TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Triple tail are in the Tampa Bay area year round, but during the spring and summer months, they are a little harder to find.
In the fall and winter, hundreds or stone crab buoys line the bay and near shore waters giving a perfect floating structure for them to hang out on. They hang out near the surface and don’t spook easily.
Captain Ryan Harrington said “you can throw the same fish 15 or 20 times until they hopefully eat it,” and if not, you’ll have plenty of time to tie on a new hook or bait before they leave the buoy line.
While cruising the bay, follow the buoy lines and look for them floating near the top at each buoy. Once you find one, start by dropping your bait slowly along the buoy line. If they don’t go for it the first couple of times try moving your bait a little faster.
As for bait, Harrington said he always keeps a dozen or so shrimp in his live well this time of year because they do love them but anything that mimics a shrimp or a small live white bait should do the trick.
You can use lighter tackle and a smaller hook and you’ll be in store for a fun fight. Although there are plenty of smaller triple tail in the bay, you can find 15 or 16 pounders as well Harrington said. “They’re called triple tail for a reason, they have three tails and fight three times harder,” he added.
They have to be 18 inches to keep and you can keep two per person, per day.
Don’t forget to send pics of your catch to Amanda Holly at firstname.lastname@example.org!