A great alternative to speckled trout fishing is switching gears to Biloxi Marsh tripletail. They bite longer through the day, are more resistant to summer heat and aren't far from where speckled trout are feeding.
So where should you go and what do you look for? Well, if you're completely brand new and want to try your hand at one of these fish, then this guide gets you set in the right direction.
I'll share what tripletail are, where to find them, my strategy for locating and catching them as well as tackle that I prefer to use.
Quick note about this guide:
This guide only explains how I prefer to target Biloxi Marsh tripletail. That's one species for a particular area. It may not be the best way for you to do it on other locations. It is simply what has worked for me.
With that out of the way, let's get started with what this fish is:
What is a Tripletail?
The Atlantic Tripletail, or Lobotes surinamensis, is a pelagic fish that frequents coastal waters in tropical and sub-tropical seas.
They can grow as long as 35 inches in length and weigh up to 40 pounds, with the world record triple tail weighing in at 42.31 pounds. Fun fact: it was caught off Zululand, South Africa in 1989.
So that gives you an idea as to how far these things travel, and how big they can grow.
For comparison, the Louisiana state record tripletail was caught in 1959 and weighed 39.50 pounds.
So, the biggens definitely come to Louisiana! But, when you are targeting Biloxi Marsh tripletail, it is more common to see them being much smaller, in the 16-22 inch range.
In Louisiana, the creel limit for triple tail is eighteen inches in length and five per angler per day. Check with Wildlife and Fisheries to verify this before keeping any fish.
Where do you find tripletail?
Well, all around the world in warm water but, as this question pertains to Louisiana, we find triple tail along the coast in saltier water, though they do seem to tolerate lower salinity.
The Biloxi Marsh and Mississippi Sound are two places you can bet on locating them, though they do appear to be more numerous in Venice.
I'm sure tripletail are found well west of the Mississippi River in places like Grand Isle and even Tiger Shoals, but it's my bet that most anglers frequenting those waters do not target tripletail and, the few who do, do not report their catches.
But I bet they're out there.
Anyway, the focus of this guide are Biloxi Marsh tripletail. Just to be clear, I mean the northeast quadrant of the Biloxi Marsh, Mississippi Sound and Lake Borgne.
To be more specific...
..we find Biloxi Marsh tripletail in these areas floating under anything intersecting the water's surface:
When do we find tripletail at these locations?
That's a better question for which the simple answer is "from spring through fall", so long as it stays warm.
I believe that, when it gets cold, they go deep and become more difficult to target. I could be wrong about this. There's just not a lot of information out there about them, not in comparison to other species like speckled trout and redfish.
If you think you may know something that I do not, then please feel free to comment below.
What makes Biloxi Marsh tripletail so fun to catch?
Tripletail are fun to target and catch because they can be sight fished (since they float at the water's surface), are picky eaters and put up a good fight once hooked.
Given this, on some summer days I would rather take my chances targeting tripletail than jostle with The Flotilla at whatever community hole for speckled trout.
Oh, that and tripletail make pretty darned good table fare!
So, how do I locate, close with and catch Biloxi Marsh triple tail? That's a good question. Here's my overall strategy:
My Overall Strategy for Targeting TripleTail in the Biloxi Marsh, Mississippi Sound and Lake Borgne Areas
It's as easy as taking a boat ride. I'll explain:
Since we know that tripletail float under or next to anything at the water's surface, the strategy to finding them is to look at as many things at the water's surface as possible.
Rows of crab traps are a great example. Think about how many you see while you're out fishing. Quite a few, right?
I like to run my boat down those rows, observing for any triple tail that could be floating at the surface.
And let me tell you something:
You will know it when you see it.
If you think you saw a Biloxi Marsh triple tail, then you probably didn't. It's always worth checking, but you will know what I am talking about because when you do see one it will punch you in the eye, it will be so painfully obvious.
They look like a grocery bag floating at the surface. They are usually dark in color, but can be golden or silvery.
Now, going back to running rows: it could be rows of crab traps, or rows of navigational aids or whatever.
The idea here is that you're playing a numbers game. Obviously there won't be a tripletail under every floating thing you encounter.
Duh. Don't be naive!
It's a numbers game. Don't be surprised if you have to look at a hundred crab traps before you finally see a single tripletail.
If you run enough rows of <insert thing intersecting the water's surface> you will eventually come across tripletail.
I'll run rows until I find them. When I do, I'll circle back, come off plane, approach on trolling motor and make my casts.
It's really that simple! This YouTube video I filmed in 2022 perfectly captures the process of targeting Biloxi Marsh tripletail:
These fish don't spook so easy, though I have found that some fish are more willing to bite than others.
Those other fish require more patience and sometimes you just have to accept that they're not going to eat. It is what it is.
Preferred Fishing Tackle For Catching Biloxi Marsh Triple Tail
I have found throwing three-inch Gulp Shrimp on an 1/8 oz jighead is the best way for me to catch triple tail. I make a cast to them in the same way I cast to redfish when sight fishing.
Will they eat live shrimp? Yes. Have I used live shrimp before? Yes.
But they don't always commit to live shrimp. Sometimes they just don't. Sometimes they follow it to the boat before spooking off, or they follow the cork instead (which is maddening).
So, for all these reasons I already dislike using live shrimp, I still don't prefer to use them for Biloxi Marsh triple tail. I'd rather accurately put the bait where it needs to go, and I can best do this with casting tackle:
Yes, it takes a little more skill. Getting that skill takes practice, patience and experience, but I've put in my time and recommend that you do as well. It's worth it.
Over To You
What do you think? Have you caught any triple tail recently and, if so, how did you pull it off?
Tell us about it in the comments below!