Yap, a well known dive location in the Pacific region and internationally, provides a variety of dive spots… anything from elusive manta rays to reef formations, sharks, and triggerfish! My encounters with triggerfish have almost exclusively been the Picasso triggerfish, or the state fish of Hawai’i the ‘humuhumunukunukuapu’a’. My most recent encounter with a triggerfish involved a rendezvous with a large one. I have heard they are territorial and on this dive I was sure to keep at least 20′ from it; however, I discovered the distance doesn’t matter as they tend to be erratic fish.
I was diving at Yap Caverns with Manta Ray Dive Resort and my friends here on Yap when I was looking down at a sandy area with many corals and a few large triggerfish. Thinking I was far enough from the fish, all of a sudden one of these dudes swiftly swam towards me and bit my wrist! For the first time in my life, I had to punch a fish to prevent a second bite. While this bite was through a 5mm wetsuit, there were red marks of breaking my wrist skin from its ‘buck-toothed’ devilish grin! What a fish!