Mullet Fishing 2011: Fishing Days
Latest: 05/11/11: November, but still very mild, so I thought it might be worth a go. After several hours with no sign of any mullet at all, the float slid under and the fireworks started early. At almost precisely low tide, landed a very lively 2lb 11oz mullet - definitely worth the wait.
30/10/11: Very few signs of fish feeding, then a few tentative bites, followed by a good take. Thought it was a bass for the first twenty seconds, when it swirled twice just under the surface, then it took off like a psychotic torpedo and I knew it was a mullet. Several powerful runs and ten minutes later (maybe a bit more), and it was in the net, another superb fighter. This one weighed 3lb 2oz, a streamlined fish with a hefty tail, which swam off strongly as if nothing had occurred. Hoping there will be a few more good days before the cold sets in...
15/10/11: Started off by scraping the ice of the car - not something I associate with mullet fishing days. After a cold start, punctuated by dropping the camera in the water, things warmed up suddenly at 08:35 when a mullet smashed into the bread. After an enjoyable fight, it weighed in at 3lb 2oz. As usual, everything went a bit quiet after that, until 11:50, when a powerful 5lb 0oz mullet gave me 15-20 minutes of real anxiety - I managed to hang on to it despite ropes, boats and pontoons, and was very surprised to see it finish up in the net. All in all, a totally excellent day, even though the camera was 'Munsoned' - I took some grim photos using my phone instead.
09/10/11: Despite many mullet feeding early on, it looked like being a blank day. It was very good to meet Dave.R, who appeared for the morning session and generously passed on some much-appreciated info regarding the mullet venues in the area. Ignoring the total lack of mullet during the day, I decided to stick with it, and noticed some fish feeding late in the downtide. When there was hardly any water left, I was finally rewarded at around 15:45 with an almost casual take. After a long and determined fight, a 4lb 2oz mullet was in the net - as usual, it fought well above its weight - totally brilliant.
01/10/11: Far brighter and much hotter than I prefer, and only caught a few bass - the largest was 3lb. The mullet didn't seem to come properly onto the feed, just a few individuals mopping up the bread at various times. Had to take refuge out of the sun for the hottest part of the day - far too hot and felt as sick as a dog.
25/09/11: Very welcome good weather, and the mullet started feeding in the channel. Had to stop for a while until the blasted swans went away, then soon hooked into a lively fish. One minute it was in open water, then within seconds it was amongst the small boats and ropes. After a number of excellent opportunities to lose it, I was very pleased to get it in the net - a 2lb 10oz fish in pristine condition. Went on to another location for a while, but the winds had become quite strong, so I went to look at an entirely new venue - saw a few mullet there.
24/09/11: Started badly, ended very well. Hardly any mullet showing at all at the first venue today, and had to strip down a totally jammed Shimano reel on the bank, then decided to move on. Straight away, caught a small bass - thought 'oh cr*p, here we go again...'. Stuck at it and finally, a mullet swirled at the bait. Hastily rebaited and soon made contact with a good fish. After a superb fight, was very relieved to net a 4lb 8oz mullet, which gave its absolute best trying to get under the boats and pontoons across a narrow channel - marvellous.
18/09/11: Same story, same result - started off with four small bass this time, all around the 1lb 4oz mark. Decided to try somewhere else, and soon hooked ... another bass, same size again. There were some better fish swirling on the surface, and I was sure that some were mullet, so I continued for a while, then landed ... another bass. This one was 3lb 10oz, so at least that was an improvement. I could still see some good mullet, but the tide was very low, and I was having some serious problems with my footing. A couple of unscheduled games of 'River Mud Twister' ensued, and on the second occasion, I didn't think I was going to get out of it at all. Covered in mud, I decided to call it a day - highly encouraged by the sight of all those mullet, though... to be continued.
17/09/11: Another late / early start. Very few signs of mullet feeding, but the bass were, and I caught a couple of those, again 1lb 6oz plus a smaller one. Carbon copy of 04/09/11, two weeks ago.
