Gray Triggerfish

Gray Triggerfish: Balistes capriscus 

Florida Regulations:    

Regulations Gulf State Waters Atlantic State Waters
Minimum Size Limit 14” Fork Length 12” Fork Length
Daily Bag Limit

  2-fish bag limit

     No bag limit


Gear Requirements:

State Waters Harvest Seasons

Closed in Gulf state waters June 1-July 31.


Federal Waters Harvest Seasons:

Gulf of Mexico: 2 fish bag limit within the 20 reef fish aggregate. Closed to harvest May 1, 2014 - Jan. 1, 2015. Learn more about the federal closure. icon_PDF.gif

Atlantic: Size limit: 12” fork length. Included in the 20 fish snapper grouper aggregate bag limit. Closed Nov. 26-Dec. 31, 2014. NOAA Bulletin icon_PDF.gif


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.     


State Record:

12 lb 7 oz, caught near Pensacola July 15, 2001


Florida Rule icon_external.png

Gulf Federal Waters Rules icon_external.png

Atlantic Federal Waters Rules icon_external.png


Image Credit:Diane Rome Peebles

FWC Facts:
Florida's largest estuary, Tampa Bay, covers 440 square miles and has more than 300 species of inshore fish.

Learn More at AskFWC