What's hot: The arrival of fall means the water temperature is cooling, stone crab season is just around the corner and triple tail will be migrating into our area. Triple tail can be found just below the surface, close to floating objects such as crab trap buoys and debris. Stone crab season opens Oct. 15, which means there will be thousands of floating buoys that might hold one of these unusual looking but tasty fish. Triple tails are exceptional table fare. Their filets are very firm and have a sweet taste. These prehistoric-looking fish are covered with tough skin and scales, which make them fairly difficult to clean. Most of the fish in the Pinellas area are 5-10 pounds, but occasionally bigger ones are caught.
Tactics: Fishing for triple tail is, for the most part, done by sight-fishing. As you pass by a floating object, look for the triple tail to be suspended just below it. Once a fish is located, get on the trolling motor or set up a drift to pass within casting distance of the object. Small crustaceans are the triple tail's primary food source, so a shrimp suspended under a float would be my top choice for bait. Triple tail also feed on small baitfish, so a small pinfish or scaled sardine will work, too.
Tackle: Triple tail have small mouths, so I like a No. 1 or 1/O circle hook tied to a small piece of 15- to 20-pound leader. This rig suspended under a float should get the job done.
Seth Leto charters out of Tarpon Springs and can be reached at [email protected] and (727) 385-0382.