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Tasting Tripletail Fish: What to Expect

While the Tripletail is not your most commonly eaten fish, it still has a great taste that many people enjoy. So what does Tripletail fish taste like?

The short answer is that Tripletail fish taste similar to many other white meat fish. The Tripletail is typically a flatfish with thin fillets. The meat is firm, and the taste is similar to fish like the snapper or the grouper

Despite not being a commonly eaten fish, it is highly regarded by those that do taste it. While it is compared to cubera snapper, grouper, kahawai, Mangrove Snapper, or barramundi, it is even considered a more tasty fish. We think it tastes similar to Mutton Snapper.

The tripletail was not actually commonly eaten until recently. This is because most people that reeled one of these in thought the tripletail was sick. Why? The tripletail has a strange habit of floating near the surface, similar to a dead or dying fish. 

If you’ve reeled in one of these, then you’re probably looking for a recipe. Here’s a quick and easy recipe for a delicious baked tripletail. 

Preparing Tripletail

The Tripletail is a sweet, flaky meat that is easy to prepare. It is easy simply because it is almost perfect exactly the way it is. So, with that in mind, remember that less is typically always better. 

If you do want to create something interesting from tripletail, then use our baked citrus-infused recipe. If you want to keep it more simple, then use a simple pan saute, bake or broil.

Another delicious (yet deceptively simple) way to prepare this fish is to add some salted butter, freshly cracked pepper, and fresh parsley.

Author Note: If you are looking for the perfect accompaniment, then try a side of olive oil marinated grilled zucchini or other light vegetables. Although you might be tempted to deep fry or batter this fish, resist the urge, this fish is ideal as it is and doesn’t require batter or to be ruined with a deep-fry. 

Baked Tripletail Recipe

baked tripletail

The tripletail is naturally a delicious tasting fish. With an incredible flavor as it is, you won’t want to and too many extra flavors. The meat is flaky and is even quite sweet. The meat itself is similar to the texture of a grouper. Take a look at this simple citrus-infused baked tripletail.


  • Softened Butter (about half a cup)
  • Tripletail (this recipe serves four, so about 2 pounds should yield four decent pieces)
  • Salt to taste
  • A fresh lemon to squeeze for the juice (about ¼ cup)
  • A fresh orange to squeeze for the juice (about ¼ cup)
  • garlic powder ( 2 teaspoons of powder or two cloves freshly chopped)
  • Pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 325F
  2. Prepare your baking dish by lightly buttering it. The best dish to use is 9 x 13 inches and made from glass. 
  3. Next up, you’re going to want to season the fillets. Use your salt, pepper to taste, garlic, and onion if you like. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  5. Lightly butter a 9×13-inch glass baking dish and set it aside.
  6. Season the fillets with salt, pepper, garlic, and onion. 
  7. Once you’re happy with the seasoning, pop the fillets into the baking dish. Ensure your Butter is soft, and then spread it over the fillets. You will only need about two tablespoons. Next, pour the orange and lime juice over the fillets into the dish. Cover the fillets with the lime and orange slices. 
  8. Place the dish into the oven and let the fish bake until the flesh is opaque. Test the meat with a fork- if the fish flakes easily, then it is done. While the exact time may vary, it should take between 20 and 25 minutes. 

Okay, we have the recipe out of the way. Let’s look at some more information about the fish species itself. 

What Kind of Fish is Tripletail?

Atlantic tripletail

Tripletail is part of the Lobotidae familyThere are four species of fish that fall under the Lobotidae family distinction. There are two genres, the Lototes and the Datnioides.

Author Note: Members of the Lobotes genre typically frequent warmer water in the tropics, and the species from the Datnioides genre typically frequent brackish water and fresh water. 

What is Florida Triple Tail?

The Florida tripletail does not have three tails. It has elongated anal and dorsal fins that are not much shorter than the tail fin. This makes it appear to have three tails. Florida tripletail can be found inshore, offshore, and nearshore. They are commonly located near crab traps, weed lines, and any structures such as channel markers. 

