Review of 2014
Activities and Objectives
Mullet Fishing 2014: Fishing Days
Latest: 06/12/14: Started off very cold - only -1 degrees at 05:00. Not looking promising, but warmed up as the day progressed, and had to ditch the coat during the late morning - too warm, but no complaints here. Flat calm, with very little drift, and the float buried itself almost casually. After a hectic fight close in, the inevitable happened, and the mullet tore off in the direction of Calais. It was with some relief, a short time later, that I had recovered enough line to draw the fish over the net on about the tenth attempt. At 3lb 5oz, my first ever December mullet, and the 75th of the year - maybe a good one to end on?
29/11/14: Another strong fighter in shallow water, which boiled impressively when it first felt the hook and then went off like a rocket. Some nasty moments, but ultimately ended well with a nice looking 3lb 15oz fish in my shaking hands - excellent.
22/11/14: Missed three incredibly fast bites right by the bank when I first arrived, and worryingly, touched a fish with the hook on the third missed strike. Convinced that was all the chances gone, and after a long wait, I was more than relieved when the float banged under and I felt something very solid on the strike. In a repeat of last week's fish, this one tore off a depressing amount of line before surfacing much further out than I had expected. From here on, it was a battle of attrition, and even when close to the bank again, the fish continued to fight like a maniac. Once it was safely in the net, I could see a beautiful silvery mullet which weighed in at 4lb 5oz
15/11/14: After being rewarded with a hard-won 2lb 0oz 'goldie' at the first venue, I was keen to fish a 'hot spot' in the tide at a second location. Right on cue, I was into a second fish, which gave a very good account of itself - 3lb 6oz. I caught up with ScottG who had gone on to the final location for the day, and by that time, he already had a good mullet swimming around his float, in a scene reminiscent of 'Jaws'. Despite his best efforts, this one ate up all of the bread except for the hookbait - fairly typical of mullet. I thought I had a bite, which could just have been the bait snagging bottom. After a few more passes through, I responded to another 'bite' with an over-zealous strike that brought a good mullet crashing to the surface. Although this was clearly a strong fish, I thought I had it under control, and a hectic short-range fight ensued. Then it all went down the tubes - the fish 'woke up' spectacularly, and was soon a long way from the bank and still going strong. After some worrying heaving on the line, I managed to bring it to a stop, and everything went solid. There was some weed way out towards the main channel, and the fish had made it that far, against all expectations. More heaving, and it wouldn't move, so I walked along the bank and let the line go loose. Miraculously, the rod tip pulled over alarmingly and we were 'on' again. Even more heaving, and certainly more than I'm comfortable with, and the fight was back 'in close' again. Very relieved to see Scott get the net under this one, at 5lb 2oz - the first mullet from another new venue.
02/11/14: 1lb 8oz golden-grey
01/11/14: 2lb 12oz, 2lb 7oz
25/10/14: 3lb 2oz
17/10/14: 3lb 6oz
14/10/14: 3lb 13oz, 2lb 2oz, 2lb 10oz, 3lb 13oz
05/10/14: 1lb 12oz golden-grey
30/09/14: 4lb 6oz
27/09/14: 2lb 10oz
21/09/14: After a lot of whinging on my part, convinced that I never catch any mullet on a Sunday (and ignoring all records and statistics to the contrary), I was more than hopeful when the float dipped close to the bank and the water erupted spectacularly. With the luxury of open water in front of me, I was reasonably content to let the fish take some line and put some bend into the rod. This continued for a while until it turned downstream, and I decided that I needed to apply some pressure. The fish kited towards the bank some distance away, and I was unconcerned when it passed behind what I thought was some floating bladder wrack. Seconds later, I was reminded what 'thought' did, as my dad would say - this particular bladder wrack appeared to be attached to a wooden pile stuck firmly in the river bed... The usual heaving didn't shift it, so I walked downstream to get a different angle on the line - thankfully, the fish started moving again. After a continued strong fight, aided by the rest it had enjoyed whilst snagged, it defied all initial attempts to get it in the net. I was again grateful to Scott for doing the honours with this one, and was pleased to see the scales showing 5lb 10oz - a good fish, especially for a Sunday...
20/09/14: 3lb 0oz
12/09/14: 1lb 13oz
11/09/14: Another cracking golden-grey mullet, this time 3lb 2oz
10/09/14: 1lb 13oz - not a large fish, but very welcome - the 53rd mullet of the year, surpassing last year's total
09/09/14: Struck into a fish at the first venue which put up a ridiculous fight - I was convinced it was going to be very large, as it tore off an unbelievable amount of line in a succession of strong runs. The struggle went on and on, and I was eventually astounded to be holding a fish of only 3lb 0oz - very welcome and hugely enjoyable, one of the best fighters of the year. Buoyed by this, I decided to try a problematic location where I haven't been able to hook a mullet previously. A few trots through, and the current was slowing, so a gradual pull-under looked like a snag. Thought no more of this, and on a subsequent pass, the float dipped again, at which time I struck into what felt like the bottom. Anyway, 'the bottom' started swimming away strongly, and the rod tip bent over alarmingly; this was just raw power, a steady pull which stripped line from the reel. I managed to gain some line, which was quickly negated by the fish, and after a few repeats of this, I realised it was going to take some time. Eventually, when I got the fish to the surface, I could see it was a good one, and I was very keen to land it safely. I probably had it over the net half a dozen times, but on each occasion, despite a good del of begging on my part, it was off again towards the middle of the channel. My hands were shaking by the time I finally overcame this one, a full-bodied mullet, at 6lb 5oz - the second 'six' of the year, and the first for the venue.
