The Tripletail is a warm-water marine fish found across the tropics; it can grow to 90 cm long and weigh 18 kg. Young fishes float on their sides, often beside flotsam, and appear like a dry leaf.
How To Identify:
The Tripletail has scales that extend onto its dorsal, anal, and caudal fins and a head profile that concaves as the fish ages. It has a compressed but deep body with a triangle-shaped head. The eyes are small, but the mouth is large. The bases of the dorsal and anal fins are scaled and the pectoral fins are shorter than the pelvic fins. The name "Tripletail" is given because of the fish's three rounded fins: dorsal, caudal, and anal.
Juvenile Tripletails are colored a mottled yellow, brown, and black. Adults are jet black. When it lies on its side at the surface, the Tripletail is sometimes confused for a floating mangrove leaf. The juveniles have white pectoral fins and a white margin on their caudal fins. Adult Tripletails have varied mottled color patterns which range from dark brown to reddish brown, often with a tint of gray.
How To Catch:
For casting tackle you can use a fly, plug or spinning—provides the best and most spectacular sport with Tripletails, but saltwater outfits with lines up to 15 kg (30-pound test) are not out of place for big fish. Streamer flies, plastic and bucktail jigs and mirror plugs are among the best lures for this fish. Best natural baits are live shrimp and small live fish, they also like strip baits and dead shrimp are also taken.
The Tripletail is the only fish in the Lobotidae family that can be found in the Atlantic Ocean. It is, however, distributed across tropical seas.
In US waters, Tripletails are found from Massachusetts and Bermuda to Argentina, the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea, from Madeira Island to the Gulf of Guinea, the eastern Pacific from Costa Rica to Peru, and the western Pacific from Japan to Fiji and Tuvalu. They are rarely found north of Chesapeake Bay.
In Australia it is known from tropical and subtropical marine waters. Adults are usually found in coastal waters, estuaries and occasionally even in the lower reaches of freshwater streams. Juveniles often float long distances on algal mats.