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South Carolina Record Marine Tripletail

A 33-pound, 8-ounce tripletail caught by Jackie Johnson, 48, of Savannah, Ga., is the new state record. Johnson caught the record fish July 30 while fishing out of Hilton Head in Calibogue Sound for trout with mullet bait on a float. He fought the fish for 25 minutes aboard the boat "Next," captained by Brent McCullough of Savannah.

Jimmy Cannon of Savannah held the previous tripletail

record. His record, set in June 2002, was 25-pounds, 13 ounces. It was also caught near Hilton Head in Calibogue Sound. The current  all-tackle world record is 42 pounds, 5 ounces caught in Zululand, South Africa in 1989.

Tripletails have small scales extending onto the dorsal, caudal and anal fins and a head profile, which becomes more concave with age. The tripletail has a compressed and deep body, with a triangular-shaped head. The eyes are relatively small, and its mouth is large. The bases of both its dorsal and anal fins are scaled, and its pectoral fins are shorter than its pelvic fins. The tripletail has distinctively large and rounded soft dorsal, caudal, and anal fins. This characteristic gave rise to the common name, tripletail.

Tripletail will lay on its side, motionless, seemingly floating near the surface. It resembles either a dark mass on top of the water, or is very shiny, reflecting the suns rays off its body. Tripletail are considered a tasty grilled fish.

If you happen to catch a tripletail, take precautions when handling one. Tripletails have teeth, and all of its fins are capable of inflicting stab wounds. The gill flap is exceptionally sharp. It is best to net a tripletail with a landing net and deposit it straight into an ice chest.

The tripletail is found in most tropical and subtropical seas. The tripletail is a semi-migratory fish of the open ocean. It is normally solitary, but under some conditions the tripletail may form schools. In the summer, they can be found in bays, sounds and estuaries. Juveniles are often found swimming under patches of Sargassum algae. Adults are normally found in waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but may occur in passes, inlets, and bays near river mouths. The tripletail is often found around shipwrecks, supports of beacons, the pilings of jetties, and sea buoys.

The tripletail is opportunistic and feeds on a variety of prey including small finfish such as menhaden, Atlantic bumper and anchovies. Invertebrate prey may include blue crabs and brown shrimp.

According to Tom DuPre', who administers the marine game fish state records program for S.C Department of Natural Resources, anyone catching a potential state record must have it weighed on certified scales with two witnesses and should immediately contact the DNR Marine Resources Division at (843)-953-9365 in Charleston.

Check out the other South Carolina Saltwater Fishing Records


Related Links & Resources:
South Carolina Bow Fishing Records
South Carolina Freshwater Fishing Records  
Mississippi State Record Blue Catfish
North Carolina Channel Catfish
Interactive Kentucky Hunting and Fishing Maps
World Record Blue Catfish


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