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How to Catch Tripletail on Nearshore Crab Buoys

Tripletail may be one of the weirdest pelagic fish in the Atlantic, but if you have the chance to attack this saltwater species off the coast of Texas or Florida, this is not to be missed.

Learning how to catch triple tails can be an exhilarating experience. Not only is tripletail a challenging sport fish, it’s also an exceptionally tasty meal. To get your best chance of success, follow some key three-tailed fishing tips.

Helpful tips on the best tripletail catch

  1. Look at the time of year. For example, Florida’s stone crab season begins in October. Which is an important fact to know when triple tailed saltwater fishing. Fish appear on offshore crab trap buoys when placed in the water for the stone crab season.
  2. Know where to look. In the Gulf of Mexico, the adult triple tail is most commonly found in open water near the buoys, structures, or swimming objects of crab traps. Since Tripletail likes to position itself close to the surface of the water, keep a keen eye out for dark objects that resemble a dead leaf floating near the surface.
  3. Use a stealth approach. Since the triple-tailed species is a particularly nasty species, learn how to use your boat’s trolling motor to catch fish so you can get within easy reach when fishing near the crab buoys.
  4. Know the best rig for tripletail. A live shrimp on a 2/0 circle hook attached to a short (no longer than 15 in.) Fluorocarbon leader under a popping cork is the most effective device, but keep in mind that this species is also man-made and bait are a blast to catch a fly rod with flies that imitate crabs or shrimp.
  5. Place your bait correctly. The best way to catch tripletail is to toss your rig past the fish and slowly reel it into the strike zone. If your bait lands right in front of the triple tail’s face, the fish is likely diving deep or moving away from the structure. When the triple tail bites, give it a count of about 4 or 5 to make sure the fish is actually eating your bait before you uncoil to lower the circle hook. One of the keys to learning how to catch triple tails is to make sure that they actually took your bait and that the hook is well set as they have small, hard mouths.
  6. Be prepared for hard runs and irregular jumps. These behaviors can be particularly challenging when fishing near structures or crab buoys. Take care of your line so that you don’t get wrapped around the structure and keep constant pressure on the fish. Make sure your drag is set correctly and take your time getting the fish to the boat.
  7. Use a landing net As soon as the fish is on the boat and has a pair of pliers ready to remove the hook.

The triple tail is one of the best-eating saltwater fish. In other words, the reward doesn’t end when you bring a triple tail to your boat. A triple tail fillet is great for a dinner of light, white, scaly fish, as this species feeds primarily on crustaceans such as shrimp and crabs.

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