Mullet Fishing 2011: Review/2


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Some brief notes about tackle and baits:

  • Of the bread types most readily available at convenience stores and garages, Hovis soft white seems to stay on the hook well, and presents appealingly - when pinched, it still has a tendency to float. Mothers Pride also stays on well, and when pinched, tends to sink, even though it outwardly remains 'fluffy' - this offers advantages when not fishing the bait on the surface. I've noticed that Mothers Pride becomes very crumbly if it loses even a small amount of its moisture, which renders it useless as hook bait, so it needs to be protected from drying out. As an alternative hook bait, Warburtons is OK, too.

  • Kingsmill 50/50 is also a very good alternative hook bait, despite the fact it's not white

  • Kingsmill white is OK for groundbait, as is Sainsbury's 'Fresh For Longer', and also their 'economy' brand; both of the last two crumb up very well and seems to lose their 'doughiness' quite quickly

  • For long casting, some tiger bread crust with the flake still attached is excellent, and softens quickly in the water (thanks to expert carp angler Mark.F for this valuable tip)

  • Although I like to fish light, there are times when you need a large float to cast distances - a Drennan Middy Splash 'Em 10g is a good example

  • Of the hooks I've tried, Preston Innovations PR355 spade end match hooks in sizes 8, 10, and 12 have proven 100% reliable, although there will always be 'hook pulls', whatever you use

  • I'm unconvinced that line colour makes much difference, but diameter is certainly important. I've most recently been using Drennan 'double strength' and achieved good results, but there are several other very good low-diameter alternatives available. Fluorocarbon is worth a try, if a floating line is not needed

  • The ABU 706 closed-face reel has coped very well with being immersed in water and mud, although both the line pickup pin and winding cup have developed deep grooves caused by line abrasion. I've replaced the pick up pins a few times during the year, and despite some unintentional mistreatment, the reel is still running smoothly. The placement of the drag adjustment knob on the handle is more convenient than having a rear-mounted drag adjuster, like that found on a Shimano. I would also say that the degree of adjustment on the ABU is finer, and the one-handed line release operation is a bonus. Lacking a bail arm, there's no 'clunk' on line pickup, just a quiet click. The line never seems to loop off the spool, as sometimes happens with other fixed spool reels, and I have had very few 'line' issues at all - that said, I never normally backwind, which undoubtedly helps. On final point - click here to see the warning that appears on the box that the reel came in!!!!!

  • In contrast, I've trashed two Shimano match reels, which don't respond at all well to the mullet fishing environment. I really like using these, but although they still work, their formerly-silent operation has been replaced by a subtle grinding sound that just can't be good. I've stripped and rebuilt them, but I was unable to restore them to their former excellence; I may still have another go at fixing them - just how difficult can it be? Other than their distinct aversion to muddy water, these are excellent reels, and are a joy to use

  • The 10' fibreglass landing net handle and 40" net have served me well, although a 30" net would probably be OK, and I've just acquired one of those for 2012. I added a home-made float to the 'business end' part-way through the year, which helped matters enormously. For the last few visits, I've used a 10' carbon fibre pole, which is an improvement weight-wise, and compresses down to only 26". Unfortunately, this pole jams up once it gets some mud and water into it - I will try applying some low-friction coatings and see if I can overcome that

  • When using self-cocking Drennan floats with a plug-in that provides the ring for the line and the weight, I always super-glue these in place, as they very often pull out on the strike, or when playing a fish. The plug-in will often break if it strikes an object when casting, resulting in the loss of the useful part of the float

  • I keep any used night lights and paint these up to provide a variety of interchangeable float tips for different lighting conditions; the most useful colours for me seem to be fluorescent pink, black (some with white bands) and white

  • I drilled out some other floats to accept night lights - these were invaluable in low light

  • I didn't manage to catch any thin-lips on the spinners, although they would repeatedly follow the lure right up to the bank - I probably need to increase the length of line between the lure and the hook. The bass would take the lure OK, even when using artificial ragworm on the hook at times when I had no fresh bait. I will also be trying out a larger size of spinner, as recommended by some of the articles that I've read

    Last updated 24.07.20