The countdown to Fall is underway for tripletail

Lee Field shows off a 14-pound tripletail he caught using a live shrimp.
Lee Field shows off a 14-pound tripletail he caught using a live shrimp.

MISSISSIPPI SOUND (WLOX) - South Mississippi has entered one of the best times of the year for those who love the great outdoors.

The archery season for deer opens Oct. 1 in the Hill and Delta zones of Mississippi and Oct. 15 in the Southeast Zone, which includes the three coastal counties of Hancock, Harrison and Jackson.

It's also a great time for anglers to try their luck one final time at catching blackfish, also known as tripletail.

Tripletail, which feature three tails, will remain in the Mississippi Sound through the first cool front or tropical storm. Basically, the countdown to fall is underway for tripletail before the fish migrate south for the winter months.

"If we don't get a tropical storm, tripletail will be here [Mississippi Sound] through the first cool front," said Captain Sonny Schindler of Shore Thing Charters in Bay St. Louis. "Until then, go have fun."

Fishing for tripletail is easy and simple in terms of tackle and bait. A fishing rod and reel equipped with 15-to-20 pound test line will be needed since the fish will be found around crap pots, pilings, buoys and floating debris. A heavier line will allow anglers to keep the fish – some which will exceed 15 pounds – away from the structure.

Circle hooks work best when used under a popping cork with live shrimp, live finger-size croaker or mullet.

Keep in mind that the size limit in Mississippi waters is three fish per person with a minimum length of 18-inches.

Of note, there will be times when anglers will spot the fish resting up against the crab pot or other structure to find shade. But there will also be times when tripletail will not be visible, so approach each structure like a fish is nearby. Cast toward the structure at least 10 feet away and be quiet and patient.

"There will be times when you will see the fish actually swim out and hit your bait," Schindler said. "Then there are times when you will not see the fish and he will come up [from depths] and hit the bait.

"You just never know if a fish is there. I have made 10 or more casts at the same structure before hooking up with a tripletail. Just be patient because it's worth it."

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