06/09/14: 2lb 9oz - 50th mullet of 2014
31/08/14: 2lb 5oz, 4lb 11oz
30/08/14: 1lb 3oz golden-grey
29/08/14: 3lb 15oz, 4lb 5oz
26/08/14: 3lb 2oz, 3lb 0oz, 4lb 12oz
25/08/14: 2lb 13oz
24/08/14: 2lb 4oz
23/08/14: 6lb 8oz - the best fish since 2011, and the largest mullet caught during the NMC's 'National Rover' competition, which ran over the Bank Holiday weekend of Sat 23rd / Sun 24th / Mon 25th August.
17/08/14: 1lb 14oz, 3lb 2oz
16/08/14: 2lb 0oz
15/08/14: 4lb 14oz, 3lb 7oz, 4lb 7oz
12/08/14: 4lb 6oz, 3lb 8oz
11/08/14: An exceptionally enjoyable day, with four good-sized mullet landed - 4lb 4oz, 3lb 8oz, 5lb 5oz - the first 'five' and best of the year to date, and finally 3lb 14oz
09/08/14: The day started with a surreal moment at 3 a.m. on the M27, just after leaving the A3. I became aware of a set of headlights approaching very rapidly from the front, in the same lane that I was in - worrying stuff. Relieved to see this idiot pass me by and recede into the distance, a couple of red dots in my rear view mirror, my mind turned back to the serious business of catching some mullet. The first two venues visited clearly held fish, but ultimately, my best efforts were met with failure. The third venue was showing a good deal of activity, and I missed a few bites from surface-feeding fish which took a sunken bait. I decided to trot a bait along the bottom in an eddy just off the main channel, and after a short wait, a few very fast bites materialised. I hit the third or fourth of these, and there was clearly a solid lump on the other end of the line. After a brief fight in open water, it powered between several ropes, four of which stretched from the shore to nearby rowing boats. It was like navigating a minefield, drawing the fish back between the ropes without incurring a wrap-around - this game of strategy was repeated several times until the strong fish started to tire, and I was more than thankful to get the net under it. Weighed at 4lb 8oz, it took a while to recover after the excellent fight, eventually swimming away indignantly. Absolute magic.
03/08/14: Keen to build on recent results, it was a good moment when the rod bent into 2lb 3oz of angry mullet. The tide dropped until there was hardly any water, but on the turn, I could see a few more fish passing over the bait with their pectoral fins raised. A few missed lightning bites later, and I was into another fish. This one fought determinedly in the shallow 'puddle', and I thought it was all over when the line went solid - an unseen snag. I walked several paces to the right, and soon, the fish was away again, this time towards the boats. Eventually, it was in the net, and it was then I realised that it was another good sized 'goldie'. Weighed very carefully, this one tipped the digital scales at 3lb 7oz, the second unbelievably large 'goldie' of the year, this time only 1.5oz below the current UK record weight. Still staggered by my good fortune, I was then into another fish after about half and hour - 2lb 14oz, which put the icing on a truly excellent session.
02/08/14: ...and another one, at 2lb 15oz - a good run of success continues, after a particularly challenging and worrying week - many sincere thanks to the RSCH for getting me back in the game.
27/07/14: The same venue revisited, and the same good outcome, despite a lot of weed on the line whilst struggling with a nice fish of 3lb 7oz. Not feeling too well in the afternoon, and put it down to the heat over the last few days. Special mention needs to be made of ScottG's excellent 4lb 15oz fish, which put up a very strong fight - his second from a new venue in the last two days.
26/07/14: Very early morning, and soon the bright green starlight slipped beneath the surface. A strong fish, initially seeming confused by the low light, then ploughed around powerfully in the general direction of the moored boats. Difficult to see where it was, but finally in the net at 3lb 13oz.
18/07/14: After yesterday's success, was keen to have another go. Although things were hard going, not least because of the idiotic wildfowl, a fish started taking bread greedily, quite close to the slipway, and was soon hooked. A surprisingly good fight, and I was rewarded with a fish of 2lb 8oz - very happy, again.
