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September 27, 2004
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife has certified a new state record triggerfish that was taken from Great Egg Harbor Bay. Four-year-old Riley Hallock of Mays Landing caught the 4 pound, 2 ounces triggerfish on September 12. It weighed 5 ounces more than the previous record taken off Atlantic Highlands in 1985.

Riley was casting surf clams from a boat when he caught the record fish on 4-pound test line. The fish measured 19 inches in length with a 16-inch girth.

Triggerfish have a flat, compressed body with a shape somewhere between round and rectangular. They are often very colorful. Triggerfish sport three dorsal (back) spines; the first of which is the longest and thickest. When in danger, the normally solitary triggerfish will seek safety in a small cave or crevice within a reef, raise their dorsal spine, and wedge themselves firmly in place.

The species is named for the interlocking arrangement of the bases of the three dorsal spines so that the first can be fixed in an erect position. If one depresses the second or "trigger" spine, the first is no longer locked in the vertical position.

Diet consists of hard-bodied prey including scallops, clams, barnacles and sand dollars. These fish are equipped with extremely powerful jaw muscles and teeth that are used to crush their prey.

[ 10-01-2004, 01:46 PM: Message edited by: bill cameron ]
 

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Correction, That Trigger Fish was caught in Great Bay on my Buddies boat. Scotts Bait and tackle had a post on a 5 1/2 lb. Trigger this past week.
 
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