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How To Catch Tripletail

Joey Furlan with Furlan’s Marine Inc. in Gautier, Mississippi, explains where to look for, which baits are best, and what kind of rig to use when fishing for tripletail. Tripletail, also known as blackfish, is an odd-looking fish that floats on its side in an effort to attract bait. The following series of videos on fishing for tripletail will help you catch one of the best-tasting, saltwater fish.

hooking a tripletail

How To Catch Tripletail | Where to Look

Tripletail, also known as blackfish, is an odd-looking fish that is absolutely delicious. The tripletail’s behavior is unique in that it floats on its side. The purpose of this floating is to try and attract bait to come underneath them. So when you’re looking for tripletail, find what they lay under – if it floats, look for it. It doesn’t matter what size it is, when you see that floating object, look for the tripletail near that. It will look something like a dirty gallon bag or even as large as a trash bag. You want to cast 5 to 10 feet behind the tripletail, reel it up really fast and then drop right by the fish. Keep your bait clear of the object it is floating by to avoid hang-ups. Live bait works best as it does a lot of the work for you.



Best Fishing Rig for Catching Tripletail

Tripletail fishing rig

For a tripletail under about 15 pounds, any bait caster will do, but over 15 pounds you really want something with power. Be sure you have plenty of line should the fish run on you. You want a rod that is stiff so you can really set the hook. A soft rod won’t set the hook as hard. If you’re using live bait, use a popping cork and a short leader. You want it to be up no more than 15 inches. For artificial bait, use a light jighead. You want it to come by light and fast so the fish will see it.



Best Live Bait for Tripletail Fishing

catching bait for tripletail

The best live baits for tripletail fishing are shrimp, pogie fish, finger mullet and bull minnows. Any bait fish that is small enough for the tripletail to eat is recommended. 



Best Artificial Baits to Use When Fishing for Tripletail 

artificial bait for tripletail

If a tripletail is hungry, it’ll bite whatever you put in front of it. The best bait to use for tripletail is whatever they are feeding on. For example, if you see a trash line, you may notice a bunch of little bitty bait fish in those lines. A small minnow would work in that situation. Other top choices for artificial bait are shrimp with a popping cork or any type of minnow. 



Tripletail Fishing Tip | When to Set the Hook

hooking a tripletail

Once you stop and drop your bait – shrimp, pogie, mullet, whatever it may be – it gets really nervous and starts swimming. The tripletail will turn over from its side and attack. When it attacks you want to give a good 3, 4 count to let that hook go in enough to set. Tripletail have rally hard mouths, so you want to make sure the hook is set really well. Make sure your drag is adjusted properly and take your time getting the fish to the boat. You want to use a dip net to get it in the boat, then celebrate your delicious catch.



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