Review of 2012
Activities and Objectives
Mullet Fishing 2012: Fishing Days
Latest: 15/10/12: Nothing doing at the usual spot, so I went to have a look at a venue further downstream, where I have fished only once before. Good to see Dave.R, who was also having a look. A few fish were present, so I decided to have a go. Very pleased to hook a very determined 3lb 1oz fish on the downtide, the first mullet for the venue - which I now think (at 04.11.12) will probably have been the last of the year.
29/09/12: A very early start, and in the dark, I thumped into something solid. Despite the difficulties of being unable to work out where the fish was, and having to guess whether or not it was under the boats, I was eventually relieved to lift a 5lb 2oz mullet from the water.
22/09/12: Regrettably, only able to look forward to the possibility of some fishing next weekend, hopefully.
15/09/12: Started off with an unusual 2lb 4oz fish, quite short in length, but deep and tight across its flanks, which accentuated the size of its tail. Despite its atypical proportions, it still fought like a mad thing. Soon after that, there was another, about the same size, at 2lb 2oz; nothing unusual about this one, and it also gave a good account of itself.
Moved to another venue as the tide rose, and noted a few mullet on the surface. After a while, they started mopping up the free bread, whilst ignoring the hookbait with absolute contempt. Eventually, one of them just got greedy, and there was a very positive take followed by the fish launching itself from the water. This was a strong mullet, and there were a few nasty moments during the eventful fight. When I thought I had the better of the contest, the fish found reserves of energy, and suddenly, the line was through some heavy weed and round a metal post. Thankfully, I managed to coax the fish back into open water, and gradually brought it in, with some weed in tow. On the bank, it looked a fair size, and weighed in at 5lb 8oz - an excellent conclusion to a very good day. Well, that was apart from a second fish of the same size that I lost around a post about half an hour later - less said about that, the better. I had played it for some time, and it was beyond tired, but still used its weight to get the line into some heavy weed. Ultimately, the fish was freed up and set loose by a canoeist, to whom I am extremely grateful.
08/09/12: Again, a miserable absence of time spent mullet fishing this weekend.
05/09/12: Another highly enjoyable encounter, this time with an unusual gold-marked 4lb 0oz fish, which gave me more than a few anxious moments during an enjoyable fight. On the bank, the gold patterns really stood out as they reflected the low early-morning sun.
04/09/12: A very busy day, with no mullet fishing opportunities, sadly.
03/09/12: No mullet on offer, and spent some quality time speaking with Mark.S, a keen and knowledgeable fellow mullet angler. All the time, I had been watching some fish moving between the boats, and the temptation became too much to bear; I excused myself and cast a speculative line, right where they had been. Thirty seconds later, there was a dramatic take followed by a spirited fight from a very lively 2lb 10oz fish, which did everything it could to avoid staying in the net, escaping twice before I finally lifted it.
02/09/12: An enjoyable and memorable day, which started with an epic struggle at first light versus a psychotic 4lb 1oz mullet - it just wouldn't give up and finally had to be really bullied into the net. Just after low tide, the float disappeared again, and a tense fight ensued, keeping the fish at close range to avoid the ropes and pontoons. This one weighed in at 3lb 1oz, and swam away as it had arrived, in a spray of mud and water. Just when I was convinced there were no more mullet to be had, I spotted a good fish swimming down the channel, some distance away. It continued towards my float, meandering, but drawing ever-closer; expecting the usual close-pass-but-no-interest, I held my breath as it turned straight towards the bait and gulped it down with no hesitation. A combination of weight and power put a very telling bend into the rod, and there followed a game of strategy as the fish ploughed up and downstream for a prolonged time, before surrendering to the net, exhausted. This one was a gnarly old beast, maybe grabbed unsuccessfully by a seal or damaged by a net in the past, and weighed 5lb 6oz. Very happy; difficult to resist a celebratory Mac's on the way home.
