Florida Regulations:

    Gear Requirements:

    Legal Gear: hook and line, spears, gigs
    Reef fish gear requirements apply

    Federal Waters Harvest Seasons:

    Gulf of Mexico: Season opens January 1, 2013. Size limit: 14" fork length. Pending changes
    for the 2013 Gulf season: 2 fish bag limit within the 20 reef fish aggregate and a proposed
    closed season of June 1 – July 31.

    Atlantic: Size limit: 12” fork length. Included in the 20 fish snapper grouper aggregate bag

    Recent Management Updates:

    The recreational harvest of gray triggerfish in Gulf of Mexico federal waters closed June 11,
    2012. This date was set by NOAA Fisheries Service, who determined the 2012 recreational
    quota for triggerfish would be caught by then. The federal season will reopen Jan. 1, 2013.
    The recreational harvest of gray triggerfish in state waters remains open. Vessels that have
    a valid federal for-hire license for Gulf of Mexico reef fish must adhere to this federal closure
    even when fishing in state waters.

    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

    Image Credit: Diane Rome Peebles

    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building
    620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL
    32399-1600 • (850) 488-4676

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