Grey Mullet are a challenge especially so on the Fly. Jeff Pearce shares his success with the bonefish of Britain.
Like many I imagine, I have caught Mullet on a float rig with ground baited bread since a child, as well as a few on a baited spoon. More recently perhaps over the past 10 years or so I have started fly fishing for bass. Transferring my 40 years of fly fishing experience to bass was relatively straight forward as long as I found the right location, not too difficult as I have been lure & bait fishing for them from shore and boat all of my life.
So two seasons ago I decided having seen Mullet at every bass venue I fish that they should be a target, armed with every blog on the subject and suitably tied Mullet flies I set out catch them, how difficult can it be to catch a Mullet on a fly!
No cheating, no bread flies or ground baiting, just getting amongst them using flies to imitate shrimps, invertebrates & seaweed flies… The first season resulted in lots of small Bass to 3lb, they love small flies in the shallows too, but not even a sniff from the cruising
Grey ghosts, they are just there to frustrate the life out of me! Last year I managed a bit better a decent fish over 5Lb but I was actually Bass fishing on the beach with small flies in the surf, can’t take this as success, so the quest continued, more
research more walking the river and beaches. Find them on the feed and you’ll be in, so the story goes, not so easy, searched everywhere for genuinely feeding Mullet.
Anyway, perseverance has paid off, I think I have cracked it, resulting in my first Mullet this season genuinely taken while fishing for Mullet as they fed on the beach with the incoming tide.
I had been watching the tides, weather and wind for days, I needed a reasonably good low tide to springs, an offshore breeze and nice weather, bingo the last two weeks have been good on more than one day.
I set out very optimistic as always when I go fishing, on the way its which fly shall I try, how many in the team, what combinations etc. I arrive at the beach, its glorious, sun is high in the sky although its relatively early and what a bonus, the carpark attendant isn’t ready so free parking it is.
I set up and then head out on the long walk to the low tide mark, I’m a little early, another 30 mins to low tide and maybe an hour before things start to liven up as they begin to move in and feed with the tide. I see huge shoals of Mullet just playing in the shallows, although I know,
they don’t take a fly unless they are feeding Im going to try anyway, irresistible to see fish up to 6Lb plus cruising flashing and jumping in the shallows just off the surf. Obviously no interest, I knew really as I presented my patterns time & time again, then the small schoolie Bass move into the shallows, I hook 3 at once, causes a right mess and puts paid to the non feeding Mullet. Lets fix the leader and wait for the tide!
The tide starts to flow along the beach the Mullet now start to get their heads down, turning into the current and things start to look promising, a couple of small plucks which I miss, are these mullet takes or more small Bass I ask myself, then it happens, I feel a pluck and instinctively lift the rod, everything goes tight & before I know it I’m down to the backing and I know Ive hooked a Mullet. 15 minutes later, this lovely bar of Ghost silver is on the sand beside me, it took my Glass bead head Diawl Bach with a red tag, many have said this is a good Mullet fly, I’m now convinced too.
Just one on this occasion but the number of plucks & misses suggest I’ve cracked it, maybe I should quit while i’m ahead, as I’m sure every Mullet taken naturally on the fly will still be a challenge, but a huge thrill with unbelievable satisfaction!