Precise genetic modifications in model animals are essential for biomedical research. Here, we report a programmable "base editing" system to induce precise base conversion with high efficiency in zebrafish. Using cytidine deaminase fused to Cas9 nickase, up to 28% of site-specific single-base mutations are achieved in multiple gene loci. In addition, an engineered Cas9-VQR variant with 5'-NGA PAM specificities is used to induce base conversion in zebrafish. This shows that Cas9 variants can be used to expand the utility of this technology. Collectively, the targeted base editing system represents a strategy for precise and effective genome editing in zebrafish.The use of base editing enables precise genetic modifications in model animals. Here the authors show high efficient single-base editing in zebrafish using modified Cas9 and its VQR variant with an altered PAM specificity.