BrianBM

Hooks for triggerfish

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Triggers have protruding teeth, small mouths, and a bit that can scalp your finger if you're careless. I found some heavy wire Chesterton hooks in my cellar that have had no use since Long Island flounder became too scare to justify attention. The wire is thick enough so that no trigger should be able to snap it, and the long shank is some decent finger protection.  

 

Is there a better hook type for triggerfish? 

Edited by BrianBM

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Any heavy wire j hook will work. Before the circle hook requirements in Florida we used j hooks on a trigger fish rigs. I've actually caught triggers on 4/0 mustad O'Shaughnessy trolling for king mackerels, every one of those swallowed the hook up to the eye.

 

Now I use 2/0- 5/0 circle hooks on dropper or trigger fish rig, when they are in season. Even without the requirement, I've caught enough trigger fish that were gut hooked that I would use circles anyway.

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13 mins ago, mwhitt80 said:

Any heavy wire j hook will work. Before the circle hook requirements in Florida we used j hooks on a trigger fish rigs. I've actually caught triggers on 4/0 mustad O'Shaughnessy trolling for king mackerels, every one of those swallowed the hook up to the eye.

 

Now I use 2/0- 5/0 circle hooks on dropper or trigger fish rig, when they are in season. Even without the requirement, I've caught enough trigger fish that were gut hooked that I would use circles anyway.

Jeez, you must have some monster triggers, I haven’t even gotten close to gut hooking one with a 1/0 octopus hook. 

 

 

 

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If you are just drifting baits and such, I agree with C. Robin's recommendation on an Octopus Hook. I would say just pay attention to your line to avoid a gut hook. I use a #6 Eagle Claw J Hook for a lot of small species, and as long as I pay attention, I've never gut hooked a fish that way. 

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7 mins ago, animalbarrie said:

Recently caught some nice Triggerfish down in Alabama.  They were on the grill within hours of catching them, one of the best tasting fish out there.

I've never had them before. Is there meat white or more a reddish meat?

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a few years ago we drilled triggers and filled the cooler with some of the best tasting fish on the planet.

Seeing them in gin clear water nip both sides of a senko until nothing more than a pencil eraser was left was a blast.

I'll never forget as one approached the pencil eraser left over morsel.  And straight clipped off the point off the hook at the barb. No hookset....All three of us watched it happen as we were laughing at how a pair 101 dalmationed the bait.

I think it was a size 1 gami finesse wide gap....lol

 

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25 mins ago, C.Robin said:

Jeez, you must have some monster triggers, I haven’t even gotten close to gut hooking one with a 1/0 octopus hook. 

 

 

 

Legal size on the gulf side of Florida is 15 at the fork (which if remembering right is down from prior years). The last few years the limit has been 1 per person per day with season that is about a month long. So they have gotten a lot bigger. But a 12 inch trigger fish can open it's mouth wide enough to swallow a 4/0 j hook.

Edited by mwhitt80

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2 hours ago, BrianBM said:

Triggers have protruding teeth, small mouths, and a bit that can scalp your finger if you're careless. I found some heavy wire Chesterton hooks in my cellar that have had no use since Long Island flounder became too scare to justify attention. The wire is thick enough so that no trigger should be able to snap it, and the long shank is some decent finger protection.  

 

Is there a better hook type for triggerfish? 

I've used a size 2 Gami baitholder with much success on triggers. Yes they can chomp the hooks, but it's rarely happened.

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I'll be poking around an inlet jetty and largely sitting in place. And I have nothing else to do with my old Chestertons, so they'll do fine. 

 

If a trigger takes the point off one of them, I will apologize to the trigger for annoying him. Otherwise, it gets grilled.  

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2 hours ago, coastalfreak said:

I've never had them before. Is there meat white or more a reddish meat?

White meat and it doesn't taste fishy at all.  All I did was add a little Slap your Mama seasoning (yellow can) and grilled them. 

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