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Tripletail are one of the odder looking species you’ll find along the Gulf coast, but they’re a great-tasting fish that fights like the devil. You want to put some “trips” into your cooler? Use these three tips to make it happen.
Tripletail may look a bit strange, but they’re a worthy quarry.
- If there are floats in your area, try “run and gun” fishing. Tripletail will often turn sideways and hover under or next to floats, including those as small a half-gallon milk-jug. If commercial boats have left a string of pots out in an area where you’ve seen tripletail before, try cruising about 20 yards away from the floats while looking for unusual shadows next to them. Be sure to run with the sun at your back or off to the side, so you don’t have to fight the glare and get maximum visibility. When you see one of those odd shadows slow down, and take a few casts at the float. Often, the shadow turns out to be a tripletail.
- Cast small topwater lures. Maybe because of the way tripletail lay sideways in the water, they seem quite good at focusing in on topwater lures even when the cast is a bit off-target. Simple three to four inch lipless plugs work great for them, especially when retrieved with a walk-the-dog action.
- Carry live shrimp. Sure, some folks feel that live bait gives you an unfair advantage. It does – so why not take it? Tripletail love munching on live shrimp and generally speaking, won’t hesitate to dart out from under those floats or buoys if you slide a small hook through the shrimp’s head and flip it within the fish’s striking distance.
BONUS TIP: If you really want to focus in on this species, consider making a trip to Matagora Bay during the summer months. It’s one of the best places to reliably find and catch tripletail along the Gulf coast.