Mullet Fishing 2013: Review


When the weather started to get very cold, I took the time to look back at 2013, which had turned into a totally excellent year of mullet fishing.

Highs and lows     (in no particular order)

  • Very cold weather at the beginning of the year delayed the start of fishing until early May. Despite that, I was able to start catching mullet earlier in the year than in 2012, on 06/05/13, including a hard-fighting 4lb 4oz fish in the cold morning fog

  • I was pleased to be able to spend much more time fishing this year, overall

  • For the most part, the frequent winds of 2012 were not repeated, and there were many wonderfully calm days to be enjoyed

  • Despite occasional rain, there were no real periods where the river water was coloured, and so fishing was not interrupted in the manner we had seen during 2012

  • Caught my final mullet of 2013 at a later date than in the previous two years, on 16/11/13

  • Caught many more mullet than in 2012, by a very good margin - more than double the number, in fact

  • Achieved only some of the key objectives set

  • The proportional number of successful trips was a distinct increase over that achieved in 2012

  • Caught more fish at each venue than in 2012

  • Caught more mullet per month, for every month, than in 2012

  • Improved upon the ratio of fish caught to trips by 18%

  • Landed a higher percentage of the mullet hooked, but only by 3%

  • Didn't manage to catch another 6lb+ mullet; the closest was a fish of 5lb 8oz, and this was at its optimum weight already

  • Landed several fish over 5lb, plus some welcome 4lb+ mullet, and a very good number of '3s'

  • All fish were released safely and successfully

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

  • Caught mullet at another new venue, which fished erratically, but produced two of the three largest fish of the year

  • Was catching consistently at several of this year's primary venues

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

  • With increased knowledge, was able to catch fish during states of the tide which were previously unproductive, also in areas that have not yielded fish in the past

  • Still haven't revisited all of the targeted venues - to be continued in 2014

  • Only ended up totally stuck in the mud twice, but on both occasions, these were very far from enjoyable moments

Other Notes

This year I've used two rods (but only one at a time); the Drennan Power Carp Waggler has been invaluable when fishing in confined spaces or near to the boats and pontoons, but I've also occasionally used the lighter Drennan Specimen Float rod, and especially where there is some open water. Looking back at my stats, I've again experienced statistically fewer hook pulls and have enjoyed much more control when playing the larger fish.

With regard to reels, on most occasions, I've used the ABU 506 Mark II, which has been excellent, apart from the worrying wear caused by the line - again on the pickup pin and winding cup. When using the Shimano match reels, I've set the disappointingly 'all or nothing' drag to a light setting, and have controlled the fish by applying pressure to the spool with a finger. For next year, I'm considering replacing the drag spring with a lighter one, and hopefully this will allow the line to release more progressively.

Lack of ability to catch fish at a couple of venues has meant some modifications to last years' methods for those particular circumstances, and this has eventually resulted in some fish being caught that otherwise would not have been.

Other than that, I've made only minor adjustments to the methods that worked in 2012 - these have continued to produce good results in 2013.

Like 2012, 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 very few signs of them as the year progressed.

There are a couple of venues where the swans have been better-behaved, which has led to less stress and increased enjoyment - a couple of the male swans appear almost 'co-operative' in the way they interact, unlike their partners and their young...

So, for now, I'm enjoying the many mornings where the alarm doesn't have to be set for such ridiculously early starts, whilst at the same time truly dreading so many months without the special thrill of mullet fishing - the excitement of the mullet's violent head shaking when it first realises that it's been hooked, and those hammering surges towards the pontoons...

Last updated 24.07.20