The good old mullet
  |  First Published: March 2008

This month’s story is on mullet. There are many ways to fish for mullet using either cast nets, drag nets or on a fishing line. On a line you have to use a float with a small hook very similar to how you would rig up for gar. We have also caught them on worms in the surf.

The way we prefer to catch them is by using a cast net and a drag net. When using a cast net you need to look around for schools of them and sneak up and throw your net over the top of them. They often will lie in the shallow sand banks in schools in quite warm water.

Using a drag net is a lot easier. When you get to the spot you’re going to net them, we find putting a bit of bread in the water will bring them into a smaller area and make it easier to net them. When cast netting or drag netting you will catch other fish as well. We have caught other fish like flathead, bream, whiting, gar, crabs and luderick. Something you have got to watch out for are things like bull routes and stonefish.

We have found that with the mullet you can use every bit of the fish for something. The fillets are great to eat if they are looked after and eaten fresh. We are told that they are full of omega three oils that are very good for you.

The fillets are also great for bait with nearly every species of fish eating them. When you freeze them it is best to try and look after them and lay them flat so you can take a fillet at a time out of the bag rather then thawing out the whole lot. Snap seal bags are best for this.

The row from the female mullet is very nice to eat either fried or smoked.

The mullet gut is used for bait mainly for bream but can be used for other fish as well. The frames that are left after they are filleted and the gut removed is probably one of the best crab baits you can get. They are an oily fish so the oil filters through the water and attracts fish and crabs.

So, it seems that the old mullet is probably one of the most versatile fish around the beaches and the estuaries.

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