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The Tripletail

The Tripletail, Lobotes surinamensis

Deep, somewhat rounded shape gives it the appearance of an oversize panfish. Color varies but is usually brownish and mottled. Head is concave above the mouth. Name derives from similarity and near juxtaposition of the dorsal, caudal and anal fins, resembling three tails.


Most run 2-12 pounds; but rare catches reach 30 or more. World record 42 pounds, 5 ounces; Florida record 40 pounds, 13 ounces.


One of the best.


Despite its clumsy looks, the Tripletail is a good gamefish in all respects. It willingly strikes artificial lures and its fight is characterized by short, frantic runs and startling jumps. Big ones in deep water are also good at bulldogging. Like Cobia— with which they frequently share the shade of a navigation structure—Tripletail are adept at fouling lines.


Casting tackle—fly, plug or spinning—provides the best and most spectacular sport with Tripletails, but saltwater outfits with lines up to 30-pound test are not out of place for big fish in tight places. Streamer flies, plastic and bucktail jigs and mirror plugs are among the pet lures. Best natural baits are live shrimp and small live fish. Strip baits and dead shrimp are also taken.


Still Fishing; Drifting; Casting.


Drift Fish Leaf Fish


Both coastal and pelagic in Florida; mostly pelagic in the Bahamas and Caribbean.


The Tripletail is a true world traveler, drifting with ocean currents and often spotted by dolphin fishermen in weedlines or alongside floating debris. Many are found closer to shore in most coastal areas of Florida during warm months, and also in larger bays—usually hanging around markers or trap floats.

Triple Tail to the Boat

Forum member voltman snapped this sweet picture of a triple tail boatside.


FS member Stetson Law found this tripletail under a piece of floating debris while daytime swordfishing.

Ashley's Tripletail

Ashley caught this 22", 10 pound tripletail out of Crystal River.

Port Canaveral Tripletail

Florida Sportsman forum member QuicksilverIHB caught this 21 pound tripletail fishing floating structure in 30 to 50 feet of water.

Don's Tripletail

Don caught this Tripletail sight fishing crab traps with a free lined shrimp.

Crystal River Tripletail

Tripletail caught off of a crab trap buoy by Chris and his family.

Double Tripletail

Capt. Alan Sherman with Jeff and Dave, and of course, some very tasty tripletail.

Andrea's Miami Tripletail

Andrea caught this urban tripletail off the shores of Miami.

Flamingo Tripletail

Went to Flamingo on Friday and went to the gulf. Caught about 50 trout and kept 4 between 16-19 ', 2 bluefish for smoking and 4 triple tails€¦kept 2, one was 11 lbs. Nice day on the water with my father and daughter.

Coastal Tripletail

FS Member Feeding Frenzy caught this tripletail off the southwest coast.

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