11/09/11: A superbly enjoyable day. Started off with some mullet feeding well, then it rained really heavily - had to hide under a pier for a while. Soon joined by a very welcome fellow mullet enthusiast, Steve.S, who expertly landed a pristine 2lb 15oz mullet during the morning. Greatly encouraged by this, decided to fish on, and early in the afternoon I was pleased to land my first golden-grey mullet, at 2lb 2oz . Thought I was 'in' again later on, but was embarrassed to see a small and very determined bass on the line, which definitely had me fooled for a while on the light rod. Engaged in a quick game of 'River Mud Twister' at one point, and crammed my closed-face reel full of mud and grit - nicely done. Eventually, we had to stop when there was just no more water left to fish in. Sincere thanks to Steve, for the truly excellent company and for generously sharing his considerable knowledge. Good times.
10/09/11: Smallest mullet of the year, 11oz, but what a spirited little fish. May have learned not to 'greedy up' all the bread, and hopefully will grow into a large, wise mullet.
04/09/11: Very early start. Plenty of fish taking bread off the surface, which turned out to be bass - landed two small ones, 1lb 6oz and 1lb 3oz. Some large mullet around, but the bass were too greedy and the big fellas didn't get much of a look in.
02/09/11: Strong winds made fishing difficult in the river estuary, and not many signs of fish, but it was still a great day to be out in the sun.
01/09/11: A dog belonging to a passer-by was pigging out in the bread bag, and whilst I was distracted by that, there was another moment of high anticipation as the line streaked across the water. A strong initial fight, which came to an end a bit too soon, and I had another 4lb bass in the net. Not a mullet, but not a bad performance from the fish, and still worth a smile.
31/08/11: Very few fish visible, although there were a brief spells when a mullet would take a few pieces of bread off the surface. Unable to capitalise upon those moments - would have liked a fish, just so that I could put Tuesday's misery into perspective, but it was a good day to be at the river, anyway.
30/08/11: 'Black Tuesday'. Started at my usual location, and hooked into a mullet at long range - 10-15 seconds later and it shed the hook - not happy, but remained philosophical at that point.
As usual, no more bites after a hooked fish, so I drove to a new location. Saw a small shoal of mullet swirling close to the bank, and they were soon mopping up the free bread. Hooked one fairly quickly, and the fight was the usual drama. The fish was tiring, and after what seemed like 3 or 4 minutes, maybe 5, I started thinking about the net - at which point it gave a kick and shed the hook. Fairly miserable by now...
Spotted some large mullet at the far bank, and started feeding them my remaining bread. After a few vicious swirls, I hooked a really good fish, which fought very hard for 10 minutes or more, using the current well. I started to gain some line, and had it quite close to the net, at which point it 'went hard' again, disappearing under a bridge and into some dense weeds. It was really snarled up, and not wanting to leave it tangled, I decided upon drastic action - so into the river I went. I managed to grab the line in front of its top lip and drag it out, at which point it kicked hard, snapped the line just above the hook, and that was that - at least it was able to swim away freely. Enormous thanks to Steve, who provided able and valuable assistance during this drama.
So, all in all, pretty awful - I lost nearly as many mullet in one day as I can remember losing in all the time I fished in Cornwall, but I suppose the dip in the river, which was surprisingly cold, turned the day into a bit of an adventure. Trudged off towards the car park, still more than a bit soggy and with very mixed feelings about the day.