01/09/12: After another horribly early start, any success was looking unlikely until the float finally slid away, close in to some moored boats. Soon afterwards, but not too soon, I was very pleased to make the acquaintance of a strong 3lb 9oz mullet.
26/08/12: Recent good fortune continues - today's fish was an energetic 2lb 1oz which went through its entire repertoire of tricks in its efforts to shed the hook. A very good moment in a day which was otherwise memorable for the numbers of blasted swans and bass...
19/08/12: Another excellent day, and all before 09:00. Started off in the dark with a hard-fighting mullet of 3lb 15oz - couldn't even see it to net it, but when it turned on its side, I was able to scoop it up. After the tide turned, the fish started to reappear, and in an almost exact replay of earlier, a strong fish of 3lb 14oz gave me a hard time before it eventually surrendered to the net. Surprisingly soon after that, the float disappeared again, and this time there were some real fireworks. The fish fought doggedly for about ten minutes, then seemed to tire, but as I drew it towards the net, it ran again. This time, it gave me another five or six minutes of anxiety as it ploughed up and down the channel close to the shore - I was very relieved when it finally heard the 'fat lady'. This was the best of the day, at 4lb 8oz. When I lowered it back into the water, it hardly paused for a moment before it surged back into the channel.
12/08/12: Matters took a distinct turn for the better this morning when I hooked into 4lb 14oz of trouble. With a few interested onlookers nearby, I was very keen to land this powerful fish, which did its absolute best to make me look like Woking visiting the Emirates. After some time, when the enjoyable fight was over, it was very good to see it recover quickly and swim away strongly.
29/07/12: Only a few mullet active, but matters appeared to take a turn for the better when the bread disappeared amidst a huge boil. The fish made a long powerful run and was soon under a pontoon - I was anticipating a bad ending. After a short time, I was surprised to be able to haul the fish out, feeling the line dragging worryingly on some unseen snag. Once it was back in open water, it kited around for a while, taking very little line. At that point, my suspicions that something wasn't right were confirmed, and I soon had a 5lb 2oz bass in the net. Predictably, I would have been a lot happier with yesterday's mullet all over again...
28/07/12: Noticed some mullet feeding very close to a pontoon, and soon hooked into a lively fish in a confined space between some boats and bridge supports. Had to lean on this one quite a lot, and thankfully, the hook held. Fairly soon, a 2lb 9oz mullet was safely on the bank - another good day.
21/07/12: After a painfully long break due to the appalling weather and unfavourable water conditions, operations were resumed early today. Encouragingly, there were a few mullet about, and a couple of fish were feeding at the edge of the marina. Missed a cautious take, then straight away there was another - felt a solid contact and put pressure on to avoid the fish getting under the pontoons. Surprisingly, I was able to gradually draw it towards me with less than the usual amount of resistance, and I soon had it close to the bank - that's when it suddenly went 'Bruce Willis' on me... After a determined fight, this one weighed in at 3lb 9oz. Having subjected it to the usual indignities - photos and weighing - there were still some other fish in evidence, so I rushed to get it back in the water and ended up totally stuck in deep mud. I couldn't reach the water to put the fish back, and I couldn't get out. Drastic measures were needed, so I bailed out of my boots and escaped without them - the most miserable part was retrieving them after the fish was safely returned. Good job that one won't make it onto YouTube...
23/06/12: A couple of distinctly unproductive days recently, with only bass caught - very few active mullet in evidence, again. Following on from the rainiest April since reliable records commenced in 1776, this looks like becoming the wettest June since 1860 and the coldest since 1991, per the BBC. Marvellous (not), as they used to say...
05/06/12: Several fast bites, atypical, almost impossible to hit, brought a couple of small ones today. The first, at 1lb 9oz, may have been a golden-grey mullet? - no sign of papillae on the upper lip, and notably more slimy than the fish I caught later in the day, plus a well-defined gold spot on the gill cover. The second fish was a thick-lip of just 13oz, useful for comparison, and having very clearly defined papillae. A very enjoyable session, even though there were no larger mullet to be seen.
