William Powell Country

Mulling Over Mullet


Article written by 09 August 2012

Mullet have always been a bit of an enigma to me. I grew up reading how difficult they are to catch, and during my younger years used to spot them off the side of my grandfather’s sailing boat. This was in the Blackwater estuary, where you can barely see your feet when paddling and the river system is really devoid of the type of harbours and marinas that one can see the fish gathering in all along the south coast.

So they were never a fish I hunted when young, not really knowing where to find them. Over the years of course I have caught the odd fish on holiday in ports and so on, but more often than not have been over gunned, with spinning rods and thick line, not the dainty float fishing tackle so often promoted for this game.

Probably the most successful mullet trip I have had was when Mr Cox and I were catching fish at 4 in the morning in Porto Banus, stood in between strip joints and bars, with a telescopic toy rod and using kebab for bait. In fact, if memory serves me right (which isn’t a given, considering this was a half hour interlude on a stag do), I landed a rather nice bass on this set up.

I was down on the south coast this weekend, walking along a river mouth next to the sea. This was part of my relocation settlement by my girlfriend, trying her heart out to find me some fishing to make me feel at home outside of Essex. After some high level due diligence on the internet at work over the week, it looked like I would be in for a treat – the tides looked about right for some bass to be charging around during the time we were heading down.

Not so. There was no water to fish in the river mouth and it looked like it would be a number of hours before there was anything worth fishing at. The girlfriend was getting cold and the dog misbehaving (never seen it bite a Patterdale before, but he had a pretty fierce go!)

In the distance further up the river, I started seeing rings on the water. Getting up there I spotted a huge bough wave. If it was only one fish, it was definitely a good one. Other fish were nymphing all over the shop. I was fairly sure they were mullet, but being solely equipped with a bright pink rubber eel and a big heavy rubber shad, I had a pessimistic cast.

Sorry but I’m not going to provide a surprise story here. Nothing took. In fact, on the first cast, which was perfectly placed just past where the fish were showing, the shad sent them scattering all over the place.

I’m going to head back though, this time with a fly rod and nymph of some sort, and of course a float rod in case this doesn’t work out for me. I’m owed a mullet or two.

William Church

Born and raised in the Essex countryside, will has been fishing since the age of 7. He has a particular love of fly fishing in rivers, however is not averse to using just about any method for any fish in any water where there’s.. Read more.

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