This five-pound tripletail was caught by Terri Hall of Monroe, Ga., seen here with Captain Ken Finch.
Tripletail are found in tropical and temperate coastal waters around the world. The scientific name is Lobotes surinamensis, but they have many names worldwide including black grunt, black perch, bouyfish, conchy leaf, flasher and sleepfish.
They are the only species in the family Lobotidae and, contrary to popular belief, are not related to grouper or any other species found along the Gulf Coast. The tripletail can grow to 35 inches in length and a weight of 41 pounds. The average weight is between 2 and 16 pounds.
The most characteristic and certainly one of the most unusual behaviors exhibited by these fish is the propensity to lie just below the surface, floating with one side exposed, looking for all intents dead, hence the name sleepfish. This activity may be related to temperature regulation or it may be a hunting strategy. The principal food of the triple tail is small fish, shrimp and crabs.
Young tripletail are most often collected offshore in water depths of under 210 feet. In the Gulf of Mexico, tripletail migrate to the nearshore Gulf and estuaries April – October possibly due to rising water temperatures. Tripletail are most often seen and caught near structure and floating objects.