Bottom-fishing is hot for anglers fishing anywhere from nearshore reefs on out to the ledge, and one of the hottest species right now is the triggerfish. Triggers are being caught in great numbers, and it doesn’t take any special equipment or techniques to catch them.

Capt. Robert Olsen of Knot@Work Charters (843-442-7724) put his anglers on a heap of triggerfish a few days ago, and said now is the time to bottom-fish for the tasty species. He also said that even though the season for grouper and snapper is closed, there are still plenty of reasons to hit the water rather than just complain about what we’re not allowed to keep.

“We had a great day bottom-fishing. It was a trigger massacre. We caught 119 triggerfish, the majority of them on cut squid. Even though grouper and snapper is closed, there is still a lot to catch right now,” he said.

The most common rig for catching these fish is what’s known as a chicken rig, a familiar rig with those who regularly fish offshore. It basically consists of a leader with a weight at the bottom, one hook about 12-inches above the weight, and another hook above the first one, but far enough up that the two hooks won’t tangle each other. 

Once anchored down, anglers lower their baits until they feel their weight hit structure, then reel up a couple of turns. This puts the bait in the vicinity the fish and lessens the chance of hooking into the reef.

Anglers are catching these fish all over nearshore reefs like the Edisto 40, Edisto 60, the 4KI, Pawleys Island Reef, and many others. Triggerfish are also being caught on live bottom, especially areas around Kiawah and south. 

The SCDNR has a great resource on all of South Carolina’s artificial reefs. Click here to view it.

-Click here to post your own outdoor adventures.