FISHING

How to Catch Mullet Fish: Catch A Fish You’ve Never Caught

How to catch mullet fish
Neal Walker
Written by Neal Walker

Have you ever tried waking up one sunny day, feeling excited about how your day would end up after lurking into the rivers and seas hoping you would catch a boat of fish you have longed to grasp for a very long time but have failed to do so over and over again?

Well, you’re not alone buddy. We have put together this article to aid you in getting out of your unending frustrations. Indulge yourself into reading how to catch mullet fish, in a quick guide on how to catch the fish you’ve never caught.

First, Know What You’re Dealing with

Mullet (Muligidae), also known as gray mullet belongs to the group of ray-finned fish which is popular in its ability to leap out of the water.  Most of the 80 species of mullets are commonly seen in warm coastal areas, and sometimes in fresh waters.

More of them can be found in the southeasternmost U.S. state of Florida. Its length ranges from 30 to 75 centimeters or 12 – 30 inches.

First, Know What You’re Dealing with

Mullets are identified through the existence of the two separate dorsal fins and their small triangular mouth. To some, they are just ordinary fish which jump out of the water, but to many, they are the fishermen’s great sea contenders.

Mullet fish are actually fun to catch despite their reputation of being a difficult game because of their vegetarian nature. That is if you have the longest patience in the world, plus it takes skills and lots and lots of practice.

But, don’t worry, we readied these different methods wherein you can choose the type that you think suits you.

Catch Mullet Fish with Casting Nets

Find a cast net

A cast net is said to be the most traditional and the easiest way in catching mullet fish but is not allowed in certain areas depending on its mesh size. Prior to buying a cast net, keep in mind that you seek for your local fishing regulations to make sure you don’t break laws.

Find a cast net

The reason for this limitation was due to some abusive fishers in the past. They used huge gill nets which caused widespread depopulation and destruction of their habitat.

Search for productive areas

It would always be convenient to explore a good spot to cast before ambushing mullets. As previously mentioned, mullets can be found in salt and even in freshwater and are mostly abundant in shallow waters. Fishing in saltwater is not always as soothing as fishing in a lake or other freshwaters.

If you decided to cast in salt waters, be prepared to give a space for other water lovers such as swimmers, boats, jet skis and all whatever other organic species are in the area.

Let’s get down to business: prepare to cast, then bingo!

There are several ways in throwing the net. Practice will have it go perfectly. You may practice throwing it on a flat surface.

You may throw the net only one way leaving the net wide open or have it thrown using one hand while the other hand spins the net so you could control its movement when it drops.

Most fishermen suggest that once you learn how to throw a net on one side, you must learn to throw on the other. That way, you would be more in control and you catch more fish better than before.

But, like methods in catching mullet fish, casting a net has different ways and you’ll surely find the technique that suits you best. The most important thing is to become more vigilant than the mullets. Now you have the cast net,

  • Hold the yoke of the net by your left hand extending it higher allowing the net to be loosed smoothly while gently shaking to avoid entangling it.
  • Grab the middle of the net by your right hand about halfway between the yoke and the lead line wherein you will be holding it out in front of your chest.
  • Rotate your upper body and throw. Release the net with your left hand while your other hand is loosely letting go of the net to help make it open.

Once you find disturbances in the water such as signs of bubbles, most likely a shoal of mullets are waiting. Be patient and don’t get too excited until you’re sure of it. Once the mullets are nearly showing on the surface, grab it while it’s hot!

Feeling lucky, eh?

Now, you have awarded yourself with hundreds of mullets trapped inside the cast net, slowly sinking into the ground. What to do next? Retrieve the net and get ready to nurture the best feeling in the world.

Start pulling back the cast net towards you while coiling the rope over your arms to avoid unnecessary ill-fated events such as falling off the boat and wasting everything.

After a successful turn of event, it’s now up to you whether you eat or sell them. It has always been your choice!

Catch Mullet Fish Using A Hook

Unlike a cast net, a fishing rod can be a tricky and a difficult way in catching mullets and it takes time getting one. But, don’t lose hope. With a perfect combination of a rod, a hook, and a reel, you will surely enjoy the perks of fishing these spirited mullets.

Discover mullets’ hideout

According to statistics, success rates of fishing mullets mostly come to legwork. Surfing the net to look for better areas where mullets hide won’t get you to a happy ever after, but personal checking out will.

Discover mullets’ hideout

Search from bank to bank, creeks, estuaries and canals as their primary sources of food are moss, algae, and decaying plants of any kinds. They also enjoy having insects and larvae as snacks. Once you have located their hideout, you will surely find them there, tide after tide.

A complete tackle never leaves you hanging

You don’t have to buy a very expensive rod and reel just to get thousands of mullets in a day. All you need is to look for a good quality fishing equipment and make sure it’s complete. Never go into battle with missing bullets.

A light rod partnered with a very smooth dragging spool of a reel having 6-10 lbs breaking strains, and a dependable hook will create the miracle.

Never fish without bait

Yes, it never goes out of style. You may choose from ground bait, ragworms, or just a slice of bread. Most people choose the last one since mullets are generally not interested in most kinds of bait and lures.

Catch Mullet Fish Using A Hook

Only white bread could attract these active feeders. You could just pay a visit to the nearest store and catch up with the cheapest and least popular white bread you could find. It is the best way to give mullets something to play with so they could think it over.

Prepare yourself to bring with you plenty of baits, but please make sure not to overfeed the fish and keep everything from becoming complicated because doing so will attract an epic failure.

