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Triple Tail, Buoy Bass, Seasonal Fishing

Dad took me tripletail fishing in the early 1970s out of Port Canaveral.  I couldn’t believe how easy it was to catch one of these apparently dumb fish that liked to hang around the buoys and float some.  A simple shrimp or whole frozen squid often produced a bite back in those days, but more than often, you’d have to remove a couple of big cobia free-swimming their way around the marker before concentrating on the remaining tripletail lurking around and under.

Gone are the days of plenty on the Canaveral Buoys for daily sight-fishing tripletail, but there is still a valid tripletail fishery for those committed to spending the time and effort.

Cape Canaveral has one of the best fisheries in the world for Tripletail, a gamefish that’s known for its extraordinary good tasting fillets. Tripletail are a formidable fish with thick scales, razor sharp gill plates and pointy dorsal fins.  These fish challenge anglers with their fighting tactics and their heavy armor, possibly making this one of the best Orlando fishing trips you might encounter.

Historically, Canaveral holds many world record tripletail and at least one has exceeded 40 pounds.  It’s not uncommon to bring home fish in the teens large numbers of single digit fish weighing between 5-10 pounds are caught regularly.

Because of the popularity of tripletail, the numbers of tripletail have declined over the years, but an aggressive angler that watches conditions and seasons will still score if the stay on top of the fishery.

As a Florida saltwater fishing guide, I’ve refined my tactics for catching tripletail over the decades and would enjoy taking you out for a day nearshore fishing on the Canaveral buoy line looking for them.  Because of the extreme recreational and commercial pressure in recent years, tripletail have become an opportunity fish that comes and goes with conditions and seasons.

triple tail, buoy bass

Little detail is provided about this species except that they appear to have three tails which are actually large anal and dorsal fins that drop back far and elongated along the body. Tripletail change color with their environment and are great imitators, often imitating float some and leaves. Color can vary from black, grey, brown and yellow depending on habitat.

Tripletail, Triple Tail, Buoy Bass

Tripletail are found in mild and warm waters around float some. They are often around buoys or sargassum seaweed floating on the surface.


Port Canaveral holds some of the biggest tripletail in the world. Florida Tripletail Regulations


15″ minimum size limit, 2 per angler per day.

State Record
42.5 lbs.

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