How to Catch Mullet

Three Methods:Catching Mullet with a Cast NetCatching Mullet with a Hook and LineUsing a Hook and Line with Chum Bait

Mullet can be a fun fish to go after, and there a number of different ways to approach it. There are a large number of mullet species, which can be found throughout the world in warm coastal waters, and sometimes freshwater. They are particularly abundant in Florida waters.[1] They feed mostly on algae, detritus and other tiny marine invertebrates. They are not likely to go after ordinary bait so catching them with a hook and line can be tricky for inexperienced fishermen. More often mullet are caught with cast nets and haul seines.[2] The different methods give you very different fishing experiences, so choose the one that suits you.

Method 1
Catching Mullet with a Cast Net

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    Get a cast net. Because of the way mullets tend to congregate in large schools and appear close to the surface of the water, it is probably most common for people to fish them with cast nets. While this is an easier and more efficient method than using a hook and line, mullets are known to have excellent eyesight and can dart away quickly when they see a net being cast.[3]
    • When getting a net, check your local fishing regulations for permitted mesh size.
    • In Florida, for example, it is not permitted to use a net for freshwater bait fishing that is greater than 1 inch stretched mesh.[4]
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    Find a good spot to cast. You need to find a place where mullet gather that you can reach with your net. It's not uncommon the find mullet near sea walls, off piers, inshore from boats, as well as in shady canals and streams.[5]
    • If you don't have a good idea of where to look, ask someone in your local fishing shop or club
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    Practice casting the net at home. Before you go out there and cast your net into the water, you want to be sure you know how to handle it. The mullet might not hang around to give you a second chance if you get it wrong. A good way to practice is just t set up some kind of target in your backyard, such as an old tire or a ball.
    • Stand a few feet away and try to catch the target in the net.
    • Move further away as you get better to test your skills.
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    Spot the mullet in the water. Mullet often travel in big schools and can be quite active in the water, leaping in and out. This means that if there are some nearby they can be quite easy to spot. Look for disturbances in the water, such as patches of bubbles. Be patient and watch for fish breaking the surface of the water.[6]
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    Cast your net. Once you have spotted some mullet within reach, it's time to cast your net. Wrap the end of the rope around your throwing wrist, with the rest of the rope loosely coiled around your arm. Allow the net to droop by your side with the weights at the bottom.
    • With your other hand, take hold of the lead line at the point directly below your right thumb.
    • Now with you right hand take hold of the lead line and hold it out about an arms length from your other hand, which will be in front of your chest.
    • Rotate you body back to the right and swing forward, releasing the net at a slight upward angle towards the fish.[7]
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    Retrieve the net. Once cast the net will sink into water, trapping any unfortunate mullet. Keep a slight tension on the rope so you can feel what is going on. The net will descend in the water. After a while you will feel it hit the bottom and the rope you are holding will stop drawing down into the water. Soon after this happens begin to pull it back in towards you. A sharp tug when you feel it hit the bottom will close the net and trap the fish.[8]
    • Coiling the rope over your arm as you pull it in will help to keep everything tidy avoid the risk of tripping or tying yourself up.

Method 2
Catching Mullet with a Hook and Line

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    Find a prime spot for mullet. Where you find mullet will vary depending on what part of the world you live in, and which kind of mullet you are fishing for. Tidal rivers, estuaries, harbours and canals are all good places to find mullet. They are often close to the surface and in big schools, so if they are there, you should be able to spot them.
    • They are often found in big groups on a rising tide as they feed on algae.[9]
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    Prepare your tackle. You don't need elaborate tackle to go after mullet. Just be sure to have a light rod with a click-drag reel. You will need long leaders with a 6lbs test strength as well as fine diameter lines to counter the mullet's excellent eyesight.[10]
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    Prepare your bait. Baiting for a mullets can be a tricky task, with all sorts of baits recommended and discouraged. No bait is every a certainty, and this is especially the case for the algae and invertebrate feeding mullet. There are a number of baiting options that have been successful for you to consider and experiment with. These include:
    • Ragworm.[11]
    • Bread or dough.
    • Peeled prawn.[12]
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    Consider using a fly. Given that mullets gather in schools near the surface, using a fly can be good way to fish them. You'll need a small fly, and don't expect a bright flashy lure will work on the bottom feeding mullets. Try tossing some clumps of oatmeal into the water and casting in front of the mullet as they feed.[13]
    • A bread and oatmeal batter mix can be effective when fly fishing for mullet.
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    Reel them in carefully. Once you've got a bite, you'll soon discover that despite their relatively modest size, mullets are fighters on the hook. Take care as you reel them in, don't try to pull them in too quickly. You can consider using a landing net for the final catch.
    • Using a braid line will help you feel the movements of the mullet in the water.[14]
    • Remember that mullets can really leap up out of water, so take extra care when landing them or they could jump off and away.

Method 3
Using a Hook and Line with Chum Bait

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    Opt for a homemade oatmeal chum. Fishing for mullet with a regular hook and line can be very tricky. One way to increase your chances, but still use a hook and line, is to use a chum bait. A chum bait will attract large numbers of mullet who will begin feeding. You can then cast into the chum and you have a good chance of getting a bite or two in the frenzy.
  2. Image titled Catch Mullet Step 13
    Prepare the tackle. Use a medium to medium light spinning rod (6' or 7'), with a spin cast reel that you have spooled with line not heavier than 10lbs test. You can attach hooks spaced around ten inches apart, as well as adding a cork or floating marker for depth.[15]
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    Prepare the bait. Now you need to get your bait ready. You will need water, laying mash (such as chicken feed), and oatmeal. Mix equal parts mash and oatmeal in a small tub. Add enough water to get a consistency reminiscent of a dough ball. You don't want the mixture to be too thick, or you risk it taking too long to dissolve when you toss it in, or just sinking straight to the bottom.[16]
    • If it's too thin it'll dissipate and drift away.
    • Ideally, it should be break up and dissolve slowly to attract the mullet.
  4. Image titled Catch Mullet Step 15
    Toss the bait and cast into the chum. Once you have found a good spot where you know there is mullet activity, it's time to toss the bait mix into the water. As soon as it starts to dissolve you need to cast into the chum. With a small piece of jerk bait threaded onto each hook, go ahead and cast.[17]
    • If you leave the hooks and line in the chum mix before casting, the chum may stick to your hooks and encourage the mullet onto them.

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Categories: Fishing