It’s the ‘reel’ feeling

Basically, mullets like food, especially if it is a white bread since they are known as vegetarians. But, there’s more, never underestimate a mullet by its size, because they are real fighters on the hook, so keep them reeled in.

  • Steady yourself and relax, then keep the rod’s angle at 45-degree aiming it towards the school of mullets. Get a good grip and feel the vibration of your fishing rod. When the moving and buzzing stops, slowly drag the reel.
  • Most mullets are dense and could run from two to three pounds. As I have said, they are real fighters and they have the strong will to live, so they will fight for their lives. They will do the best to get off the hook so make sure to watch for any obstacles while landing them.
  • Take extra care when landing the mullet. You may use a net during the landing since mullets love to leap out of the water.
  • Be aware of the spiny dorsal fins of the mullets as they could inflict punctures and wounds as you unhook them not to mention their gill plates and pelvic fins.
  • To prevent excessive scale loss, use wet cloth while unhooking mullets for their scales are shed easily.

Catch Mullet Fish with A Trap

  • Look for a container with a cover which can carry at least 10 average-size mullets. If you want to catch more mullets, you may choose a bigger and wider container.
  • Cut out a 10 to 15-inch hole at the center of the container’s cover, enough for mullets to get in. You may also put holes in every corner of the cover to let air pass through. Make sure the cover won’t crack as you put holes in it.
  • Find small rocks and put them inside the container to contribute weight as you put the trap to work.
  • Buy a cheap bag of bread crumbs and place them inside the container. This will serve as your bait that will attract mullets to get in while it is covered.
  • Put the covered container in the spot you have discovered abundant with mullets. Since you’re laying a container trap, it should be clear that the water is below the knee so you will be able to put the trap conveniently.
    Slowly place the trap on the ground and make sure it won’t float back to the surface, so have its base buried 3-4 inches deep. Leave it for 5 to 10 minutes. After doing so, yahoo! More mullets in just 5-10 minutes!
  • Please remember, never catch and keep young mullets. It should always be thrown back to where it’s coming from.

Calm them down by covering their head with damp towels before release them to swim with their mates again. Why is that?

Aside from the fact that catching all kinds of young fish is not allowable to most states [plus you won’t be enjoying eating them on that size], it is to preserve the cycle of all marine lives. It does not benefit only those sea creatures, but also us Homo sapiens.

Some Interesting Facts about Mullets

Mullets, like any other fish, can be commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical waters around the world. Despite their being common, they bear several interesting facts about them.

  • The whole body of the mullet fish is generally covered with large scales. The upper part of their body can be seen in three different colors, namely gray, dark blue, or olive-green.
  • Mullets are different from other fish when it comes to the lateral line. They cannot detect the changes of the water currents.
  • Mullet fish have the tendency to feed on anything that lands on them which makes it difficult for them to digest the food due to their complex pharynx and weird muscular stomach.
  • Mullets mate depends on geographic location.
  • Adults travel away from the shore in order to breed. Some of them drift toward the rivers just to perform reproduction.
  • At the age of two to four years, mullets reach their sexual maturity stage.
  • Ancient Romans were highly fascinated with mullets as they are considered one of the most important food for them. Even up to now, mullets are still popular and highly demanded by consumers. They are even cultivated in ponds.
  • They are also called “goatfish” in Europe.
  • Mullets are herbivores and they have a very important role in the ocean. They clean the system and convert it to a fish protein which makes it food for other predators.
  • Mullets have this surviving factor which reaches up to 16 years in the wilderness.

Excited on your next visit to fishing spot? Never let your guard down and get the formula right. Always remember we’ve got your back.

Interesting Facts about Mullets

So, expect fireworks and if you think there is something we missed in this article, please let us know in the comment section bellow. Tight lines!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Neal Walker
Neal Walker

Neal Walker started fishing when he was 4. His father took him to the fishing trips all over USA and Canada. Later he took Angling Education Program at Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, but most of his knowledge comes from experience. Now he takes his sons with him to share his passion.

  • Seth Morton

    Mullet fishing is one of my absolute favorite things to do. As the article suggests, doing so with a line requires a lot of patience and persistence as these guys really don’t want to get caught. In my experience, they fight longer and harder pound for pound than largemouth bass, so challenging, but so much fun.

    • Neal Walker

      I’m glad that you appreciate Mullet fishing because it does require a considerable amount of patience. This is a hobby that cannot be mastered quickly, and a great deal of persistence is needed in order to make the most out of the fishing experience, or else you’ll just end up frustrated.

  • Gary Cooper

    What always surprise me, is how little many fishermen actually know about mullet fish. When discussing them many are surprised to hear that not only are they an absolutely delicious fish to eat, they’re also incredibly easy to gut and clean. Just two swipes with a descaler, use a sharp knife to cut out the guts and you’re ready to cook in less than a minute. One of my all-time favorite dishes and great fun to catch.

    • Neal Walker

      While the breed is not rare, not a lot of fishermen knows about this fish. I agree that this is probably one of the easiest fish to clean, and your fishing efforts will be generously rewarded for its tender and delicious meat.

  • Jake Clark

    I’ve caught a few in the past 3 years. My first intention wasn’t to catch them, but I didn’t mind. I used simple bait – mixed flour and water, like dough and put it on a hook. I threw some groundbait around my boat and that’s it. First time I didn’t use a landing net and it went off the hook. Later I used it and had more success. I ate them all, but before cooking I soaked them in cold fresh water for 24 hours. The taste was excellent.

    • Neal Walker

      The moist flour is also my bait option whenever I want to go out and fish for mullets. The meat from this fish is delectable and there are a lot of dishes you can do from it.

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