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SurfcaztR

Catching Mullet info wanted

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This is for rivers and still water scenarios

I do 99% of my mullet fish from an elevated position, like a jetty. I Berley them up to the surface so I can watch them eat the bait

I use them for livies, so I want to get 20 really quick.

Small 3mm squares of chicken or prawn on a size 12 long shank hook. And I use a "Flatty Flicker" or just hold the hook upside down really firmly and 9 times out of 10, the mullet will wriggle off the hook, so I dont have to touch them and mess with their slime coat.

I wouldnt catch many at all without a bread crumb and canned cat food berley - I mix it with water in a bucket so its just sloppy - And add a 1/4 of a teaspoon at a time, once I've got the school to my feet. I try to time my bait landing just after the half teaspoon of berley hits the water. I keep it unweighted so it sinks at the same rate as the berley.

If there is no wind - I dont use a float but if the wind gets up, the float is mainly there to add casting distance and stop my unweighted bait being dragged around by the wind.

I have found a gently sinking bait is much more effective in an active berley trail - A static bait sitting under a float, can be all but ignored, while a moving bait will be doing all the damage - So I keep my bait moving by raising it up and letting it sink. The mullet I chase love a moving bait.

Even pulsing it back like a soft plastic, can help get the schools attention. They seems really keyed into movement and when one chases it, it fires up the school and they compete much harder for the bait.

Finding a spot where they naturally hang out is also very important to my methods - If I get things right - I can have the school at my feet in under 2 mins - some days it seems like they were watching the first spoon of berley flying through the air

 

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Try the beaches at West Lakes. Tirana Reserve for one has mullet often. Simple paternosta rig with two hooks and a basic mince and semolina mix. Just a light sinker with berley cage or attach a berley cage to the sinker. Bread in the berley cage is all you need. No need to cast far either. Simple fishing.

 

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I use a small (size 10 I think) circle hook, these are deadly in the surf as the bait is moving slightly with the swell and the hook up rate is near 100%. I tend to use gents or cockles in the close gutters at waitpinga etc. as mentioned patternosta and running sinker rig works well or a float. Size 10 long shanks hooks are good when using worms or prawn

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24 minutes ago, SurfcaztR said:

What's the best time falling or rising tide and for west lakes would it be the same ?

The last hr of the rising tide. Nfi re West lakes as tides are essentially artificially controlled

 

Probably got around a month or so until the mullet swing in fully too.

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2 hours ago, SurfcaztR said:

I guess if the seas are too rough/windy then maybe Pt River ?

Gees this is all foreign ground for me after mainly chasing mulloway most of my life

Our sea run mullet are a predominately autumn scenario.  You will hear the report of the odd mullet here and there, but the schools wont be around fore a while yet.

Mullet are good bait for mulloway :D

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Came across two guys at the beach who had just finished there session and were dividing the mullet between them,this is what got me thinking in having a crack at catching them.

They had 2 buckets full of mullet which was and seemed a easy catch and currently plentiful was the impression 

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15 hours ago, Poppa Snake said:

Having never caught one myself, what are the eating qualities?

I love them fresh, pretty average frozen imo but I'm picky when it comes to frozen fish. 

Probably would be picking sea run fish from a beach or the coorong, as opposed to port river or onkaparinga fish... 

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6 hours ago, AquaticResearch1 said:

Probably would be picking sea run fish from a beach or the coorong, as opposed to port river or onkaparinga fish...

I caught 7 on a Gulp jigging shrimp, between the foot bridge & the mouth of the Onk last winter, they were brilliant eating fresh.

They may have recently entered the Onk though.

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West Lakes method....Fill up a berly spring with mince/pilchard and semolina mix till tacky,place small pieces of same molded on hooks,cast out and let sink, rip it up and let sink,repeat 4 times and retrieve then repeat process....usually mullet will bite on the sink as they feed on the released burley.

                    cheers b

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mullet are very good eating fish if processed properly, I scale an fillet my mullet within 1 or 2 hrs, when at the beach I keep my fish in a canvas bag attached to my rod holder  with a small amount of salt water in the bag it work like a water bag this stops the fish from bruising  I also kill the fish by bending back the head , when filleting if you like a milder flavour skin the fillets  also if you cryavac the fillets skinning them makes a big difference for long term keeping.   my pet hate is to see fishos chucking live fish into a empty bucket to thrash about an die or through the on the sand 

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As others have noted mullet is honest  'simple' fishing.

They respond particularly well to burley. Nothing fancy required, a simple bread/pellet base is fine with a bit of tuna oil...minced fish bits ect. The challenge is the consistent distribution of said burley to bring and hold them in which really depends on the scenario. Im a big fan of a onion bag jammed full of all old saved bits an pieces.

I have fond memories of an April mullet session over near Pt Turton, where i waded out on the incoming tide and dropped my onion bag jammed full of goodies. 1 end tied to a brick the other end a ball float and a large glow stick. Hight tide was an hour after sunset. The mullet came in and were a fish-a-cast. Then a heap of smooth rays came in and it was all over...crazy as they would take anything and were almost fighting to get to the burly bag.

Rig wise : basic double patternoster with #8-10 hooks and a burley spring sinker (depending on your 'burly' scenario/method). I do like mrfish's suggestion:

On 06/02/2019 at 8:28 AM, mrfish said:

I use a small (size 10 I think) circle hook, these are deadly in the surf as the bait is moving slightly with the swell and the hook up rate is near 100%. 

That would work well in the surf.

Bait wise i like to use small pieces of red meat!! They hold on the hook really well unlike the 'old school' mince & semolina mullet mixes. I usually use heart (deer, saved from another pastime ;)). Lamb heart would be fine. Have also had good success years ago on rabbit roadkill :P. Kangaroo is great and a mate swears by fillet steak:blink:

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Good call on the toughness of the bait - the mullet I chase are very good at taking bait off hooks - So I get a chicken drumsticks, peel back the white flappy skin and there is a outer coating of tough skin underneath (like silverside) - I make sure my baits have a silver side backing. If I use the normal flesh from inside the drumstick they find it much easier to rip off.

I spose its a bigger issue for me because I chase small mullet on tiny 3mm by 3mm baits 

There can be many different sizes within the same school - the ones under 4 inch can be a real pain and waste alot of precious seconds dragging my bait around and keeping it out of the mouth of the bigger ones - they're also great at ripping off soft baits

The days when they are so fired up they will take "white flappy" chicken skin are the best - they find it very difficult to rip that off and you can catch heaps of the one bait - but they do show a preference for the flesh over the skin. And a piece of flesh thats been sucked on a few times isnt as attractive as a fresh piece.

Prawn and Live worm are a bit exotic for me to use all the time - but if I have had a tough session recently - I will grab a couple of big prawns from the supermarket just in cases they arent smashing the chicken - but the dirty old chook usually gets me what I need quick enough

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I've never tried squid but I have got them on small squares of limpet, so I can imagine squid working well. My techniques rely on working them into a frenzy and getting them to compete over a small bit of berley with my bait in the middle -  so they may be more open to less desirable baits. If I wasnt using burley, I would probably pay more attention to the quality of my bait.

If I had to guess - I'd say live sandworm would be the ultimate bait - but they will eat red meat, chicken and dough pretty readily when fished in a burley trail.

Hook size and bait size are 2 things I pay serious attention to, as yellow eye mullet - especially the little ones I want - have small mouths

 

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