Sight-fishing isn’t limited to reds in the marsh this time of year along the Louisiana coast.
Tripletail love to take cover near floating debris and vegetation, making them a fun species to locate and target — and that’s just what Capt. John Saucier with the SWLA Sportsman Lodge did on a recent trip after hooking up with some nice speckled trout in Big Lake.
Saucier, who was fishing with HookSpit pro-staffer Cassie Willis, motored southeast from the Cameron jetties and headed 4 miles along the beach until he found green water. Then he spotted an old 5-gallon bucket holding a nice tripletail and approached it up-current.
He remained within long-casting distance of the fish, and Willis launched a 4-inch glow/chartreuse Berkley Gulp shrimp near the bucket.
The tripletail eagerly obliged, and with a firm hookset by Willis, Saucier netted the fish and brought it aboard.
“It was an 11-pounder,” he said.
The boat stayed on the fringes of the line between brown and green water until Saucier spotted half of a floating surfboard that provided cover for about 10 tripletail.
“We caught a few, but they were smaller than the first one,” he said.
Willis was able to catch several more, including a 7-pounder, he said.
The anglers ended their tripletail sight-fishing venture with five fish each above the statewide minimum length of 18 inches.
“Just like the rest of the state, tripletail will come nearer the shorelines from late May through September,” Saucier said. “Whenever I can run a few miles offshore during a light east-southeast wind with an incoming tide, I’ll target both tripletail and cobia.”
For Southwest Louisiana tripletail, Saucier advised anglers to find green water and look for floating debris and areas near satellite platforms southeast of the Cameron jetties.
“I find they are strongly attracted to the debris floating out there the longest,” he said. “They love anything that has barnacles attached holding smalls crabs and crustaceans.”
As for lures, Saucier uses 4-inch Berkley Gulp Shrimp and Egret Baits’ 5-inch Wedgetail Mullets with ¼-ounce jigheads — especially when the tripletail are just under the debris.
When the fish are a little deeper, he’ll attach his baits to a kahle hook and use a ½-ounce sinker.
He normally uses 50-pound Fins braid with a 25-pound fluorocarbon leader on a baitcasting reel, with a 7-foot medium-heavy HookSpit rod.
“The majority of the tripletail we find out here range from 6 to 12 pounds, although we’ve taken a few larger ones,” he said.
Saucier can be reached for more information at 337-912-5966.
Anglers are reminded the statewide recreational bag and possession limit for tripletail is five fish daily per person with an 18-inch minimum length.