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Bad seas make good captains
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Don't it just frost ya when your on some really good sow snapper that you've jumped on the surface and you get thronged by "Gulf Perahnas" AKA: Triggerfish and Spades? Well It frosts me! I don't care what the old salts say 'bout the great un-tapped resource of good food fish that they claim triggerfish are... They suck! So, next time you're faced with this problem try a trick we learned out of desperation. Keep a few fish carcasses from your last filleting, be it King, Ling or Snapper, what ever, and freeze them. Then when you go off shore and find yourself surrounded by sea buzzards, tie one of the carcasses on to about 10' of leader, attatch it to your boat's rear cleat, and throw it over the transom! This will keep the little buggers busy close to the boat while you throw a flat line out to the sows. This method of distraction is called a "charlie". It really works!
'Lil tunie or Bonita is also an excelant Sow Snapper bait For a couple of reasons. I keep all the bonita I catch and when I get home I chunk'em up and freeze them. Bonita is a very tough skined and muscular fish that stays on your hook well and resists the attempts of "bait stealers" to strip your hook. Also,the bigger the better when it comes to chunk size. To coax the big sows you need to make it worth their energy to chase your offering!
Hope this bit of info helps next time you find your self "feeding" fish instead of cathing keepers!
I'll leave ya'll with an old sailers toast: "Heres to Iron ships with wooden crews, long legged women, and Ice cold brews"!

The Privateer
 

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Salty Dawg
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I can honestly say that triggers were not a problem at all this year. The only time that I saw any was when B-liner fishing and there were a few mixed in. Other than that. Nada.

Bonita is great snapper bait. The bigger the chunks the better. I just cut the fish all the way through in to 5-6 inch thick steaks. Big bait = Big fish
If you let it get a little rotten it's even better.
 

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Fish Assassin
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Bonita is great snapper bait.
If you let it get a little rotten it's even better.
I agree with bonita being great bait, whether it be for snapper, grouper, or triggers. It depends on location and how you cut it as to which kind of fish you'll be getting.

I have to disagree that rotten bonita is better than fresh, or even freshly frozen. I just-caught, bloody hunk of bonita is ridiculously good. A frozen hunk is good. Rotten bait is pretty much terrible in my experience. That goes for all types of bait, not just bonita. YMMV
 

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Light fried triggerfish is delicious as long as I don't have to clean them. I will agree a big bloody slab of fresh bonita is great for sending down to the bottom.
 

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In my opinion, triggerfish is the best tasting inshore reef fish of all. They do need some size, or the fillets are skimpy and thin. We get the grays here, but the Queen Triggerfish is highly prized in Florida, the Bahamas, and in much of the Caribbean. Tastes about the same, actually. :cheers:
 

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Tastes the same

I agree Swells......sort of like alligator and crocodile.....

Mike

In my opinion, triggerfish is the best tasting inshore reef fish of all. They do need some size, or the fillets are skimpy and thin. We get the grays here, but the Queen Triggerfish is highly prized in Florida, the Bahamas, and in much of the Caribbean. Tastes about the same, actually. :cheers:
 

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Used to catch and spear "Lid Triggers", big as a trash can lid in Pensacola in the early 80's. Absolutely awesome on the grill or in the oven. The wife prefers them to snappers any day. You get them triggers, I'll clean em for the wife and we both will be happy anglers. I can show anyone how to clean em in a simple manner. Either pull the skins off like a catfish or cut them as you would fillet any fish. The initial cuts are the critical ones. We always kept our Bonita's and would brine or salt them prior to freezing. Great bait fresh or frozen. Big bait big fish. It just works. Tom
 

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Fish Assassin
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Triggers really aren't hard to clean, once you get a good knife and know the right method. They freeze and thaw much better than any other fish I've found, and don't get fishy or lose texture. They're my favorite freezer fish, and one of my absolute favorites to eat.

As for cleaning them....

I use a 10" Forschner.

Method:
1. Hold him with his belly up and his back on the table. Often you have to break off the horn to do this.

2. With the blade facing up, stab your knife through him right behind the pectoral fin and come out the other side.

3. Bring your knife up through the belly and out.

4. With the knife blade facing downward, get into the previous cut and behind the skin. The knife will be pointed almost straight down.

5. Rotate your knife downward to finish the behind-the-head cut all the way to the dorsal side.

6. Lay the fish on his side, with the dorsal side toward you.

7. Get your knife into the cut again, and trace along the dorsal edge of the fillet.

8. Trim the fillet off the backbone.

9. Skin the fillet

10. Flip over, and do the other side in a similar manner

11. Scratch your head, because this is probably a poor explanation of the technique without photos or video, and you don't understand what I mean.
 

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Try this!

Pan fried Trigger "a la Rik"

Take your boneless, skinless Trigger and soak in milk, egg, and a taste of honey for thirty min. Roll them in a cracker meal, corn meal and flour mix. Fry until golden brown. Mmmm! So good & sweet! Hope you like it as much as I do! Rik
:idea:
 

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Yeah folks eat shark too and other strange fish. I just dont understand why folks do that. I guess if I was starving I would eat them but if I have snapper or trout why in the heck would I eat Trigger, or shark ? Why would I even try and catch them ?? If there are triggers on a spot everyone knows its fished out. I would be out of there.

