How to catch a mullet cover by wayne hand

How to catch a mullet

The last few years I have become obsessed with catching fish using light tackle. In my opinion, there is nothing better than adapting your tackle to suit a target species. For this feature I will hopefully show you how to catch a mullet out of our harbours and estuaries, relatively easily.
Like many, I have been fascinated with mullet from a very young age. Always watching these beautiful fish just gliding around the harbours without a care in the world. I am sure they look at us maybe thinking, come on try it, 35 years later I still am, with great success.
If you want to learn how to catch a mullet, I’d definitely start with the thin lipped variety! Thick Lipped mullet still drive most of us insane but, as you can see, anglers have mastered the art of targeting the Thin Lipped Mullet with great success. This feature will hopefully explain how and give everyone more of a chance of a successful trip on these hard fighting stunning fish.

A wet day in June!

Since qualifying as a Level 2 Angling trust Coach I’ve been very busy, so it was nice to finally manage to tie down a date with Phil (My Uncle). Unfortunately we were in the middle of a storm, so like most fishing sessions, it wasn’t going to be easy.
Phil had been asking me how to catch a mullet for some time, as he’d never caught one before. So, the aim of the lesson/session was to teach him how to target mullet on the spinners.

Tackling up

Any spinning rod will do with a small reel loaded with light braid, I happen to use the H20 Nebula M 2.7m rated to 35g, this is just a personal preference to me, there are lots of rods similar on the market.
This is spinning with a difference, we use the spinner as an attractor as this is a visual aid to attract the fish to follow.

As you’ll see from the accompanying images, we use a number 3 Mepp spinner, removing the treble as shown.
We then tie a short snood of 8lb Fluorocarbon, attaching a size 6 Wormer as a top hook. This is followed with a size 6 Aberdeen worm as a bottom hook as shown. Try to use a small length of tubing to offer up some resistance while keeping the hook true along the hook length, once you have mastered this, you are ready to go.

Baiting up

We use a small length of Rag worm. Using a baiting needle if required, feed the worm over the bottom hook. You will need about a 5cm section, then use the top hook to hold the worm in place as shown in the images.
Try to avoid having any worm hanging off the hook, the fish will nip the end and this will lead to lots of frustrating missed bites!

Tackling up for mullet mepps spinners
Tackling up for mullet the tackle needed


Generally, how to catch a mullet is to sight fish. However, on this occasion the weather didn’t help so I suggested we both wore waders. This would allow us to cover more ground using watercraft and Knowledge of the eddies and pools on the river. We also had a strong wind straight along the river, so casting from the banks could be difficult.
As I explained everything was scaled down so enable us to have fun on the light gear, so we did need to use the wind to our advantage on the occasion.
All baited up, Phil waded out into the river. My aim was for him to target areas just off of the main run. I was sure from previous outings there would be fish there.  We have had plenty of rain over the previous few days, so the main run was full of weed and debris so we needed to stay clear of this.
Once Phil cast in, the spinner would attract the fish into a follow, then the fish will hopefully take the baited rag. If you cannot spot any fish or the water isn’t clear then just target areas where you believe the fish will be hunting.  Make sure to retrieve at a very slow rate, try not to get too excited and speed up.


Mullet fishing can be action packed at times, but like all fishing it depends if they are in the mood, so after 2 casts Phil had his first follow. This is exciting for all of us but Phil had never seen this before.

The fish breached just as Phil was lifting the spinner out of the water. Moral was very high now.  We were both very excited, but I was also relieved the fish were in the area. As you may have seen, mullet hang around in big shoals, so where there is one, there will be more.

Catching Success

It turned out the fish were really in the mood! Phil was hitting into fish almost every cast, often I hear ‘Yes Yes ahhh No’, as some fish hit and just weren’t sticking. Its all still very exciting stuff though.
As Phil was smashing it, I couldn’t stop myself so within a few minutes I was into my first fish, a bass had taken a liking to my spinner,  this can always happen. It happens more frequently when the retrieve rate is too fast, which seems to entice the bass more than the mullet.
This session we landed 24 mullet between us, along with 2 bass.  Phil landed 2 over 3lb, with the biggest being 4lb 4oz! What a beautiful fish!
As you can see it’s a very simple but effective way to fish.

If you want to see a bit more on how to catch a mullet, or just enjoy your fishing videos, then check out the video I made last year with my friend Tom Bagnall down at Christchurch Angling Centre.
Thanks for reading and please get out and have ago, enjoy the video.