, their swim bladder can get extremely distended.

If you take a look at their belly when you bring them up, that is all the air bloated in their stomach.

That air will prevent the fish from being able to swim back down to where it was holding.

The venting tool allows you to create a small hole behind the fish’s pectoral fin.

This hole will force the air out of the fish’s stomach and that fish will be able to easily change depths again.

Releasing a fish without properly venting it even if the fish is full of energy, can lead to death.

The fish will eventually go belly up trying to kick around and swim.

It is best to have the fish under control and flip up one of the scales behind the pectoral fin to puncture a hole into the fish’s belly.

You will feel the air coming out of the venting tool and possibly a hissing noise the air will make when exiting the fish.

Take your hand and gently massage the air out of the fish.

Once the belly has returned to the normal size of a redfish, you will be able to release that redfish much easier.

You should still take the time and hold the fish in the water to ensure it is able to swim off on its own.

The fish in the larger size are the breeders and we want them to continue to replenish the population of the fishery.

Have any other questions on releasing redfish?

Please ask me down in the comments!

And if you know someone who wants to learn how to vent bull redfish before release, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

P.S. Want access to our best fishing spots and tips, plus discounts to our online tackle store? Click here to join us in the Insider Club!

Related Articles:

Related categories:

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Hey Wyatt another great video! And also some nice fish! Keep up the great work I always look forward to your content

Ahmad Aghar
1 year ago

That’s the first time I see someone using this tool.
It might be helpful to fish, and could save the day in certain situations, but I agree more with Josh’s comment below that it’s better to keep the fish you get from deep water till you’ve filled your slot of them.

Catch and release works best in shallow water or with fish species you can catch closer to the surface…

Curtis Cameron
1 year ago

What length and action Mojo rod do you pair with the BG 6500 for this type of fishing?

Anthony Leopper
1 year ago

Thanks for pointing this out. Did not realize this for ~20ft, but I will be on the lookout. I have caught my first big reds the past few weeks, and even though its nice catching them, I dont have a big desire to target them and cause undue stress for them.

Ray Markham
1 year ago

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Assn., fish over caught deeper than 50-feet could suffer barotrauma, what you’re discussing here. This is from their website on venting fish:
Venting tools are sharpened, hollow instruments that treat barotrauma by releasing expanded gas from the swim bladder, enabling the fish to swim back down.
Please note, items such as fillet knives, ice picks, screwdrivers and gaffs are not venting tools and should never be used to vent a fish. Venting a fish incorrectly may cause more harm than good.
To properly vent, lay the fish on its side (on a cool, wet surface). Venting tools should be inserted 1-2 inches behind the base of the pectoral fin, under a scale at a 45-degree angle, just deep enough to release trapped gasses. Never insert venting tools into a fish’s belly, back or stomach that may be protruding from the mouth. Learn how to vent properly by visiting

Please take note of the 45-degree angle to insert the tool, not the 90-degree angle as shown in this video.

1 year ago
Reply to  Ray Markham

I agree. This guy has no clue. This video should not be posted at all!!!!! It is also funny that being on the jetties that such a thing would even happen at all. It must be the deepest jetties of anywhere in the world and he must of reeled it in real fast…if it happened off the rocks like this jetty

Mario Relvini
1 year ago

That’s interesting as I never heard of that before but then again I never caught fish any deeper than 13 feet. Always learning something new!

