Tripletail (Lobotes surinamensis) – Facts and World Records

Kristian Ole



The Tripletail stands out among the variety of game fish species for its striking appearance and impressive size. Regardless of your experience level, the Tripletail is a species that will catch your attention.

We will delve deeply into the world of tripletails in this article and explore all there is to know about this fascinating game fish. We will discuss everything, including the species’ physical characteristics, habitat, diet, and conservation status.


Author of speciesT. N. Gill, 1861
Author of genusG. Cuvier, 1830

World Record

119.20 kg (42 lb 5 oz)Steve HandZululand, South Africa07. June 1989

Characteristics & Appearance

The Tripletail is a game fish with an eye-catching appearance that is easily recognized. The three distinct, rounded dorsal fins, located close to the body’s rear and resembling tail fins, are the source of the species’ name.

The fish has a broad, flat body with a shape resembling a large saucer. It looks like a vicious predator because of the size of its mouth and wide head. The color of the Tripletail can range from dark brown to light gray, and some individuals even have a faint yellow or greenish tinge.

Small, smooth scales cover the fish’s body, and its fins are frequently translucent with a light spot or stripe pattern. Any angler fortunate enough to come across one will be treated to an impressive sight as the species has a maximum length and weight of 40 inches and 40 pounds, respectively.


Tropical and subtropical waters of all oceans. The Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico’s coastal waters are home to the warm-water game fish known as the tripletail. They can be found in the Caribbean Sea and North Carolina to Brazil waters.

Floating debris, weed lines, buoys, and other structures, such as pilings, buoys, and muddy or sandy bottoms, are typical habitats for this species. Being a relatively solitary species, the Tripletail is frequently spotted basking in the sunlight close to the water’s surface. The Tripletail moves southward to warmer waters during the colder months so that it can continue to flourish.

Food & Diet

The carnivorous Tripletail preys on various prey items, such as small fish, crabs, shrimp, and squid. Since they are opportunistic predators, they frequently utilize any available food source. The diet of the Tripletail can vary depending on where it lives and the availability of prey, but it is well-known that they enjoy crustaceans in particular.

Their inclination to gather around objects like buoys or floating debris, where food sources are plentiful, suggests that their feeding behavior is frequently related to their habitat preferences. When hungry, the Tripletail, an active predator, will readily pursue its prey.

Anglers can try to mimic their prey with lures or use live or cut bait, such as shrimp or small fish, to catch Tripletails.

Threats & Predators

The Tripletail faces danger from various natural predators, just like many other game fish species. The shark, one of the Tripletail’s main predators, can be very dangerous to juvenile and adult individuals. Larger fish species like barracuda, king mackerel, and cobia are some additional predators that may prey on tripletail.

The Tripletail may be threatened by human activities like overfishing and habitat destruction in addition to natural predators. Further investigation is required to ascertain the long-term effects of these actions because it is currently unknown how serious these threats are to the Tripletail population.

Fun Fact

The Tripletail is a fascinating fish because it has unusual dorsal and anal fins that resemble a third tail. The Tripletail frequently employs these fins to confound and disorient its prey, making it simpler to catch. Due to its innovative use of these fins, the Tripletail is a well-liked game fish among anglers seeking a challenge. The Tripletail is known for its delicious white meat, which many seafood lovers prize, in addition to its distinctive fins. Overall, the Tripletail is a fascinating species to study and a well-liked target for recreational fishing due to its unique appearance and tasty meat.


About Kristian Ole

Kristian Ole Rørbye, a marine biologist and seasoned angler, shares his fishing adventures and expertise on FishingKris. Join him as he explores the world's waters, one cast at a time.

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