Charlie
 

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I guess if I was starving I would eat them but if I have snapper or trout why in the heck would I eat Trigger, or shark ? Why would I even try and catch them ??
Charlie
Because triggers taste better than snapper and a whole lot better than trout. Smaller sharks can be excellent if handled correctly. Broden your horizons.

If there are triggers on a spot everyone knows its fished out..
That's a new therory for me.
 

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Pan fried Trigger "a la Rik"

Take your boneless, skinless Trigger and soak in milk, egg, and a taste of honey for thirty min. Roll them in a cracker meal, corn meal and flour mix. Fry until golden brown. Mmmm! So good & sweet! Hope you like it as much as I do! Rik
:idea:
We have even tried trigger in a the oven, coated rather like you say - except honey, have to try a dab of that! Baked is less hot oil to mess with, and you can cook some lemon into it as well. Our recipe was adapted from Russel Tinsley's book 'Texas Fishing,' and the crackers has to be Ritz. As Russel says, "Don't burn the crackers." LOL.

The Queen Trigger is highly prized in the Bahamas and the Caribbean, although our Gray Trigger is exactly the same in the eating department. The Caribbean style is to put some "hots" on the fish, either bird peppers or Scotch Bonnets - hotter than Hades so only a little dab will do ya.

Unfortunately, the poor Gray Trigger is an endangered species off Texas waters now, most likely because of the millions of GIANT RED SNAPPER that eat them up. I haven't caught one in years now, and miss them on the table for sure. :cheers:
sammie
 

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The Lord Loves a Drinking Man
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getting bait through Triggers

We were at a wreck during snapper season this year and I was taking a buddy fishing who had never caught a snapper. I can't remember all the different types of baits we tried, but we couldn't get anything to the bottom before it was cleaned. Finally, I tried hooking a live croaker in the lips to send it straight down as fast as possible, and that worked. We ended up getting our limit pretty shortly there after. First time I had ever used croaker for snapper, they worked well that day.
 

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Lifes 2 Short 2 B So Serious All Da Time
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Triggers are always seem to be gett'n a bad rap. Thats a bummer



They cant help it that they are ugly? Arent yall worried about their feelings at all?
Wheres a peta person when you need one?


Their momma thinks their beautiful..


I think some of yall simply dont want to unload your fish at the dock for pictures and everyone see or say that
"yall kept triggers?"
from some sort of psychological embarrassment.


When was the last time you saw someone hold up a prize trigger fish instead of a 40-60# something else? When was the last time you saw someone make a "Crew Wanted to share expenses" post to go Trigger fish'n? When was the last time you saw someone make a thread and have 70 replies for a Trigger report instead of a dang Tuna Run to Boomvang. We should be ashamed of ourselves for leaving them out and acting that away.


Lets face it, them buggers ARE ugly!


Your already pis=sed off at'm for eating up half your frozen bait you brought on the trip and you cant even get passed them to get to the good reef fish on the spot you traveled 50 miles to get to pounding about every 5th wind wave.


You FINALLY get one to the boat and the hook barb is all the way thru the jaw skin, its an absolute pain in the butt to get the hook out. They have a rough ugly brown skin color that feels like rough raw hide. They have these big ugly teeth, they give you the finger every time you catch one with that single dorsal fin. And then...... they spit or throw up on ya to boot....



So no wonder hardly anyone likes'm.

===========================

Now, try this ONE TIME and you wont regret it. Get passed all their down falls and what ever your psychiatric reason is you wont put them in your fish box, and bring some large ones home...

Fillett them out from the INSIDE OUT not outside in. THEY ARE NOT HARD TO CLEAN!!!

Everyone always seems to grip and moan about cleaning them. Well, their not hard AT ALL to fillett... Knife is inserted in their anal hole (see, ya get some payback afterall) and slid all the way thru to the other side next to their back bone. I cut towards the tail stopping just before the slap is cut off, I turn the handle of the knife to where the blade edge is not pointing towards the head, fillett back towards the head. When I have gone as far as I can, I point the cutting edge towards the skin side and simply cut outward which maked the front edge of the fillett. Then lay the flap over on the table and fillett the BEAUTIFUL WHITE MEAT off the skin.

Its so simple and can be done with almost the same speed as filletting a snapper or trout.

And are they any good to eat? Well, If you like fried king mackerel, you will think friend triggers are fillet Mignon


Next time I get to go on a trip with team Hotrod and we catch a trigger, Im gonna get Bubba to not shoot it

so I can get Treybig or Hotrod to film me filleting a tigger and post it up on youtube for yall to see.

There is some fella on youtube that has a trigger fillettin video that makes it look so hard that I WOULDNT EVEN want to do it. Besides, he needs to learn how to sharpen his knife first...

Yall have a good'n......

The "dang, I'll be glad when I can go fish'n again..." Hog

 
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