1 year ago

I’ve never been a whistle blower in my life. And I love fishing regularly. I don’t think fish have feelings or feel pain, so the “well-being” of the fish is if no concern to me. But the actual life of the fish, and it’s ability to reproduce, I care. So… fishing in shallow water, the fish ‘can’ die shortly after release. Accidental gut hooking, and Stress on fish is a big factor. And in winter time, when the fish are lethargic, they only expel the necessary amount of energy to survive. So if you catch a fish in winter time, and they expel all their energy in the fight, they could die from starvation… not enough energy to eat another meal. When you fish deep water, you are literally making the survival ratio of catch and release drop exponentially. Of course… venting helps. If you don’t release the air in the swim bladder, they will almost certainly die. But venting is still doing serious life threatening damage to the fish, in combination of the stress of the fight. Imagine someone stabbed you in the side with a knife, and you couldn’t go to the doctor afterwards. You just had to deal with it. Yes some fish are more resilient than others. Even just removing a fresh water trout from the water (boat flip style), is almost certain death for those brittle fish. So in my opinion… the question should never be “is venting a fish caught deep ethical”. The question is… “WHY would anyone ever sport fish deep in the first place”! Personally… I love fishing deep. But you better believe I catch, and eat almost anything and everything I catch. Get your limits, and go. Might have to eat a black drum on occasion. Otherwise, I’ll just fish shallow where I know I can safely release a fish. I’m no tree hugger, or environmentalist. But since the pandemic, the amount of anglers has increased 14 times. In 2020… 10 million new fishing licenses were issued. 10 million MORE than the standard annual amount. And fishing charters are killing red snapper by the millions for nothing. Combine that with the crazy weather, and freeze killing millions of fish. There is WAY too much pressure on the fish as it is. As much as I hate to admit it, and as much as fishermen don’t wanna hear it.. The ONLY answer… is to stop catch and release of fish down deep. If you don’t stop… your grandchildren won’t be able to go and fish like we do now. We have to ensure it’s sustainability. I have no issue with people fishing deep, but you need to keep and eat those fish… that will almost certainly die if you release them, venting or not. Otherwise, there is roughly a 60%+ chance that even a perfectly vented fish will die for nothing. I say sport fishing needs to remain in shallow water. Just my two cents.

1 year ago
Reply to  Wyatt Parcel

Wyatt, Please don’t think my message was directed to you personally. You are one of the best fishermen I’ve ever seen, hands down l, and I love all your videos and tips. I agree.. you MUST vent fish that have air in their swim bladder, or they WILL die. My point really wasn’t directed to the venting, but rather the catch/release of fish deep in the first place. The survival rate of catching deep fish is honestly just too low to sport fish. Go on any fishing charter that goes 8-50 miles out and you’ll see what I mean. Hundreds of fish dead behind the boat. Even fish that were vented properly. Deep fishing should be for those looking to fill coolers, and sport fishing should be anything 20ft and above… in my personal opinion. Of course… everyone who does sport fish deep, IS in their rights by law, and they aren’t doing anything wrong. I’m only looking to the sustainability of the fish long term. And yes, I realize the venting tube isn’t a knife, that was just an example… rob. All the organs of a fish are concentrated in the belly, so venting properly is impossible 100% if the time. The scales on a redfish are like giant toenails, and very hard to work around. Sorry to keep leaving such long messages replys fellas.

Rob S
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh

A proper venting tool is more like a syringe, not a knife.

Philip Stoddard
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh

Pain was not invented by people: all vertebrate animals feel pain. In fact, pain is such an evolutionarily useful and ancient system that it predates vertebrates. Dr. Dan Tracey found that fruit flies have pain receptors and respond aversively when the receptors are stimulated (i.e, insects feel pain too).

1 year ago

Same question. How deep does the fish have to be to start seeing the extended bladder?

Chris Guerrieri
1 year ago

excellent reminder to everyone. Well done, as usual

Curtis Thompson
1 year ago

Never heard of that one before. Good thing I very seldom fish deep water. A hole in the bladder doesn’t compromise the fish?


Do what the “SMART ANGLERS” are doing and join the Insider Club.

Here’s what you’ll receive today when you join:

Other Fishing Tips You May Like :

The Best Way To Retrieve The Slam Shady EZ ShrimpZ (For More Strikes)

Do you know the best way to retrieve the new Slam Shady EZ ShrimpZ? Making sure this lure is presented to the fish you are targeting is...
See Full post

Fishing Spot Maps Review (Top Spot Pros & Cons)

Are you using outdated fishing spot maps? Learn how to leverage technology to find the best fishing spots, plus learn what's more important than just spots.
See Full post
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Get Instant Access To “The Inshore Fishing Manifesto” PDF Now

You’ll automatically be emailed a private link to download your PDF, plus you’ll be added to the Salt Strong Newsletter.
(Please double-check your email below to ensure delivery.)