I spent a fair bit of time chasing mullet this year interspersed with a couple of beach trips. First trip was a venue which is best for a short period over high water though on this occasion there weren’t many fish about. Of those that were around, only a couple showed any interest in feeding on my fresh bread offerings; it’s no wonder these are slow growing fish when they ignore so much easy food! Luckily there’s usually one that is a bit more co-operative/gullible than the others and after a few close calls I eventually tempted a nice mullet which was bang on the 4lb mark. I use a 12ft 1.25lb test curve rod for the mullet and this one had it bent from tip to butt. A second fish escaped when the line broke at the float and by now the fish had left with the now ebbing tide. I moved to another spot where you can intercept the fish as they drop back. This produced another 4 mullet but of a smaller size; the biggest just on the 2lb mark. This mark needs only a short cast so I usually dispense with the float and just tie a hook to the line, attach some breadflake and lob it out gently; how simple can it get? This style of fishing brings me back to my youth when I learned to fish for rudd in old flooded quarries using freelined breadflake, 50 years later and I’m still using the same tactics! I returned to this venue the following day and got another 3 grey mullet and a welcome golden grey which although only 10oz, was a p.b.!
Back to the high water spot another day, again there were few fish around but there was one cruising in tight to the shore, was he begging for a crust? Yes, well not actually a crust but a nice flake tempted him to come to the scales, 3lb 10oz. There were shoals of smaller fish cruising around a nearby shallow spot but not showing much interest in bread. I tried some maddies on a pop up bead rig, retrieved slowly through the shoals. I hooked one but it escaped quickly. Next cast and another fish took the bait, to my surprise it was a sand smelt, another one for the species list.
Next day out saw me get my first mullet on the fly rod, only 1lb weight but great sport.
Man cannot fish with bread alone so after a session digging some maddies and lug, I headed to a beach to try for a few flatties. I set up and cast out the first rod with a 3 hook flapper carrying lug, maddies and mackerel strip. While setting up the second rod I noticed that the first rod had slack lined; the “surf” was barely 6” high so it had to be a fish and when I reeled in the slack I could feel something kicking, something silver….. Not a bass but a small gilthead bream, a new species for me. The flatties weren’t going mad but I managed 4 up to 30cm and a few other bites that came to nothing. All the fish were on lug, the maddies were pretty much ignored, last year the flatties couldn’t get them quickly enough.
Spurred on by the small gilthead, I re-stocked with lug, gathered a few peelers and headed for a spot known for good giltheads and frequented recently, if my eyes didn’t deceive me, by another species I’ve yet to catch, a rampent wreckfish. This turned out to be my first blank of 2018, not a nibble.
Another trip to the beach produced another small gilthead followed by one of the smallest flounder I’ve ever caught but not another bite so I made one last trip after the mullet. There were a few cruising about but ignoring the free bread offerings. Just as dusk was settling, one fish came towards me taking the bread with great confidence. He engulfed my bait and I tightened into him, at this spot there is a stone bridge over a small stream and the fish headed straight for it. I was standing on the bridge leaning over with the rod bent into a U-shape as the fish powered upstream under the bridge and beyond. A few similar runs later and he was ready for the net. I couldn’t find my scales but he was bigger than the 4lb’er from a few days ago, (54cm on the tape, I can’t find any weight conversion). A nice fish to finish the holidays.
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