NEW: Recreational gray triggerfish season is currently slated to be closed through Dec. 31, 2017, in Gulf state and federal waters. The FWC will consider a limited 2017 open season at an upcoming meeting. Check back for updates. Federal News Release
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Gray Triggerfish: Balistes capriscus
|Regulations||Gulf State Waters||Atlantic State Waters|
|Minimum Size Limit
||14” Fork Length
||12" Fork Length
|Daily Bag Limit
2 per person
10 per person
Gulf: Closed through Dec. 31, 2017, reopening to harvest Jan. 1, 2018, in Gulf state waters. FWC will consider a limited 2017 season at an upcoming meeting. Check back for updates.
Atlantic: Open year-round.
Gulf of Mexico: 14" FL; 2 fish bag limit within 20 reef fish aggregate. Closed through Dec. 31, 2017, reopening to harvest Jan. 1, 2018.
Atlantic: 14” FL; included in the 20 fish snapper grouper aggregate bag limit.
Habitat and Fishing Tips:
Triggerfish inhabit hard bottom ledges and artificial reefs in water depths that exceed 80 feet. Because they prefer the same type of habitat, they are almost always found in association with red snapper. Triggerfish feed primarily on benthic invertebrates including crabs, sea urchins, shrimp, sand dollars and mollusks. Recreational anglers commonly catch triggers on squid or cut bait but they are also harvested by spear fishing. Triggerfish are notorious bait stealers and often frustrate anglers targeting larger snapper and grouper. Because triggerfish have a hard, bony mouth, it is very important to use a small, very sharp hook. Light to medium bottom fishing equipment with 20 to 50 pound test line is sufficient for triggerfish which average 2 to 4 pounds.
12 lb 7 oz, caught near Pensacola July 15, 2001
Gulf Federal Waters Rules
Atlantic Federal Waters Rules
Image Credit: Diane Rome Peebles