Triggerfish enthusiast John Wolstenholme shares his experience, targeting one of his favorite species, on this latest adventure to the Alphonse Atoll in the Seychelles.
“It seems people either love or hate fishing for Triggerfish. Personally they are one of my favorites! I am no expert but whenever I get a chance to fish in the Seychelles I always find at least one guide who shares the obsession.
Triggers can be incredibly frustrating and sometimes almost impossible to hook. They can spook for almost no reason and after an hour walk over rough Coral to finally get a shot at one and then see it glide off into deeper water can reduce a grown man to tears. Patience and stealth are the key as well as a flybox armed with a variety of different patterns.
Triggers are uncannily smart and get used to patterns so what worked on your last trip may now be rejected. I fished with Head Guide at Alphonse Alec Gerbec recently who is an exceptional Fly Tyer and he produced a creation that looked like something from Alien, but boy did it work. I found the Alphonse Crab very effective however they do get chewed up.
Slaters strong Arm Merkin is another pattern that has produced good results. The mesh flexo crab works well as it does not make a large disturbance when hitting the water compared to some of the epoxy crabs. I’m principally talking here about the Moustache and Yellow Margin Triggerfish, smaller Bonefish flies will work for the smaller Picasso Triggerfish.
Of course hooking a Triggerfish is only half the battle which I learnt the hard way the first time I fished for them. You have to keep them away from the Coral at all costs and land them as quickly as possible. If a Trigger finds a hole in the Coral to slide into you will almost never get him out. Use 20 -25lb fluorocarbon and hold on for dear life.
And once you have landed your Trigger take a moment to Marvel at this beautiful fish which is so incredibly well adapted to its environment.”