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Trigger fishing



The Trigger Fish (Balistes capriscus) is characterised by its large head, grey leathery skin and unusual dorsal fin arrangement. The first dorsal spine is very strong and is so arranged that it is connected in function with the second spine. The fish wedges itself into a crevice for safety and secures itself there by erecting the strong first spine and locking it into position with the second. When the second spine is depressed it acts as a trigger to unlock the first spine.

The jaw of the Trigger Fish contains eight strong teeth which it uses to chisel holes in mussels and other hard shelled molluscs to get at the soft flesh inside. It can also attack and eat crabs. Although their numbers appear to be on the increase along the south coast, Chesil beach still offers the best chance of hooking one.


During late spring and the summer months these fish venture up into the waters along the south and west of the UK.


Two hook flapper, paternoster, running leger, bomber, pulley.


Ragworm, squid, mussels, peeler crab.

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