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Mullet Fishing 2015: Fishing Days

 
 
Latest:  12/12/15: Optimism triumphed over all common sense this morning, until I was sitting by the river, in the car, in the dark, in the rain, at 06:50 thinking 'What the French Connection UK am I doing here?". Anyway, on with the hat, on with the hood, and on with the job in hand. Surprisingly, an unexpected succession of fiddly bites followed, sometimes with a slight lift, and each punctuated with a sharp dip of the float and a total miss on the strike - like a scene from 'The House of Flying Tackle' on continuous replay. I was convinced that these were going to be small fish - earlier in the year it might have been goldies - but there wasn't anything else better to do, so I kept feeding them the free bread and hoped for the best. Another identical bite, and the hook struck home - it felt like hooking the bottom, but then the riverbed swam away, more than purposefully. I applied some strain, and the fish, which clearly hadn't woken up, just muntered about quite close to the bank, and definitely felt of a respectable size. I was instantly sure it was a mullet, and soon I could just about make out the shape of its head and lips in the murky water. Convinced for a foolish moment that I was going to sucker it into the net, I was suddenly dismayed when all hell broke loose and the reel was absolutely haeomorrhaging line. After nearly losing the fish under a boat, then round a chain - worrying to see that tighten up and start moving to one side - then a pontoon, then a wooden pile, I had it out in open water again, but it just kept thumping away. Given the date, and the apparent size of the fish, I didn't want to lose this one, and after some more patient give and take, it was finally in the net. Maybe a good one to end on, at 6lb 4oz

24/10/15: 2lb 12oz - another fish from a new location, which gave a few rapid bites soon after the groundbait went in. A difficult fight, due to weeds and obstructions, which ended well, giving me what looked like being the last fish of 2015. This one was the same weight as my first ever mullet, and the excitement of its capture was still as special

23/10/15: 3lb 12oz, 2lb 8oz - a couple of fish hanging in fast flowing water, which struck bodly at floating bread ripping through in the current. Both put up an exceptional fight for their size, especially the 'three' with its outsized tail and torpedo-like body shape - excellent

20/10/15: 6lb 0oz - the year's best so far, which gave a very hesitant bite and then exloded from the water on the strike. This one put up a monumental fight in fairly snag-free water in an enclosed inlet, using its weight and power to deliver a seemingly endless barrage of hammering runs, pulling the rod tip right over each time it lunged for the channel. The relief when it was finally in the net was enormous

19/10/15: 5lb 12oz, the year's largest, for a day. A large boil to my left caused me to change my fishing poistion for a short while, but nothing came of that. I returned the float to the groundbaited area, and soon had a very slow bite developing. After a tense wait, the float finally slid away, and I thumped into something substantial. Maybe confused, or maybe falsely secure in its surroundings, it ploughed about almost lazily amongst some bladder wrack close to the bank, and I was worried that it might become snagged. I managed to steer it into open water, at which point it tore off a worrying amount of line and went much deeper, out towards the main channel. After a good deal of heaving, it was back in close, again trying for the weeds, so I elected for a change of position and tried to steer it into a small bay. That was largely unsuccesssful - still too close to the weeds, so it kept heading insistently in that direction. The next plan was to steer it into a weed-free channel that was just filling with water, but this failed miserably, as there was more water than it seemed, and the fish just tore off down the channel. After much more uncomfortable heaving, I managed to get it back into open water, and now tired, it succumbed to steady pressure and came within range of the net. Another memorable fight, and my largest fish from that side of the river, so far

10/10/15: 2lb 14oz - not quite a '3', but no-one told the fish, which put up a truly great fight, for a young 'un

03/10/15: 3lb 2oz, 3lb 0oz - the earlier fish was from a new location, and the second was the 200th since restarting mullet fishing in 2011 - a very satisfying milestone

27/09/15: 3lb 12oz, 2lb 8oz - both from locations where I've caught no mullet previously - a good day

26/09/15: 3lb 10oz - I thought what looked like a breaking wavelet might just be a fish, and soon, I could see a mullet taking sinking bread. The float went in, paused for a short time, then rocketed away - the start of a surprisingly lengthy fight with a very determined fish.

