Virginia State Record Gray Triggerfish

A 6-pound 12-ounce gray triggerfish has been certified as the initial Virginia State Record for the species by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament.

The record-setting triggerfish was caught on November 1, 2017 by Dave Walden of Yorktown, VA. The fish measured 18.5 inches (TL) with a 17-inch girth.

Walden was bottom fishing off the Virginia Beach coast over the Chenango wreck site, which is located on the western edge of a seamount known as the Cigar, some 50 miles east of the coast.

Walden was a member of a make-up charter trip for an “over-nighter” aboard the Underdog skippered by Captain Jake Hiles. The crew left the dock at the Virginia Beach Fishing Center at 2 AM and started trolling in vicinity of the Cigar around first light.

Eventually the crew switched to bottom fishing for sea bass at the nearby Chenango wreck site which lies in approximately 100 feet of water.

Walden caught the triggerfish using a conventional rod and reel with 30-pound braided line and bottom rig with a 12-ounce sinker, baited with squid strips.

Gray triggerfish was added to the list of eligible species for state record consideration in 1996 with an initial qualifying weight of 6 pounds. In 1999, gray triggerfish was added to the Citation list of eligible species for both weight (4 pounds) and release (20 inches).

Walden’s fish is the first gray triggerfish registered which met the 6-pound minimum established for initial state record recognition.

source: Virginia Marine Resources Commission