Gray Triggerfish

Gray Triggerfish

Balistes capriscus
Common Triggerfish

Life History

Description and Diagnostic Characteristics: The Gray Triggerfish has large incisor teeth and a deep laterally compressed body covered with tough, sandpaper-like skin. Unlike their cousin, the filefish, triggerfish have more than one dorsal spine. The action of this spine gives the triggerfish its (common) name. The first spine is large, and when erect it remains so until the smaller second spine is deflexed, triggering the first. The gray triggerfish is easily distinguished by its drab color from the queen triggerfish, which is vividly colored.

Size: Average around 2 pounds

Age at Maturity: 3 years or about 12 inches

Range: Cape Hatteras to South Florida and Bermuda, also can range up to New England

Habitat: Mostly on offshore reefs and wrecks

Angling Information

Bait and Tackle: Spinning, baitcasting, and light ocean rigs with small hooks. Use shrimp or any cut bait. Artificial lures, especially plastics, work but not as well.

Fishing Method: Still fishing, drifting

Food Value: Excellent although meat is hard to clean because of tough skin.

State Regulation

Daily Limit: Federal Regulations Apply

Federal Regulation

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Marine Fishes of Georgia Posters

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