Mullet Fishing 2018: Fishing Days
Latest: 02/11/18: 6/01 - a very good one to end on? Having fished from about 08:30 without a bite, and with no signs of mullet, I was at the fourth location of the day by 15:00, where I only stopped to fish because I thought I saw the grey shapes of a few fish lying in the shallows, just beyond the weeds. It was 35 minutes later, at 15:35, when the float dived away, and the bite was missed spectacularly. The next bite came 15 minutes later, at 15:50, again missed. I was probably contemplating calling a halt to proceedings when the next bite came, at 16:25. This time, I was firmly into what felt like weed or the bottom, then everything went sideways... Heading towards the main channel was a very powerful mullet, with both the size and strength to give me a right pasting, and for I while, I was doing little more than just hanging on. With a dense band of bladder wrack along the shoreline in front of me, I was reluctant to draw the fish directly towards me, so I opted to net it in a nearby channel that was starting to fill as the tide continued to rise. Remembering the idiocy that ensued when I did the same with a similar fish a few years ago, I was relieved, after a few fraught turns around the dance floor, when I put the net under it. A beautiful fish, which I sincerely hope was able to evade the ring net being laid nearby as the darkness descended.
29/10/18: 4/04 - first mullet from a location that's caught my attention on many occasions, but which I've never given a proper go; pretty pleased with this one.
17/10/18: 1/07, 4/09 - instead of tearing off towards Portsmouth, this one elected to begin its assault on my equipment in the shallows over a submerged concrete apron - probably in water no more than 2' deep. This was fairly unnerving, and I was a lot happier when it surged into open water. This improvement was fairly short lived, as it turned its attention to the shoreline bladder wrack, and went from one snag to another, directly under the rod tip. In the end, I scooped it up with a significant amount of weed adorning the net head.
11/10/18: 4/14- during nearly every tide fished at this venue, there has been a large fish, maybe two, cruising by the upstream corner of the same pontoon, but always very briefly. It / they have usually taken two or three swipes at the floating bread, and have given me the occasional very fast bite, but I've consistently failed to get a hookup - until this session. Float dipped, banged into something nasty, and immediately piled on, turning it away from the snags. More heaving and holding, and the hook hold remained solid. After a lengthy disagreement, very happy to have it in front of the camera.
03/10/18: 1/14, 4/15 - from the off, this one gave me the sort of spanking where the involvement of some spike-heeled leather boots wouldn't have seemed out of place. Hooked near the corner of an obstruction, it did the inevitable and went behind it, and a quick (yeah, right...) dash across the shoreline was called for, to maintain line-of-sight contact. That didn't go so well, and twice, everything went a bit solid... Anyway, the mullet gods must've been smiling, as each time, with a bit of slack line offered, we were back on again. After possibly the most heaving I've ever dared to dish out, the fish suddenly boiled over the end of a nearby slipway, and was soon heaved (again) onto the weedy sloping surface. Looked huge, and had to weigh it twice - couldn't believe the scales, but totally chuffed with this one. Almost forgot to mention that the hook came out alarmingly easily - just glad it did that on the bank.
24/09/18: 5/02 - saw a fish cruising fifty or so yards down the shoreline, and set off in pursuit. It took a few pieces of floating bread, then the float buried as it tucked into the sunk hookbait. To avoid the inevitable sharp left turn around the back of a pontoon, there was a need for some assertiveness, and after the usual uncomfortable tug-of-desperation phase, the fish repeatedly lunged back towards the snags until we were both exhausted - the fish physically, and me with shredded nerves.
12/09/18: 4/15 - there were several fish cruising in the shallows on arrival, causing very little disturbance as they took my first offerings of floating bread. Difficult to guess how they large they might have been, until the hook struck home and the rod arched over alarmingly. No denying it, this one was a right lump, absolutely brutal (again), and the fight was a prolonged war of attrition, eventually ending with a photo of me grinning widely, hidden behind the fish, of course.... a proper 'pie-eater'
07/09/18: 2/09 golden-grey
30/08/18: 5/10 - after watching this one for some considerable time as it cruised purposefully from one piece of floating bread to the next, and so on, I actually saw it take my sinking bait, and waited for the float to move, which then just didn't. While I was wondering what to do next, there was suddenly no float, and I struck into something interesting. After a dogged fight which took me very close to losing it under Sydney harbour bridge (!) and then narrowly missing an excellent opportunity to get it wrapped round an open-water yacht-related buoy of some description, everything went a bit solid and I thought I was snagged. Thankfully, the fish was soon on the move again, so I guess it just stopped for a bit to catch its breath. One of those times when I was more than relieved to see it in the net at the first half-chance (thanks Keith, again).
21/08/18: 2/15 - this one was carrying an unwanted passenger, a disgusting louse-like parasite, which I removed. The scales seemed determined to settle on 3/00, but ultimately, returned a verdict of 2/15 - should have weighed it with the parasite still attached, maybe just enough to tip the balance (no, not really)
08/08/18: 4/00, 1/06 - when the 4/00 took the bait, I quickly realised I'd hooked a hot one, and it gave me a right spanking for a while - at least I managed to keep it away from the pontoons. After a protracted disagreement regarding who was having all the line, I was more than usually grateful when (s)he obligingly hopped into the net (yeah, right, that's exactly what happened...)
