Gray triggerfish are abundant in the Gulf of Mexico and a highly sought after species when deep sea fishing. They are great table fare and an exciting fish to pull off the bottom. A triggerfish will fight you all the way to the surface and convince you that you have a monster on the other end.
Triggerfish are reef fish and are happy anywhere there is structure. They like the same spots as red snapper and are often caught together. They are found at various depths, but we typically target them in 80-150 feet of water.
There is a lot of pressure on triggerfish in state waters, so if you want a chance at a nice size fish, it’s best to head off-shore into federal waters. There you will find fish that are at least 5 lbs, and you may get a shot at a 10 lb plus fish. The state record is 12 lbs 7 oz. This record will fall soon due to strict fishing regulations that have lead to a significant increase in the size of these fish.
Triggerfish are caught using multiple hook bottom rigs. Hooks are baited with cut squid or mackerel and weighted to drop to the bottom. You will catch a mix of triggerfish, mingo snapper, white snapper and red snapper while fishing like this. We use multiple hook rigs because triggerfish are ninjas when it comes to stealing the bait.
Triggerfish are one of the best eating fish in the Gulf of Mexico. Their meat is firm and does not taste like fish at all. So folks that don’t like fish that taste like fish will love a triggerfish. We like to grill triggerfish because they hold together on the grill, but they are excellent no matter how you cook them.
Catching triggerfish is always a fun fight. They can be found on any trip. If you’d like to try your luck, the 6 hour trip is optimum. On this trip we’ll be able to get out to federal waters where you can hunt for that record breaker.