Mullet Fishing 2012: Review/1


As the weather had been extremely unhelpful in late October and there was too much colour in the river, I took some time to look back over 2012, which yielded many more than a few truly memorable mullet fishing moments.

Highs and lows     (in no particular order)

  • The excellent conditions in March allowed a very early and enjoyable start, even though no mullet were landed

  • I was able to start catching mullet much earlier in the year

  • Caught more mullet than last year, by a good margin

  • Landed several fish over 5lb, the largest at 5lb 8oz, plus some good 4lb+ mullet

  • All fish were released safely and successfully

  • I was engaged in a number of epic fights, most of which ended well

  • Achieved most of the key objectives set

  • Caught mullet at two new venues

  • Was catching consistently at this year's primary venue

  • Continued to develop knowledge of the most productive states of the tide that can be fished

  • Still caught no blasted swans ;)

  • Still haven't revisited all of the targeted venues - to be continued in 2013

  • Didn't manage to catch another 6lb+ mullet; the best contender was a extremely lean 5lb 5oz fish early in the season - whilst not the largest of 2012, it would probably have bulked up and topped the 6lb mark later in the year

  • Only ended up totally stuck in the mud once, although that was far from a good moment

  • The most productive venue in 2011 didn't fish at all well in 2012, sadly

  • Due to other unavoidable circumstances, I was unable to fish as often as I would otherwise have expected

  • In addition, the weather during April and most of May was truly miserable, and fishing opportunities were non-existent

  • Poor weather in the latter part of October added colour to the river again, significantly curtailing late-season opportunities

    Other Notes

    This season further served to emphasise that no two days carry the same expectations; almost identical conditions in terms of weather, tides and times of day produced surprisingly different patterns of fish activity and yielded very different results. That said, it has become easier by venue to predict the most productive times and to recognise when any success might be distinctly unlikely

    One of the things I've missed this year which was a very prominent feature of 2011 has been the frequent and sometimes alarming crashes of large fish breaking the surface, often when taking floating bread. There have certainly been times when fish have been feeding enthusiastically for short periods, again punctuated by dramatic splashes and swirls, but these have been fewer - in fact, signs of fish activity have generally been more sparse. Does this mean that there have been fewer fish, or is this in some other way an effect caused by the poor weather after the 'false start' in March?

    Like last year, there were a good number of thin lipped grey mullet very visible at some of the venues early in the season, although I've seen no further sign of them as the year progressed

    I still haven't found a reliable way of deterring the swans that works at all times - I'm constrained by the fact that I don't want to harm them in any way, before anyone sends me an email suggesting a shotgun...   ;)

    The largest change in approach during 2012 has been the rod - I've elected for the more powerful Drennan Power Carp Waggler this year, and this has served me extremely well. Looking back at my stats, I've experienced proportionally fewer hook pulls and have felt much more in control when playing the larger fish. When they have lunged determinedly for the boats, ropes and pontoons, I've sometimes had to lean on them quite hard, and for the most part, I've been successful in turning or holding them. Once I've brought the fish in close, it's been easier to prevent them gaining too much line when they 'go hard' again.

    Fishing close to the pontoons brings its own problems, one of which is the number of floats that have broken at the slightest contact. I've found particularly that the weight-carrying inserts on the self-shotting Drennan floats are very brittle, so I've been trying alternatives. Similarly, their balsa-bodied floats are prone to breakage, so I've been drilling those out to incorporate thin plastic or wooden inserts, to strengthen them; this has been fairly successful.

    Other than that, I've made only minor adjustments to the methods that worked in 2011 - these have continued to produce good results in 2012

    I had been hoping for a few more opportunities in November, but those didn't materialise. Planning ahead for 2013 - can't wait for those first warm days and the anticipation of that solid thump as the hook sets ...

    Last updated 03.06.16