Best Tripletail Lures | Salt Water Sportsman

Best Tripletail Lures

Tripletail are ready takers for a variety of lures. show them what they want!

Prized for tenacity and taste, tripletail are a worthy summer pursuit. This curious-looking fish together can be found around buoys, markers and trap floats in nearshore depths or in open water under mats of sargassum, weed lines and any manner of flotsam. The nomadic swimmers fight hard and have a knack for wrapping around buoy chains and float lines so it’s important to gain the upper hand quickly. Tripletail are quick to eat lures and flies accurately cast into the strike zone. If you plan to pursue them this summer, make sure you have this assortment in your tackle box:

DOA Shrimp

DOA Shrimp

Tripletail love shrimp and this lifelike replica fools those lurking on or near the surface. The 3-inch version (1/4-ounce) falls slowly for maximum presentation, while the 1/2-ounce fake gets down to fish beneath the surface. Depending on the current and wind, either can be free-lined or suspended under a float or popping cork. Natural colors top the list, with root beer/gold flake or holographic glitter good choices.

Capt. Dave Lear

Bucktail Jig

Bucktail jig

Simple yet highly effective, the standard bucktail jig up to 1/2-ounces can be worked around structure easily and the natural hair fibers adds an irresistible pulsing movement. White, tans and chartreuse are all effective colors.

Capt. Dave Lear

Soft Minnows

Soft Minnows

Rigged with a jig head to match the current, soft-plastic minnows like the Tsunami Tidal Baits entice hungry fish. Cast beyond the structure or underneath a weed mat and retrieve slowly with an occasional twitch. Silver, green and pearl make these lures hard to distinguish from the real thing.

Capt. Dave Lear

Gulp! Peeler Crabs

Gulp! Peeler Crabs

Rigged with a jig head or weedless swim bait hook, the juicy crabs offer fluttering action and scent. Retrieve slowly so the crab swims naturally.

Capt. Dave Lear

Hard Twitch Baits

Hard Twitch Baits

Hard plastic twitch baits, like the Rapala Twitchin’ Series, cast easily and can be worked fast or slow depending. Use with a leader and attach with a loop knot to impart erratic movement, like a stunned minnow.

Capt. Dave Lear

Topwater Plugs

Topwater Plugs

Tripletail lying on their sides waiting for the next meal to float by are suckers for the noise and commotion of a topwater lure. Heddon Super Spooks (standard or junior size) dart and cut well with soft twitches of the rod tip. Bright colors add to the attraction, but chrome-and-black is a proven pattern.

Capt. Dave Lear

Crab Fly

Crab Fly

A tan Merkin or similar crab fly stripped slowly on the surface is too tempting for tripletail to resist. Be sure to add a shock tippet to prevent getting cut off by the fish’s sharp gill plates.

Capt. Dave Lear

Shrimp Fly

Shrimp Fly

Like the soft plastic variety, tripletail love synthetic scampi. Patterns with an epoxy shell sink quickly and stay intact for multiple fish.

Capt. Dave Lear

Clouser Minnow

Clouser Minnow

The bucktail equivalent in a fly, this simple yet proven creation fools tripletail. Heavy bead eyes improve the sink rate and adding a bit of flash adds sparkle. It’s hard to go wrong with pearl-and-olive.

Capt. Dave Lear

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