Those who know me well will tell you I don’t consider myself any sort of expert, but I am a very passionate angler with a tendency to get a little addicted and slightly obsessive about most species. However, the grey ghost is the exception, there’s nothing slight or little about the obsession here… I’m completely obsessed and thoroughly addicted! Frankly, I challenge anyone to pursue these fish and not become obsessed, they hold a very special place for many anglers who have been won over by their adrenaline inducing action. 

As a very brief history, I was guided over 20 years ago and to this day by my friend and mentor Martin Larkin who hopefully needs no introduction. The mindset of this man rubs off over time and has undoubtedly made a big difference in my general fishing and results. I do however like to work things out for myself, often going against the grain and being a little rebellious. This often leads to me getting it very wrong and realising why I had messed up but, ultimately hitting the targets now and again from my own experiments. 

All the time it is about gaining confidence and experience catching more and more mullet every year, whilst always learning and always being humble and grateful for every experience trying to land these powerful fish on modern light gear.  

Close quarter battles with very little or no drag given on the various floating pontoons or harbours makes for some exhilarating fishing that is hard to argue against being the most sporting in U.K. waters. 

The tackle is not complex and makes mullet fishing accessible for all. A fixed paternoster with a three way swivel, a short 5-6inch hook length of Yuki 3G invisible 12lb(the thickness of 8lb) which never snaps and is virtually invisible fluro-coated sexy stuff, finished off with a size 8-10 micro barbed carp hook or small size  Chinu or Iseama at the business end. Failing that, if you must insist on using treble hooks (it’s a confidence thing I know) then please consider having the snip…

In other words get the pliers out and cut off a barb turning it into a slightly mouth friendlier option, lessoning the chances of lip pinning a fish if you get smashed up. This unfortunately happens, inhibiting the fish from eating or worse still breathing. 

 


For general estuary mullet fishing I switch to a running ledger with a short hook length of approximately 6 inches long, which is just long enough to keep out of reach of the crabs. How you ask? I always pop my bait up, forming a small pasty shaped pop up or long slim elongated pop up, around which is placed a slightly flattened mouth friendly offering, which is always the cheapest supermarket medium white bread!

I love the cycle of the mullet seasons and they are an all year fish in many places, not just the summer visitor they are often perceived as just because this is the time of year they are more visible in their movements. However, for me, March and April are top months for targeting the big winter mullet that are still full of roe and at the top of their weight, meaning a 4lb specimen thick lipped is now 4lb 8oz-10oz, depending on its stage of spawning. Whilst these pursuing flatfish at this time of year will bemoan the skinny framed specimens, freshly spent, the mullet spawning hasn’t taken place yet and the fish are in their absolute prime conditions.

These fish also fight very hard, which still surprises me to this day laden with all that extra weight, but perhaps not surprising considering the beautiful crystal clear blue water associated with winter fishing for estuary mullet. Fishing in this highly oxygenated pure water, compared with the mid to late summer murky algae pond conditions that often occur when it’s hot for long periods with little rain fall, one can start to understand why the fish will have that bit more fight to it. The river Plym on my beat suffers from this lower after quality at times in the summer along with a dubious outflow from the local treatment plant, but the fish are most definitely there and in numbers right through the year. 

The images in this feature were all caught this month after a dire February with many blanks and little chances. Two went over 5lb, the biggest fish of 5lb 9oz was a magnificent fish for the location and I’m still buzzing as I write this several days later! Mullet very much are the drug that keeps on giving.

So be inspired, get out there and try something new. It only costs a few loaves of bread and is undoubtedly the most exhilarating and exciting fishing I do throughout the year, chasing big mullet wherever I can find them.

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