Mullet - Frustration, Fasination & Enjoyment

Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:20 am

Yesterday evening I decided to have a go a throwing a few flies for some Mullet. It’s something that I have been hoping to do for a while now but never got around to it.
Beforehand I had plenty of flies tied up and research done regarding gear etc., so armed with a box of flies and my 6wt Trout rod and a floating line I set off.

The Mullet were there in numbers, some to a very good size, and I made sure to be as stealthy as I could, not that it mattered as they were quite happy to swim very close to me.
I tried fly after fly and presented them in various ways but to no avail. Quick strips, figure 8, dead drifting with the tide etc. but no take. Not even a bit of interest.
The flies I had included, Ghostbusters, Volutators, Red Head DBs, Flexible Friends and Weed flies.
Now I had gone to the location at low tide and checked out the insect life and there were plently of flies, spiders and dark coloured Volutators in the weed. The place is also full of crabs but I don’t think the Mullet would feed on them, would they? The tippet I was using was 8lb fluro, maybe a bit heavy, but I only had 2lb as an alternative and I figured that would be too light.

While fishing I would present before the leading Mullet in a shoal and then start to retrieve after leaving everything settle. What I saw then is that the Mullet would slowly dip down below my line and the fly and return to the surface a few meters further on.
Any advice on presentation/retrieving?

A very frustrating but most enjoyable evenings fishing and I can’t wait to go back to try again.


Re: Mullet - Frustration, Fasination & Enjoyment

Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:08 pm

Get the mullet to be competitive and you will catch them easily. By this I mean get them feeding. Fishing with "bread" flies is very successful where mullet feed on bread. You can train them to like bread! Mullet are a great quarry - one of the few fish we sea anglers can sight-fish for. They have driven many anglers to distraction :) :)

Re: Mullet - Frustration, Fasination & Enjoyment

Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:22 pm

Thanks Jim.
A great quarry indeed and the sight angling factor only adds to it!! Will try a bread fly, must knock one or two up.


Re: Mullet - Frustration, Fasination & Enjoyment

Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:15 pm

One other tactic Eoin, it might take a little time and exploration. The times when I find them most difficult to catch is when they are doing what I call ‘mooching’. You see them swimming in circles at a particular state of tide, learning different ways to demonstrate to us how big they are and hence increase our torment.

This is one type of behaviour amongst what I think might be several for this species.

You or I go out and cast at them in this state and we end up biting the cork handle!

If you can find a place where at low tide you know they will be passing in shoals up the estuary or along the beach as the tide rises– this window is when I catch them or shall I say they oblige me by eating the flies. Sometimes...!

I don’t retrieve, I fish two or three flies on 6 or 8 lbs mono – on a 12 foot leader and I let the ‘set drift’ in their path that I know they will be swimming in. The pick up is difficult at times.

Not easy to not retrieve, this works sometimes too but for me not as effectively when the tide is about to fall too –

I think salar and a chap called lumpy (no offence) have good experiences too
Early in Springtime, on the first few tides after their arrival I know they will chase and eat micro streamers.

Re: Mullet - Frustration, Fasination & Enjoyment

Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:03 pm

Thanks Jim,
There are a few locations for an ambush alright. Could be tight with the mud at low water though, but it would be worth it!!
It was in the 'mooching' stage that best describes the fish on Tuesday eve.

Not retrieving is difficult but I might try a small indicator or a large dry fly as an indicator for bite detection.

I had read before about the micro streamers so I might keep that in mind for the start of next year.


Re: Mullet - Frustration, Fasination & Enjoyment

Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:42 pm

The fact that mullet are frustratingly difficult to catch is what makes it interesting.

Ground baiting is the key. In my experience feeding mullet with bread is the fastest path to success. However feeding bread pieces the same size as your bait or fly is the best but can be difficult unless you have a thrower or catapult which can deliver small pieces for 40' or more. Throwing big pieces by hand is reasonably effective but nothing beats ground bait the same size as the bait you are fishing with.


Re: Mullet - Frustration, Fasination & Enjoyment

Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:26 pm

keep the small pieces of bread going in and get them into a feeding frenzy is defiantly the way to go.
Even with all the tricks mullet can still be frustrating to catch, some days you might blank with a shoal in front of you and other days it's possible to land half a dozen

Re: Mullet - Frustration, Fasination & Enjoyment

Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:57 pm

Thanks for all the tips lads.
Most appreciated.