Is the tripletail a pretty fish? Certainly not. But what it lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for in its exciting composition. There are not many fish that appear to have three tails.

Aside from the three-tail illusion, it is also a strangely flatfish and exhibits odd behavior as well. It appears to float near the surface, much like a dead fish does. This fish is tasty, and preparation can be kept fairly simple. 

The flesh of the Florida tripletail is succulent yet firm. Many anglers prefer the taste of tripletail to other popular saltwater species like the red snapper or the grouper. 

Sportfishing is highly competitive and popular in Florida. The temperate Floridian waters are home to an abundance of saltwater fish. This encourages keen anglers to participate in a host of sport fishing competitions.

Unlike other saltwater species, the tripletail is not easily classified. As such, there are no rods, reels, or other equipment geared specifically for this type of fish. 

Group of three tripletail

In fact, if you are not an experienced angler, you probably have never heard of the tripletail. Whether this lack of recognition is due to its odd behavior, classification, or, dare we say, ugly physical appearance is debatable. But, despite being largely unknown, the tripletail is one of the tastiest fish to add to the dinner menu. 

Another highly prized characteristic of the tripletail is that it is not difficult to cook. Even the most inexperienced chef can make this fish taste great-, mainly because it already does. 

As we have briefly mentioned, the tripletail gets its name from its elongated fins, which resemble tails. It is commonly found in Florida during the warmer months of spring, right through until the autumn months. 

Catching Tripletail

There are ways to make this species easy to catch and ways to make it a more adventurous and challenging occasion. If you want to make it more difficult for yourself, use sight fishing techniques. Because the tripletail often likes to enjoy floating near the surface, anglers often use sight fishing to locate them

If you want to use sight fishing, then opt for areas close to lobster and crab traps and weed lines. Many Floridian anglers will follow the trapline seeking out the telltale signs of the triple tails’ brown tail. They are best described as resembling a brown dishrag floating near the shore. Why do they float like this?

Well, there are mixed opinions, but many experienced fishermen seem to believe that the floating behavior is used to deter potential predators. Whether or not this protects them from predators is undecided, but an angler with a keen eye can spot a tripletail from afar.

Author Note: If you are heading out for tripletail, your best bet is to seek out shallow structures like buoy lines. Aside from tripletail, other reef-dwelling fish and fish that frequent wrecks can be caught as well. Check out our guide on how to catch tripletail for more info.

Tips for Sight Fishing Tripletail

A Tripletail Wrasse

There are many types of bait to try. There are many lures that are ideal for tripletail. If you want to opt for bait, then try a live shrimp. Peg the shrimp to a No. 1 (or No. 2) circle hook. Use a fluorocarbon leader with a weight of 20 pounds.

Use the downwind and down current to approach the tripletail and let the bait slowly drift towards the tripletail. If you enjoy fly fishing, then tripletail is the ideal species to target.

They are known as a ferocious species to target. Use eight-weight rods with naturally colored lures that mimic their natural food source. Lures that mimic small, brown-colored crustaceans are perfect. 

You should also get a good pair of polarized glasses for sight fishing!

More Tripletail Facts

The Tripletail is incredibly common in Florida. They are excellent at disguising themselves and blend into their environments with ease. 

They are incredibly agile fish that, despite their seemingly lazy tendency, they are great targets for thrill-seeking sport fishermen. 

The tripletail can often be seen floating carelessly atop seagrass beds. In the Gulfstream, anglers might see them disguising themselves in sargassum


The tripletail is abundant during the spring, summer, and autumn. However, enthusiastic anglers can even find them during the winter, given the conditions are right. Despite this article focusing on Florida, tripletail are found throughout the world.

But, they are more prevalent in the Atlantic and Gulf waters. Young juveniles are typically found inshore as they try to imitate the plant matter. They are interesting fish that will drift close to the surface, with their eyes seeming to be transfixed by the dappled light dancing on the surface. 

We hope you found this article on what does tripletail fish taste like informative!

Happy Hunting!


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