How to catch Triggerfish
Where triggerfish are caught
Triggerfish are caught in the Western Atlantic Ocean, from Nova Scotia to Argentina. When targeting triggerfish, look for rocky sides with barnacles or “lobster pots” in the area to give you an idea if triggerfish are gathered up and near. Also keeping in mind offshore triggerfish usually feed off man-made structures such as piers, jetties, and small wrecks whereas inshore triggerfish focus more on shallow reefs and weed beds. This link includes triggerfish fishing analytics with a timeline chart, wind directions, and a map of where triggerfish can be caught!
Best weather and bait to use when catching triggerfish
Triggerfish do change behavior and location depending on the weather. Triggerfish are commonly active during the daytime, and seek deeper waters to rest during night fall or windy weather. The best time to target triggerfish is in the summertime under beds of seaweed, or onshore reefs. Triggerfish typically spawn in April to August, and uniquely change color when found desired mate. When choosing bait for triggerfish, keep in mind that when attempting to catch triggerfish, any bait needs to be cut into small pieces due to small mouth size. Cutting squid tentacles into dime-sized chunks is a productive way to chum up triggerfish. You can also use live bait such as shrimp, minnows, mussels, clams, or small crabs.
Common rigs to catch Triggerfish
Most triggerfish are known for being bottom feeders; common rigs to catch triggerfish on bottom fishing are “chicken-rigs” which consist of weight at the bottom and one small hook about 12-inches above the bottom weight. When using this rig to catch triggerfish, keep in mind that once your weight hits the structure you’re targeting, reel it up a few times to keep from being hooked onto the reef. Getting stuck on bottom structure is the number one reason that fisherman typically break off. You can also use “snafu rigs” which is a dropper rig with the loop cut in half so you can tie two hooks down.
With that being said, it’s important to know that triggerfish change behaviors and locations depending on the weather. Knowing where triggerfish can be found and what bait is effective, can make a big difference. One of the best ways to know how to catch a triggerfish is to go with someone that has experience and can show you the ropes!