By CAPT GENE ZAMBA
Right after Thanksgiving every year the waters around the Gulf Coast of Florida are invaded with big Mullet and it’s one of the best times of the year to drag out the 8wt and head for the backwaters and residential cannels. Mullet on a fly is very exciting and they are as fast as Bonefish. The problem is that a lot of people don’t know that you can catch these speedsters on a fly. The fact is that Fly fishers in England and Africa have been doing this for years.
As we all know locating Mullet is very easy. They school up and move around on the surface of the water in big numbers in the fall. If you can’t find them that way just look for jumping Mullet. If you see them just kind of “flip on their side” out of the water about six inches that means there is a ton of Mullet under it. If they jump real high there is probably only a small amount of Mullet in that area. I don’t think anyone knows why they jump and there are a lot articles out there that have all kinds of scientific theories. But I have no clue why they jump so much.
Now getting close to a school without spooking them will be your biggest challenge. If you get yourself in the path that the school is traveling, like in a residential canal. Anchor up and let them come to you. If you spook them they will go right into a defense mode and not eat anything. So stealth is your biggest weapon.
There are only 2 flies I use. If I am in the backwaters and I know that there is some fresh water run off somewhere. I use a San Juan worm. If you don’t know what that is it’s simply a red pipe cleaner tied onto a small hook. They are easy to tie and not very expensive. They work well on any fresh water fish like Brim and Bass as well.
Another good fly is a small Crazy Charley Sand Flee on a #4 to 8 hook.
Getting the Fly out in front of the traveling school is not very hard to do. If you can cast 50 feet you wont have a problem. Get the fly out front of the school. Don’t cast over them. They are very line shy and will spook with the line shadow. When you get the fly out front of them just let the fly sit there without stripping it at all. This will produce a hit. After all how many fast moving worms you see moving through the water?
When you feel the hit don’t set the hook, just let the Mullet take it. When you feel the rod start to load up makes sure your line is free because all heck is about break lose. They will really surprise you with a burst of speed much like a Bonefish.
Give it a try. You will be more then happy with the fight a Mullet will give you and their not bad table fare ether.
Tight lines and Good fishing!
Capt Gene Zamba