Triggerfishes are about 40 species of often brightly colored fishes of the family Balistidae. Often marked by lines and spots, they inhabit tropical and subtropical oceans throughout the world, with the greatest species richness in the Indo-Pacific. Most are found in relatively shallow, coastal habitats, especially at coral reefs, but a few, such as the aptly named oceanic triggerfish (Canthidermis maculata), are pelagic. While several species from this family are popular in the marine aquarium trade, they are often notoriously ill-tempered.

Triggerfish have an oval shaped, highly compressed body. The head is large, terminating in a small but strong- jawed mouth with teeth adapted for crushing shells. The eyes are small, set far back from the mouth, at the top of the head. The anterior dorsal fin is reduced to a set of three spines. The first spine is stout and by far the longest. All three are normally retracted into a groove. The anal and posterior dorsal fins are capable of undulating from side to side to provide slow speed movement. The sickle shaped caudal fin is used only to escape predators.

As a protection against predators, triggerfish can erect the first two dorsal spines: The first, (anterior) spine is locked in place by erection of the short second spine, and can be unlocked only by depressing the second, “trigger” spine, hence the family name “triggerfish”.

Some triggerfish species can be quite aggressive when guarding their eggs. Both the picasso (Rhinecanthus aculeatus) and titan triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens) viciously defend their nests against intruders, including scuba divers and snorkelers. Their territory extends in a cone from the nest toward the surface, so swimming upwards can put a diver further into the fishes’ territory; a horizontal swim away from the nest site is best when confronted by an angry triggerfish. Unlike the relatively small picasso triggerfish, the titan triggerfish poses a serious threat to inattentive divers due to its large size and powerful teeth.

Alphonse Island Resort

Indian Ocean

Alphonse is legendary as one of the finest saltwater fly fisheries in the world. The flats of nearby St. Francois Atoll offer over 10,000 acres of perfect wading, limited to just 12 rods a week. Alphonse offers a veritable paradise for the flats angler,...
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Christmas Island Outfitters

Christmas Island

Whether you are an experienced saltwater angler returning for your tenth trip or a novice keen on honing your flats fishing skills, you'll find the ultimate in flats wade-fishing at Christmas Island Outfitters. Endless hard sand flats, remarkable numbers...
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Cosmoledo Atoll

Indian Ocean

Cosmoledo is one of the most remote fishing destinations in the world, situated 560 nautical miles SW of Mahe, the capitol and main island of the Seychelles. The atoll is situated a stone’s throw away from the world heritage site of Aldabra, which is often...
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Fanning Island

Kiribati

Fanning Island is the latest super-exciting new flats fishing discovery in equatorial Pacific. Fanning Island, known locally as Tabuaeran Island (which means heavenly footprint in the local dialect), is smaller, quieter; a more remote neighbor to the...
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Farquhar Atoll

Indian Ocean

The flats at Farquhar consist of hard white sand, turtle grass, and broken coral, making for comfortable wading. Anglers can wade and sight fish to an impressive variety of species which include Bonefish, various Trevally species including the...
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Providence Atoll

Indian Ocean

Providence is a true flats fishing wilderness. There is no population living at Providence, which is just short of being the most southerly atoll in the Seychelles. Providence offers incredible diversity. Anglers can expect to target record size Giant Trevally, Bonefish...
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The Villages at Christmas Island

Christmas Island

First opened in June of 2006, "The Villages" has quickly become renowned as the best location and best all-around fishing program on the island. Located on pristine white sand Discovery Beach, The Villages overlooks the ever changing aqua waters...
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