17/07/14: Had a good feeling, fishing at a new venue, with quite a few fish in evidence. First contender was a strong fish of 4lb 2oz, which gave me some real grief in a confined area bounded by walls, ropes, boats and pontoons. An hour later, another dramatic take, and a very similar fight, with all the snags on the side of the fish. This time, a bit larger, at 4lb 10oz - always extra special to land good fish from a new location.
16/07/14: Just a little fella, at 1lb 9oz, hooked right against a boat hull, and still brought the 'big game', trying to get back under the pontoons - excellent.
14/07/14: Started off with a very welcome early-morning 3lb 2oz from a venue that's proven hard going this year. On to another location, and the usually-cautious mullet were feeding enthusiastically. That said, they showed their usual caution when the hookbait went in, and I was relieved when eventually, there was a vicious take. This was a good fish, and it tore towards the boats, head shaking alarmingly. It was a real 'sh*t yerself' fight, holding it hard away from the moored boats, and I was very relieved when I turned it into open water. From then on, it was a battle of attrition, gaining small amounts of yardage, until eventually it was in the net, at 4lb 14oz - the season's best so far. Still some fish about, and was more than surprised to be into another mullet about an hour later. In a rerun of the first fight, I held on grimly whilst the fish tried to get under a large yacht with hardly any water under its keel. There were a few nasty moments with the corner of a pontoon, and then in the net, at 3lb 11oz - a pretty good day.
06/07/14: Some early morning worries rapidly faded into the far distance when the float banged under and a fish erupted from the water. Fortunately, it took the fight into the open channel, and although it put in a succession of powerful runs, the fight came to a fortuitous conclusion, despite some 'banzai' runs when it saw the net. Was soon releasing 4lb 11oz of magic mullet.
15/06/14: After a very good start, with ScottG landing a hard-fighting 4/13 mullet, we moved to a different venue. I had a positive take close to the pontoons and boats, and a fiercely fighting mullet of 3lb 5oz gave me a good work out for a few anxious minutes. Scott landed another fish soon after that from a difficult-to-fish location at the edge of the marina. After another move, I hooked into what I thought was a small fish, which then went 'tactical' - an explosive fighter, which wouldn't go in the net, but in the end, a good outcome - 3lb 6oz.
14/06/14: Some fish arriving with the flooding tide and taking bread aggressively from the surface - I initially thought these might be bass. Quickly changed to a float rig, and after a short time, the float disappeared emphatically. A strong fight, which ended well and left me holding a pristine 3lb 13oz mullet. As usual, ScottG was soon into one, this time 2/08. Another good day.
08/06/14: Startup was delayed by a mass of weed brought in after Saturday's storms, but whilst I was waiting for that to clear, there were fish on the surface, which I initially thought were bass. After a really aggressive take, a good fish bolted into the open water and then put up a determined and prolonged short-range fight. A few anxious moments, but then in the net after a few attempts - a very welcome 4lb 1oz. Spent the rest of the day at a new venue, with ScottG. Lost a thin-lip later on, which would have been my first, with a fairly undramatic hook pull after a few minutes of the fight. Scott landed another good 4/01 on the flood tide, after playing it skilfully in a fairly confined space. A truly enjoyable day, despite the lost 'thin'.
26/05/14: A venue that fished well last year, and so far, no sign of any mullet. On the uptide, a fish started feeding on the wrong side of the pontoon, but eventually made its way through to take some bread on the nearside. Just as the float was drifting behind the far end of a small boat, almost out of sight, there was a positive take, and the familiar drama commenced. Several lunging runs later, the fish continued to fight hard in the shallows of the near bank, and I was relieved to see it in the net, at 3lb 2oz
26/05/14: Largely due to some great pointers from ScottG, a day of firsts; fished a new venue for the first time, and landed the first 'river' fish on the leger, at 1lb 13oz - an energetic fish, which quickly swam away on release. The day continued to get better when Scott landed a superb 3lb 1oz mullet - very nicely done. This was a good outcome on a day when fish still look to be surprisingly sparse; many thanks to Scott for the tips and excellent company.
17/05/14: The UK record for the golden-grey mullet stands at 3lbs 8oz 8dr - the fish I caught on this day was a new personal best and National Mullet Club record at 3lb 8oz (not sure how many drams - my digital weighing scales don't show those) - just 0.5oz below. "Fairly pleased with that" would be an enormous understatement. Having fought hard, just like a thick-lip of the same weight, the extraordinarily slimy fish was retuned alive and definitely kicking. A truly magical day - still in total disbelief.
10/05/14: 1lb 5oz - just a nipper, but very welcome.
26/04/14: A fighting 2lb 15oz mullet brought some fireworks to the end of the month. A really good start to the year, with three fish already.
21/04/14: Early fish kept on coming with this 2lb 0oz brawler.
12/04/14: Started off the year with a thumping 4lb 1oz mullet, the first I've caught in April - normally have to wait until May. Hands shaking, heart racing - just like my first mullet all over again.
|Last updated 03.06.16|