Triggers are ravenous feeders, usually found in small schools and will keep eating until their stomachs are distorted from robbing your bait. You know triggers are around when you retrieve your formerly live pinfish from the bottom and there are a series of small pock marks around the head where the flesh has been sucked and chomped out. They typically follow bait to the top and I have netted them unhooked when they come to the top chasing bait. They even take chunks out of my Cajun Thunders when I am floating pinfish for cobias.
Triggers are fantastic fighters on light gear and a challenge to catch. I love to put the kids on catching them and then watch the yelling and screaming as the light action pole doubles over as they are scrambling to command these bulldogs. Triggers make catching sheepshead seem easy. I am continually amazed at how many people throw these gems of the sea back--but if you don't know how to clean them, then it is warranted.
Here's how tough the skin of a triggerfish is: A friend told me he had skinned out a triggerfish and the skin dropped in the yard by the cleaning table. Over the course of the next year he ran over the skin with a lawn mower numerous times and finally about one year later, he finally acquiesced and picked up the skin to throw it away. Upon close examination, the skin was still intact. Yes, triggerfish are that tough. So cleaning triggerfish with a lawn mower is not even a viable option.
Now cleaning these fish is an interesting proposition, and if you have tried and failed, you probably did so ruining your best fillet knife. Once you figure out where the tiny "zippers" are on these fish you will be able to clean them quickly and easily, and it is well worth the trouble. If you don't know where these micro-zippers are then just hang it up! Here's the technique that I use.
Where's the rest?
That certainly seems like an unfair tease. The article must have been snipped when we moved over to the new site. I'll see if I can locate it and post the rest.