26/08/11: A truly exceptional day. A modest swirl to my left, so I quickly re-baited and cast close to it. A few seconds later, the fish swirled and appeared to reject the bait, then came back and took it. Felt like a good mullet, then it really took off - felt like a really good mullet. It was soon at the opposite side of the marina, close to a moored boat. After a very long spell of the fish pulling really hard to get under the boats and piers, I finally managed to gain a few feet of line from it. I held it away from the boats for some time before it decided to make for another pontoon, quite close in. I thought I was making some ground, then it swam unstoppably, in an almost leisurely fashion, from left to right, towards the main channel. I realised that if it disappeared behind the pontoons, it was going to be 'game over', and I managed to turn it towards the shore within feet of a pylon. By now, the fish was exhausted, and I was able to get it to the net, but it had been a truly epic fight, and the mullet was just so powerful. It was a real 'Charlie George' moment, although I managed to resist the urge to throw myself on my back in the mud.... I was way beyond delighted when the fish weighed in at 7lb 2oz. I rested it in the landing net for a few minutes, and then it bolted away strongly. Unforgettable, but I don't think my nerves are up to another one like that...
25/08/11: Some mullet feeding on the surface at 06:00, looking really promising, then it rained... 'Torrential' doesn't really describe it, although I did notice an old guy with a grey beard and a long robe building a very large wooden boat with lots of big cages on it...
24/08/11: Another very early start, and this time there was torrential rain at first (oh, good...). Some mullet visibly feeding once that subsided, and I got the float into a tricky but promising spot amongst some weeds. Delighted to see it disappear, followed by a good strong first run from the fish, and then an ominous feeling of 'hang on a minute...'. Something wasn't right, and I craned the fish in like a full bag of chuck - it was a 4lb bass with a bread fixation... Needless to say, I wasn't too thrilled, but that aside, it was a nice fish, just not a mullet... grrrrrrrrrr.........
23/08/11: Catching up on some rest, re-reading 'Mullet' by Des Brennan to see if it will remind me of any useful techniques that I've long forgotten. Must have bought this in the 70s when the 'madness' first took hold.
22/08/11: Early start and a neap tide, plus a notably cold morning. There was hope for a moment, when there was a swirl, the float dipped, and ... it was a bass of about 1lb. Less sign of mullet feeding today - maybe the cold, maybe the tide. Would have helped if more floating bread could have been deployed, but did I mention those b*****d swans?
21/08/11: Another horribly early start, and not much doing at the usual venue, so I decided to try somewhere new, nearby. The mullet were feeding on the surface, and the bites were persistent but tentative, almost impossible to hit, so I was relieved to land a mullet of 2lb 2oz with the last cast before the water became too low. A superb fight for a modest fish, complete with all the usual 'attitude' - absolutely marvellous.
20/08/11: Appallingly early start, and another successful session - one fish, and this one was 3lb 15oz. Not much point saying "it put up a great fight" (you already know that), but worth mentioning the truly epic run it made when it first saw the net, even thought it was really tired by then. I've quickly come to realise that each time a fish is hooked, everything pretty much goes 'dead' after that - a few fish goofing about, and not a hint of a bite - very different to fishing in the sea from the rocks.
13/08/11: Tide was a bit later than I would like, but had a go anyway. Fish fed for a while early on, could have had one at any moment, then it went quiet. Still, an enjoyable trip.
06/08/11: Another totally excellent day. A really early start again, and tackled up in the dark - took the 13' Series 7 float rod this time, and a bigger landing net. Nothing doing at first and no sign of any mullet, so I cast to a different spot and soon had a good take on the bread. The hook hold felt reassuringly solid when I struck, and then everything went 'Armageddon' - I thought it was never going to give up, and it must have taken years off the life of the reel components. Very relieved when I got it in the net, and this one weighed in at 5lb 12oz. Soon recovered from the fight, and swam away strongly - would definitely sign up for the rematch with that one.
30/07/11: An excellent day; the first mullet after nearly 20 years absence from mullet fishing. This one hit the bread really hard, and then put up a dogged fight on the 10.5' fly rod blank, punctuated by strong runs every time I got it near the net. At 3lb 11oz, it wasn't even remotely close to the biggest one I've seen at the location, but absolutely no complaints here. Looking forward to the next one already...
24/07/11: Very early start, and a few good mullet taking bread off the surface at one point in the tide. This may be the way to catch one in the future - they still seem to ignore sinking or static baits at all depths.
|Last updated 24.07.20|