Dan’s Top Tips For Tripletail Fishing

  • Catching tripletail is easy, once you’ve found them – but finding them takes a lot of persistence and a lot of time on the water. Most northern anglers never see or catch one, even though they are not uncommon and Dan has found them right across northern Queensland..
  • Dan is one of the pioneers of Tripletail fishing in Australia and while they are commonly targeted in other countries such as the US, he’s found that the fish play by different rules here in Australia.
  • This species is often seen swimming in its side around debris, especially seaweed where they pick prawns, small fish and crabs out of the floating mass. Dan carries a small scoop net to sample seaweed and often finds that bait is present in the weed carried some current lines, but not others. Finding bait holding weed increases your chances.
  • Tripletail are a pelagic species and are usually associated with floating objects such as debris and buoys, as well as on permanent structures. In other places where tidal ranges are more limited Dan finds tripletail are often located around fixed structure. But in areas of larger tidal range (3m and more) they tend not to associate with fixed structure, but to cling more to floating debris, making finding them challenging.
  • Dan reckons that not enough fish have been caught to really decipher patterns about when the fish appear, when they come to the surface and when they feed. This makes fishing for them unpredictable, often fruitless, but very rewarding when a fish is taken. They can make an appearance on sunny or overcast days, clear or murky water, any phase of the tide and moon.
  • Big tides on shallow flats usually create dirty water, and Dan finds when these conditions occur it can be better to head for the bays and inlets that receive debris from feeder creeks. The runout tide often fishes best as it carries debris from mangrove areas out to sea.
  • Keeping an eye on current lines containing floating debris is the best way to find tripletail. Make a point of changing course to check out current lines when you’re targeting other species and you’ll sooner or later find tripletail.
  • If you see a fish but spook it, stick around the area. Triple tail tend to dive down when spooked but will usually return to the surface to the floating debris or somewhere close by fairly quickly, giving you another shot at them.
  • Dan theorises that the largest tripletail (over around 65cm) don’t feed on the surface as much as the food items available in floating seaweed may not be sufficient to sustain them.
  • Always bring a heavier rod with a bigger plastic. Lots of other species use current lines as a highway and it’s not unusual to pick up Mack’s, cobra, trevally and other species whilst searching for tripletail. 

Dan’s Tripletail Tackle Recommendations

  • Fishing for tripletail in open waters is about being able to cast small lures and work them. Once hooked it’s just a matter of playing them in open water, fairly light gear can be used. Dan fishes as light as a 1-3kg spin rod, 1000 size reel and 10 lb braid for this style of fishing.
  • More typically, a 10-14lb rod, 2500 reel and 20lb braid will handle most fish under most circumstances.

Dan’s Tripletail Lures

  • Due to the time and cost of finding tripletail Dan usually prefers to throw live prawns when he locates fish. However, he has caught them on lures also and recommends 2” Berkeley Gulp Shrimp on TT Lures resin jig heads.
  • Tripletail will take most small plastics and also hard bodies at times. The main thing is to use quite small lures that suspend pretty well. It’s important to see the way the fish reacts to the lure, and fish will often follow a sinking lure out of sight, hence the need for suspending options. 
Dan Powell Profile

Dan Powell

Tripletail Obsessed Fisher

Dan is passionate about his fishing and targets lots of species around the Central Queensland area, as well as more broadly within and outside of Australia. He’s well known for one highly prized and yet rarely targeted species though. Fishing for tripletail is a passion and obsession for Dan wherever he travels. In this episode he shares some hard-earned tips for anyone wanting to give this opportunity a crack.

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