02/06/12: Another excellent mullet, 4lb 14oz - probably the most epic fight of the year so far. After a worrying amount of line had left the reel in the same direction that the fish was heading, it hammered away for a long time trying to get under a boat. I leaned on it as hard as I dared, and it kited to the left, placing the corner of a pontoon entirely between me and it, with the line running over the top and around a pillar. Convinced it was definitely all over, I was more than surprised when it somehow ended up back in open water. After some more thrashing about, it was in the net, absolutely exhausted - superb.
27/05/12: Another good day - apart from the bass. More than pleased to land a very lively mullet of 1lb 15oz, which threw every twist and turn in its repertoire in its efforts to avoid yielding line. Marvellous - looking forward to the next one already.
26/05/12: A truly excellent day. Hardly any water at the first venue, but the float soon slid away very positively, and the usual soap opera commenced. A powerful fish, which kept deep and emphatically refused all of my invitations to come to the net. When it came to the surface, its broad tail waved in the air as it tried to dive again - very relieved when it was finally exhausted. The first 'mud missile' of the year, at exactly 4lb. By now, there was nothing left to fish in, so I moved to another location.
Started up again at low tide, and was surprised to see no fish in evidence at first. After some time, in the late morning, a couple of large mullet were cruising and feeding in the shallows, only four or five feet from where I stood in the water - the feeling of anticipation kicked into overdrive. Soon after, a tentative bite turned into a cautious take, and I felt something very solid when I struck. No fireworks, just a powerful force pulling persistently against the rod. For a while the fish kept trying for a nearby pontoon, but then turned and continued to put up a really strong fight close to the shore. When it saw the net, it 'went hard' again, and I was eventually (again) very relieved to succeed in a contest that I thought was going to end very badly. At 5lb 5oz, I would say that this one fought well above its weight - it recovered very quickly and soon swam away strongly.
12/05/12: Ice on the windscreen at 05:30, and muddy water when I arrived. No sign of any mullet, but then the float went under... The fish launched out of the water and then took line against the drag, shook its head a few times, fighting quite close to the surface, and then surprisingly came to the net with relative ease - a large sea trout. Swore quite a lot and let it go....
07/05/12: Early start, air temperature at two degrees. Some feeding mullet in evidence - missed two really good bites in rapid succession that should have been a fish in the net, then added to the misery by catching a bass later on. Looking a bit more promising though, despite the persistent rain ....
05/05/12: Truly dismal weather continues - looks like more of the same this weekend - awful ....
21/04/12: Seems like an age since the warm days in March, and the combination of the cold weather plus other factors have sadly prevented any further attempts at catching some mullet for the time being.
31/03/12: Much colder today and not much activity, although there were still a few small mullet taking the bread occasionally. Good to see that the first reports of mullet caught are starting to appear online.
28/03/12: A few bites today, and hooked a mullet in the early afternoon - it immediately bolted, and after three consecutive strong runs and no line recovered, it shed the hook. Still plenty of thin lips feeding close to the shoreline.
27/03/12: Thought I would have a go today, and when the float disappeared, I was more than mildly irritated to see a sea trout on the end of the line, even though it weighed in at 3lb. Quite a few thin lips present, feeding determinedly in the shallows - some looked a good size.
23/03/12: The very mild days continue, plus many online reports of mullet sighted; need to go and have a look, ASAP
12/03/12: Another session at the pond, quite late in the day - about 30 rudd caught. Some problems with swans - might as well get used to that too, for later in the season...
11/03/12: My last mullet of 2011 was caught on 05/11/11 - no fishing since, so went to a local pond to get some practice. Caught about 70 rudd and a small mirror carp of 2lb 2oz. Sun was out, day was warm - won't be long now.
|Last updated 03.06.16|