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Dumb question...Triggerfish...good to eat?

I have caught trigger fish before. One here and one there. Never an abundance of them, never targeted them, never kept them. I think one time out with TokinRed when we were way offshore we caught a big one and we may have kept it but honestly can't recall. I know I didn't clean it...

Anyway, I took some buddies out on Saturday. Just wanted to make sure something would bite their line. Primarily looking for grunts and small rg etc... Anything to make sure their ADD wouldn't go off... So, primarily squid on their poles. I put down some live bait just in case but they were pretty much just squid and sardines. Plan was working great. They got bit every time down just about. Nothing exciting but they had a good time.

For some reason, we got a bunch of decent size trigger fish. Probably 10 or more. I didn't keep any of them but they were definitely big enough to keep.

Just looked them up on FWC and there is a 14" minimum length. They are also closed in federal waters until 1/1/15 and in state until 7/31/14. So, I guess I am glad I didn't keep any but that wasn't the point.

Are they good to eat? Just never caught enough of them to worry about, always just released them. But we must have found a mother load of them on Saturday.

Sounds like they are tedious to clean but other sites say they are good to eat.

Just curious....

Tight Lines...
In Loving Memory of James Zielske, January 19, 1957-July 5, 2013


  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 5,769 Admiral
    Triggerfish is very, very good eating.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • drkpttdrkptt Posts: 1,927 Captain
    About a year ago I found triggerfish as the 'catch of the day' at a nice restaurant in South Carolina. Very tasty!
  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 3,214 Moderator
    Outstanding table fare, amongst the best. And, yes, super tough skin that makes filleting a chore.
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,176 Moderator
    conchydong wrote: »
    Triggerfish is very, very good eating.

    :Agree When in season..
    "You'll get your weather"
  • cprcpr Posts: 9,309 Admiral
    electric fillet knife
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr
  • Mackeral SnatcherMackeral Snatcher Posts: 11,148 AG
    PITA to clean but excellent table fare.
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,981 Admiral
    They will ruin your knife so use one you don't care about but, yes good to eat. You can cook it whole, there is a lot of meat in the head, then you don't have to skin it.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • BD27BD27 Posts: 1,179 Officer
    IMO one of the best eating fish . For cleaning them get a razor knife with the hooked disposable blades . Trace the skin with that and then go in with your knife . That also works well for tripletail , but you have to clear the scales on TT
  • drgibbydrgibby Posts: 1,434 Officer
    An old Bahamian showed me an easy way to clean them years ago. Lay it on one side, stick the tip of the knife in it`s butt hole. Make sure you keep the blade above the back bone. Grab the fish with your free hand and rotate it in a circle around the knife. Your cutting the skin from the inside out. It won`t dull your edge. Flip it over and repeat on the opposite side and skin it out. They are for sure worth cleaning!
  • reel stamasreel stamas Posts: 6,153 Admiral
    They aren't fit to eat or worth the trouble...

    (but they're in my Top 5)
    There should be NO Commercial Fishing for any fish species considered 'Over-fished' , 'Undergoing Overfishing' or Subject to Recreational Seasons, Limits, or Closures... Game Fish Status IS the Answer !!!
  • FlatsFrenzyFlatsFrenzy Posts: 893 Officer
    I've had them...would eat them again, without hesitation.
    Gulf Coast of FL
    @flatsfrenzy #flyonly #onelessspinrod
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,961 AG
    They eat just fine, nice white meat and mild tasting.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • flbluerunnerflbluerunner Posts: 716 Officer
    Trigger is my favorite fish to eat. Firm white meat, delicious.
    John :USA
    2006 38 Luhrs IPS600, A true 38, the only one made with IPS!
    2001 23 Parker

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