Ocean Triggerfish

The Ocean Triggerfish has a longer body with longer second dorsal and anal fin than the grey triggerfish.

Body color is a brownish-gray and lighter below.

They often have a black spot on the base of the fin located right behind the gill plate.

Ocean Triggerfish Illustration by Duane Raver, Jr.
Season Open Year-Round
Size Limit No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person No Limit
Delaware Range Atlantic Ocean
Abundance in Delaware Waters Rare - this species is more common south of Delaware.
General Habitat and Food Preferences Ocean Triggerfish prefer open-water often near floating objects and swimming far above artificial reefs and wrecks in 35 to 100 feet of water.

They feed on a wide range of large zooplankton which often includes larvae (very young) fishes, squids, shrimps, and jellyfish.
Did You Know? Ocean Triggerfish are not very good swimmers and could be considered a laid-back fish.

Triggerfish get their name from a set of upper spines they use to “lock” themselves into holes, crevices, and other hiding spots. The large spine can be "unlocked" by depressing the smaller, “trigger” spine.
Common Lures and Baits Besides fishing over man-made artificial reefs, many anglers now investigate any floating structure or debris to find Ocean Triggerfish.

A small hook on a dropper loop with a light weight, baited with small pieces of clam, shrimp, or squid is often used.
Typical Sizes Caught In general, Ocean Triggerfish caught by anglers are between 3 and 5 pounds.
Citation Minimum Length and Weight Ocean Triggerfish are not currently eligible for a Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament or Live Release award, but a large specimen may qualify for an “Unusual Species” award.
Delaware State Record Ocean Triggerfish are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.