27/07/18: 3/07, 2/01 & 4/09 - a couple hooked up against a pontoon, the first of which required an uncomfortable total lack of compromise on my part. Finally, another in amongst the floating weeds, which presented a whole new set of problems, not least because of its size, inertia and extremely poor attitude towards being hooked
25/07/18: 2/01 - struggled all day, maybe due to the heat, clear water and bright conditions, but magicked one up in the end ☥
20/07/18: 3/07, 1/12, 0/12, 1/03, 1/00 & 4/00 - a really good day to be out, despite the heat. Started off with a hard-fighting fish in a ridiculously weedy swim, and finished with an absolutely brutal four pounder that gave me all sorts of grief. On release, unfazed by the whole experience, it surged away to put on a kilt and kill Austin Powers...
16/07/18: 0/14 - a small one on the leger
10/07/18: 1/13, plus a couple of small ones. Phil Watters landed a lively 1/11 and later, a determinedly hard-fighting 3/06 to round off a day that just got better as it went along. Earlier in the session, plagued by gilt-head bream and the odd bass, a few smaller mullet provided an enjoyable prelude to what was to come
09/07/18: 3/10 - a strong fish that was only going in one direction and wasn't to be persuaded otherwise
07/07/18: 1/11 thinlip - my first, and now looking forward to the next
30/06/18: 4/02, 1/06 - at last, a good fish in open water, but having struggled with weed all day, this was the moment when there wasn't even a scrap of it to wrap conveniently around the snout of this dogged fighter... had to do it the hard way, with the net in full sight of the fish...
15/06/18: 4/11 - rod on full lock, fish heading off somewhere towards Portsmouth, a bit more pressure and a loud crack... rod broke about 2' down from the tip, but thankfully, didn't shred the line. Feeling abashed, I'm sure, the fish eventually consented to being netted and endured the obligatory photo. Tip must've incurred some past damage, and this was the day it decided to let go...
30/05/18: small mullet
30/05/18: 1/08, 0/14, 1/14, 1/03 & 3/09 - a thoroughly enjoyable day, punctuated by several small mullet, each of which made every effort to throw the hook and evade the net. Towards the end of the session, hooked something a bit larger, which nearly did a job on me around some wooden supports. Many thanks to KeithG for sticking a net under it, when the opportunity presented itself. The fish seemed a bit worse for wear, with a band of damage around its flanks and a tear, still healing, on one side. At first, this was suggestive of it having escaped a net, maybe, but closer examination shows a 'V'-shaped mark on the torn flank, with 'pinch marks' at the lower edge, behind the pelvic~ and in front of the anal fins. Despite its scars, it fought no less determinedly than is expected of a fish this size, and gave me a few nasty moments, suggesting that these are a hardy fish which can recover from significant injury and adversity. Superb.
29/05/18: 2/05 golden-grey
26/05/18: 4/05 - a hot bright day and every venue was packed with folks enjoying the sun. Revisited a long-neglected location where the disgusting mud deters other river users, and was surprised to see some cruising fish on arrival. Eventually presented a bait that they didn't think was just a joke, and a hooked fish erupted from the water. That was pretty much the last I saw of it for a while, as it ran 'deep' (in only a few feet of water) and went off to inspect the anti-fouling on the boat hulls. Some horrible heaving ensued, and it was back in the open, but still staying down. After a bit of give and take in close, it finally surfaced, and after an almost embarrassing number of attempts, it was in the net. Pretty chuffed with this one, on a day that any capture was looking increasingly unlikely.
17/05/18: 4/12 - no signs of any fish at all, then no float either. Not sure what I'd hooked at first - felt-quite mild-mannered, which should have been the clue, the average bass being incapable of such deception. Probably made the mistake of trying to bring it towards me, which made its mind up about its predicament and sent it properly 'off on one'. There were the usual nasty moments when it looked like I might be taking on the pontoons as well, and a real surge of power at one point, when I got it too close to the net. Ridiculously pleased with this one.
04/05/18: 2/12 - a long and fruitless day, with only two fish seen and no positive ID, then there was the absolutely merest suggestion of something odd in the surface flow, and the fireworks started. After launching itself half way out of the water, twice, this one thrashed about in an almost terrifying fashion, and I was sure it would shed the hook. It's good being wrong sometimes, and we posed for a photo together, before the fish swam away calmly with its fins gently breaking the surface, as if nothing had happened. Magic.
26/04/18: 1/05 - one to invite back for a rematch in about 10 years, maybe.
23/04/18: 3/08 - a strong and determined fish that put a proper shine on the day. Thought it had spat the hook when the compression went out of the rod suddenly, but it had just changed tack and darted towards me. If only it had helpfully continued in that direction... Very glad to see it in the net.
15/04/18: 1/12 golden-grey; unexpected, and very glad to be up and running.
|Last updated 24.07.20|