If you are lucky enough to have mullet grace your waters, then you’re in for a real treat, not only for catching, but they are excellent smoked, or fried if you prefer.
Most people enjoy catching mullet with a large, heavy mullet net that they have to cast out time and time again. I’ve owned a mullet net and have found that it’s not only a little heavy from all those weights to make it sink faster, but it’s tiring throwing to schools when they are spotted close enough to cast to. So, how to catch mullet without a net may be just what you’re looking for.
How to catch mullet without a net takes a lot of patience and the right rigging. I use a 17 lb. Leader about as long as I can stretch my arms. Then I tie a loop at the top end so I can attach it to my main line with a swivel when ready. For a main line I’ve tried a variety of sizes and have found that anything above 15 lb. is workable. Below that line weight you really risk breaking off when you try and set the hook.
For a complete rig, I take an up eye octopus #4 hook with eye facing toward the loop and I run it up the leader until it’s about 12″ or so from the loop. I find the best hook tie is right on the shank since you need the line below to tie additional hooks. And I repeat this process at least 4 or 5 more times, spacing the hooks about 6″ apart.
Once the rig is complete, I cut up a white Zoom plastic trick worm and make sure it covers the hook barb completely. Normally I’ll cut the worm into small pieces up to ¼” thick.
Why so careful you ask? Well, since mullet and tilapia are normally vegetarians, they will only suck in that little plastic worm for a very short time, and if you’re not hanging on to your pole, you have no chance of hooking them. By the time you blink twice, they have already spit it out!
When all hooks are tied on the leader, I then make another loop at the bottom end for my sinker. And speaking of sinkers, as a general rule of thumb, I use a ½ oz. sinker if the winds are light, a ¾ oz. when it’s a little windy, and a 1 oz. when it’s really blowing.
I use this type rig exclusively for mullet and tilapia since I do catch plenty of both most of the time.
For a pole, you can use what you prefer. I’ve seen many people catch mullet and tilapia with a regular 12-16′ cane or fiberglass and do just fine.
OK, now for the secret recipe that many mullet fishermen already know. You will need some chum to get their attention.
For chum I take a gallon Ziploc bag, fill it with rolled oats, add about ¼ cup garlic powder and shake it up. Then, when I’m ready to fish, I just put enough water in the oatmeal and mix it up until I can make a ball in my hand. Then I just toss it out and put my previously tied rig just a few feet beyond where the chum landed.
Now you just sit back, relax and just wait for the first bite. It will be a very quick jerk and that’s it!
Should you choose to learn how to catch a mullet without a net, you’ll find this fish, along with the larger tilapia, some of the fiercest fighters you’ve ever seen. Not to mention a very tasty table fare. I prefer smoking them with a good rub… yummy!