Lobotes Surinamensis



Onshore, Nearshore, Inshore, Estuaries, Bays

2 - 20 pounds

18" - 36"


Also Known As: Tripletail, Black Grunt, Black Perch, Bouyfish, Flasher, Chobie, Biajaca De La Mar, Flasher, Steamboat

Guides Who Fish This Species

Tripletail (Lobotes surinamensis) Description

The Tripletail or commonly known as the Atlantic Triple Tail is a medium-sized saltwater game fish. It has an olive color mixed with dark or white blotches. It has a large, round-like, body with small eyes. Its caudal fin has a round shape and both its anal and rear dorsal fin have a round shape that extends toward the back. The appearance of the rear dorsal fin and anal fin has the same shape as the caudal fin, hence the name triple tail.


Size and Diet

The tripletail can get as big as 3 feet long and weigh as heavy as 40.8 lbs. On average, they are only 18 inches long and weigh between 2 to 13 lbs. The tripletail is an opportunistic carnivorous fish. They are known to eat shrimps, crabs, and baitfish.


Interesting Facts About the Tripletail

  • The tripletail has the ability to change its color from a mix of white and black to either black or white.
  • Triple trails rapidly grow from their first year alone. It is believed to be an adaptation to quickly outgrow and protect themselves from predators.
  • If you catch one a tripletail, be careful when handling one and avoid holding around the gills. Their gills are razor sharp.
  • Juvenile triple tails mostly have mottled black, brown, and white coloration
  • The tripletail is also known for having a firm and tasty meat, some anglers claim the taste is close to that of a Red Snapper or Grouper.
  • One of the defense mechanisms of the triple trail is to lie on its sides to mimic floating weeds or any materials near them.


Tripletail Fishing Techniques

The tripletail is slowly becoming a popular game fish in the fly fishing world. For their bulky bodies, they are quite acrobatic. To catch a tripletail, the best method to catch them is by sight casting. They usually swim near the surface, making it easy to sight cast. Anglers often target weed lines to find them. Once you spot one, be stealthy when catching a tripletail. You can easily spook them, so cast away from the spot and drag your line towards them and let them ambush your bait.

Here are the recommended gears of anglers so you can fly some triple tail – use a rod between 7 to 9 foot 8wt fly rod with 20 lbs test. As this fish swims near the surface, the best lines to use are floating lines. Use hook sizes from #2 up to 1/0.

The best baits to use for triple tails crabs, shrimps, sardines, and minnows. For the lures, you can use squid, shrimp, or crab flies.


Habitat and Distribution of Tripletail

The tripletail is found in the tropical and subtropical waters of oceans around the world. They prefer water temperatures above 69.8F. In the western Atlantic, their range is from Massachusetts to Argentina. The season for the tripletail is the whole year-round. Their spawning season occurs in summer and it peaks from July to August. They mainly spawn in inshore and nearshore water, but some have been found spawning offshore. You can find them in depths from near-surface up to 210 feet.

They are solitary fish but can sometimes be seen in small schools. The tripletail makes small north and south migrations from April to October. To find this fish, check shorelines and gulfs for juveniles that are about 1 foot long. Adults are mainly found in offshore waters and bays. The tripletail is a saltwater fish but some have been found in estuaries and mouths of rivers. The best fishing spots for the triple tail are in Massachusetts, Florida, Mississippi, and Texas.