There’s something about mullet that makes them attractive to anglers across the disciplines. Although, technically, a saltwater fish they often feed in freshwater, in river estuaries and creeks, where they tend to browse upon algae and tiny organisms among weed beds.
Bread is the preferred bait for us anglers, with their delicate mouths requiring tiny hooks and delicate lines. They are a cunning, tremendously hard-fighting fish; and by both looks and scrap, they are similar in many ways to tropical bonefish.
This ‘crossover’ fish is superb fun to target in the warm summer months, when they shoal in vast numbers close to shore in the warmer, shallow waters. My favourite method of targeting them is with a fly rod – 8wt trout rod, floating line, a floating bead as an indicator float, and a team of flies tied very closely together that resemble maggots or bread – small, white and fluffy. Casting into a frenzied shoal produces instant results.
This is the key to mullet fishing.
Usually, you can’t just turn up and catch them, regardless of whether you see fish cruising by – you need to get them feeding – and this is where it can get messy…
In a bucket, mash together mackerel, cans of tuna, loads of bread, porridge – anything – with water until you have a nice big guts-n’-all bucket of rubby dubby. Feed it into a tight area and, usually, the mullet will turn on and converge on the area en masse.
Mullet patrolling in areas without feed are less likely to be fooled by your single baited hook. They are a clever species, dropping their guard only when heavily baited water whips them into a feeding frenzy.
I decided to put a camera underwater and watch the feeding shoals at one of my favourite mullet venues, Torness Nuclear Power Station in East Lothian, Scotland. The fish are resident throughout summer, and on that particular occasion they were hanging deep in the water.
The footage revealed dozens of fish feeding very close to the seabed. Our baits, high up in the water, were largely ignored and the video provided a lesson to me and I hope you will find it fascinating as well.
Coarse anglers, fly anglers, sea anglers; take out your lightest tackle and target these brilliant fish. They will be around our coasts until September and once you land one you will be hooked on the species for life, I guarantee – just remember to set a light drag!
As always I’d love to hear your views, either on the FM forum or in the video’s comment section – You may subscribe to keep up to date HERE