the mighty mullet…

Mullet are mysterious fish. This time of the year they can be found in river mouths or local estuaries. They school up in large numbers, jumping and forming circular schools that feed under garbage cover size mats of decaying algae. They can also be seen flashing along the bottom which indicates a feeding pattern. I recently entered their world by observing them for few days before actually targeting them with a fly rod. I read all the stuff on the internet about fly patterns and techniques. Over the years, I have a handful of friends that have caught them on flies using small white clousers and pheasant tail nymphs.
I am NO expert on mullet, but I love challenges and am willing to go to school because I think they are really neat fish. So, I fished three days last week for about two hours each day trying to get a new tick on the fly-caught list! Here’s my observations. Most importantly you need to find them! Day 1: I used a 7 weight rod, floating line and 8# flouro tippet. Fished a red worm and peacock scud patterns. No Love. Felt my casts might have landed too aggressively while swinging flies in 3-4 foot of shallow water, maybe a lighter approach. Day 2: Went to a six weight and six pound flouro tippet. Note to self: five weight might even be a better choice. Used a peacock scud, and my white duck shit fly. Got three eats, two on white, one on peacock scud, all broke off by snapping off my fly on aggressive takes, blowing up the surface and spitting flies. Felt good even though didn’t catch one, I introduced myself and made a connection. LOL Tippet was too light, or poor angling skills. Day 3: Stayed with six weight rod, went to Tatsu 10# flouro, (diameter of six, strong, I use this line for corbina) Technique was drifting the fly to the fish and watching line for ticks. Stayed with the white duck shit fly, and on third cast, connected and landed my first, fair-caught mullet. Was stoked. Got two more eats after but hooks pulled out, you need to strip set firmly to bury the hook (maybe barbless is better) in their tough little mouths. Mission accomplished! Still on this wacky journey, but at least now I know it can be done, going to try the green meanie next, stay tuned… -Al Q

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10 thoughts on “the mighty mullet…

  1. Joseph Narkevitz

    Thank you for the tips on mullet!!

    Congratulations on catching those babies!!

  2. Brian Jackson

    Good stuff Al and thanks for sharing your experience. Carp, Bean and Mullet could be the new trifecta??

  3. Mark Flo

    Cool Al, I caught 2 last year while fishing for carp. Took off like a steelhead!

  4. Jonathan Nakashima

    Nice write up, Al. I’ve caught one in the San Diego River on a size 12 white globug. Seems like they like white.

    Also had a few nipping the ends of a small, 1″ pink SJ worm, but no hook-up that time.

  5. Ron Groth

    Inspiring! I have made half-hearted attempts while fishing for corbina or spotted bay bass, but have never had an eat. I love the Duck Shit Fly. Can you share your thoughts on leaving much of the hook bare?

    • Ron: It was to get those fish to feel the hook with their small mouths, I didn’t have short scud hooks, they will probably work better.

  6. Kai Schumann

    Funny this should pop up now – just got back from Baja and spent the same amount of time targeting them. Next time I’ll try your flies on a 5 weight. I tried small red worm and scud flies and was totally ignored.

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