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  • Writer's pictureDerek Sirois

Properly Venting Catch & Release Fish

Updated: Mar 17

When deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, it's important to use proper venting techniques to ensure the survival of reef fish that are brought up to the surface. Venting helps to release trapped air from the fish's swim bladder, which can prevent barotrauma and increase the chances of survival when the fish is released back into the water. In this blog post, we'll take a look at the equipment needed to properly vent reef fish when deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

  1. Venting Tool

The first and most important piece of equipment needed for venting reef fish is a venting tool. These tools are designed to puncture the swim bladder of the fish and release any trapped air. There are several different types of venting tools available, but the most common are spring-loaded, needle-style venting tools. These tools are easy to use and can be purchased at most fishing supply stores.

  1. Gloves

When handling reef fish, it's important to wear gloves to protect your hands from the fish's spines and teeth. Gloves made of a sturdy material such as Kevlar or leather are recommended.

  1. Fish Gripper

A fish gripper is a handy tool for holding the fish while you vent it. These tools have a clamp that holds the fish's jaw, allowing you to safely handle the fish without harming it.

  1. Dehooking Tool

A dehooking tool is another essential piece of equipment for deep sea fishing. This tool is used to remove hooks from the fish's mouth, minimizing the amount of time the fish is out of the water and reducing the risk of injury.

  1. Bucket of Saltwater

Finally, it's important to have a bucket of saltwater on hand when venting reef fish. After the fish has been vented, it should be placed in the bucket to help it recover before being released back into the water.


Venting reef fish is an important part of responsible deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. To properly vent reef fish, you'll need a venting tool, gloves, a fish gripper, a dehooking tool, and a bucket of saltwater. Be sure to practice proper venting techniques and handle the fish with care to increase their chances of survival. With the right equipment and techniques, you can enjoy a successful and responsible deep sea fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico.

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