The Best Times to Catch a School of Mullet

by Rona Aquino
Catch mullet on your own instead of purchasing from fish markets.

Catch mullet on your own instead of purchasing from fish markets.

Mullet swim throughout coastal waters in tropical areas and warm, temperate regions. According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, mullet can reach up to 47 inches and weigh up to almost 18 pounds. Mullet mature in about three years at a length of 8 to 12 inches and continue to grow at a rate of 1 to 2.5 inches annually. Prepare your fishing gear and cast for mullet during the most opportune times to increase your catch rate.


Mullet, also known as striped mullet, are coastal species that also inhabit estuaries and bodies of freshwater. Mullet tend to leap out of the water a lot -- possibly to avoid predators -- according to the museum. They may also leap to clear their gills and to reach higher levels of oxygen. Characteristics of mullet include a small mouth, blunt nose, elongated body and short pectoral fins. The body has colors of grayish olive, grayish brown and tints of blue and olive-green with sides that fade to silver toward the belly.


You can catch mullet in a variety of conditions including in clear and calm waters or in rough tides and surf. Mullet are catadromous; that is, they spawn in ocean water but mostly stay in fresh water. The winter season is the time to go mullet fishing in offshore, ocean waters. You should fish in jetties, estuary creeks, harbors and piers during the rest of the year.

Time Frame

The most opportune time to cast for mullet is early morning, when the flooding tide rises at dawn. The lack of crowd and noise encourages the fish to forage around piers, jetties and estuary creeks. When fishing in harbors, search in tides with high waters and expect the mullet to swim away as the water depth starts to shallow. Mullet prefer to congregate in deeper harbors during the early mornings.


Use baits like bread flakes, pieces of worms, skinless mackerel meat, cheese paste, cat food, and corn and sausage bits. Put the baits in a mesh bag, lower the bag into the water and allow the bait to attract the fish to feed near you. Opt for 11-foot soft-tipped rods with fixed-spool reels that can hold up to 200 yards of 6-pound line, especially when mullet fishing in estuary creeks.

About the Author

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images