Alphonse Island Celebrates a New Triggerfish Record!

 

 

 

 

 

Keith Rose-Innes reports that:

The two species of triggerfish targeted by the Alphonse Fishing Co. guides on St. Francois Atoll are the moustache (giant) and the yellowmargin. These fish have become a favourite of flats fishermen as they are not only beautiful to look at but they are also technically difficult to catch, being notorious for their spooky nature and fighting dirty. Not only will triggerfish try to swim straight to a coral hole as soon as they are hooked, they also have incredibly powerful teeth and jaws, capable of breaking a hook in two.

This season St. Francois Atoll has produced an incredible number of triggerfish and at the end of week 22, two thirds of the way through the season, 142 triggerfish had been landed, which is nearly 50% more than the previous season’s best total of 106 fish.

The ten weeks since Christmas have been particularly productive with an average of 10.5 triggerfish per week for that period.  A recent spike in numbers in week 21, which saw 28 triggerfish landed appeared to coincide with a spawning event around the full moon, which lead to much higher numbers of fish than usual being seen on some regularly walked finger flats. The numbers of fish encountered and the amount of nesting triggerfish seen by SCUBA divers at the time must mean good things for the health of the fishery in the future.

There have been a number of other reasons for the increase in catches put forward. As for permit the Alphonse Flexo crab has proved to be a fantastic fly for catching triggerfish and it has a texture that the triggerfish seem to respond better to and it has also been partly responsible for increasing the amount of time that can be spent fishing for triggerfish during spring tide cycles. This means that triggerfish are now being increasingly caught on any tide.

The Alphonse Fishing Co. guide team has worked very hard on the approach to fishing for triggers and the use of poling and African queening has helped to consistently get anglers closer to triggerfish, increasing the likelihood of hooking one. All these factors combined mean that more Alphonse Island guests are getting the chance to land one of these magnificent fish.

Tight lines from Keith and the Alphonse team.

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