Pulling the trigger on Monday

Tina Harbuck

Monday marked the last day for anglers to keep triggerfish and at least 50 anglers or more took advantage of the opportunity to get in on the action.

After being closed in federal waters all last year, triggerfish opened up on Jan. 1 but shut down on Monday at midnight. During the 15 days, folks were able to keep two 14-inch fish each.

As for the ones this reporter saw down on the docks Monday afternoon, there was no need for a measuring stick. Some of them were what some fishermen call “banjos” they were so big.

Capt. Nick “Slay Daddy” Price of the Swoop II and his group of 27 anglers reeled in 54 triggerfish and threw several back.

“We got our limit,” Price said. “We were bringing up a pair a lick.

“We gotta gettem while we can,” he added.

And that they did and they didn’t mess around with any small ones either.

Bill Stec of Ohio, who’s been coming down to Destin and fishing for the last four years, got in on some of that last-day trigger fishing and pulled in some whoppers.

“We heard they were closing so we thought we’d go out and catch some,” Stec said. “Last year we had to throw them all back.”

Terra Koehler of Shalimar pulled in her share of triggerfish along with some mingo.

Mike Payne of Fort Walton Beach pulled in a couple of big triggerfish, along with mingo, scamp and amberine. Payne also pulled in a 32-inch amberjack that wasn’t quite big enough to keep. Amberjack have to be 34 inches to keep.

The Destin Princess with Capt. Reid Phillips at the helm also got in on some of the triggerfish action on Monday.

Phillips had 25 anglers aboard the boat and they caught their limit on the triggerfish as well.

“There are too many triggers,” Phillips said, noting it was no problem finding the grey fish.

In addition to the triggerfish, they also had many mingo, white snapper and a few lane snapper in the mix.

Fishing is good. And just because triggerfish is now off limits, that’s no excuse not to go. There’s still plenty of fish out there to be had.

See you at the docks.

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