23/09/15: 2lb 3oz, again arrived a long time after defeat had been acknowledged

21/09/15: 3lb 5oz - showed up when all hope of a mullet had long been extinguished - very welcome, after it failed in repeated determined attempts to get under the pontoons

12/09/15: 4lb 5oz, 2lb 0oz golden-grey and 3lb 5oz, from three separate locations - a really enjoyable day

05/09/15: 2lb 6oz golden-grey, first of the year

29/08/15: 5lb 10oz, third 'five' of the year and best fish of 2015, so far - turned up unexpectedly on a day when nothing seemed to be going right, and after a bit of drama, all was suddenly very good again. Now confirmed, this was the largest mullet caught during the three days of the NMC National Rover competition which ran over the Bank Holiday weekend of Sat 29th / Sun 30th / Mon 31st of August.

28/08/15: 3lb 4oz, 2lb 13oz, 2lb 7oz - in that order. Getting smaller each time during August, but no complaints here

24/08/15: 4lb 2oz - another absolute soaking, but ultimately worth it, after a frantic fight with this chap in a fairly confined space

09/08/15: 4lb 10oz - hooked close to the hull of a barge, so inevitably, went straight under the barge... and under the next pontoon... Despite a horrible scraping sensation, the line miraculously didn't part, and after some really ugly heaving, the fish then snagged me on the nearest pontoon float. Negotiations continued, and after a change of position on my part, it was in open water again. The usual drama with the net, then all good

07/08/15: 4lb 12oz - after a plague of swimming dogs and totally selfish 'boat pilchards', an opportunistic lob at a surface feeding fish yielded an almost immediate take. This one fought hard and long, having taken a good amount of line at the outset. Despite the usual hazards, plus the fact that I'd not extended the landing net handle (amateur...), I eventually convinced it that enough was enough - total magic.

24/07/15: 3lb 5oz - after several downpours and a thorough soaking, things were not looking good until this chap showed up

21/07/15: 3lb 9oz - put up with the strong winds, choppy surface, tons of weed and lack of bites for almost as long as I was prepared to, then was very happy to bang into this hard-fighting chap - all good

19/07/15: 4lb 0oz - another day when it didn't look like 'happening', then this - thanks to ScottG for getting the net under it, when it really didn't want to go there

18/07/15: 5lb  6oz - the second 'five' of the year, also the best fish of 2015, so far, and 3lb  2oz

09/07/15: 1lb 6oz - after a gritty day with few opportunities, the float finally dipped, the water exploded ... well, not quite 'exploded', but he was certainly a bit cross, for a little fella...

04/07/15: 3lb 3oz - a pointless observation, this is the first fish caught on the 4th day of any month, the only day number previously unrewarded with a mullet

27/06/15: 2lb 12oz - same size as my first ever mullet, at Lostwithiel around 1973. Managed to coax this one close to the bank, then the scrap really started...

20/06/15: 2lb 5oz,  3lb 10oz, and 3lb 8oz - the last one fought like a demon - really scary stuff

06/06/15: 5lb 2oz - the first 'five' of the year, which really gave it 'large' in a confined space - more than a few truly heart-stopping moments before this one was on the bank

25/05/15: 4lb 4oz - a strong, lean fish, probably recently returned to the river after spawning - incredible power from that oversized tail

16/05/15: 4lb 3oz - took loads of line in open water, and needed some excessive heaving to get it back to the bank again - excellent

09/05/15: 4lb 12oz - another epic fight in an open location, and 1lb 13oz

03/05/15: 2lb 8oz - first of the year, and despite the strong winds and rain, it was a very good day.

 
Last updated 03.06.16