I was walking Storm along the banks of an estuary close to where I live on Saturday afternoon. The sun was shining, it felt warm and I was actually wearing shorts for the first time this year in the UK - absolutely glorious, and where I tend to walk a lot of the time I see not another soul about. Peace and quiet are valuable commodities in this day and age are they not ? (And by the way, these photos are not from Sunday).
I saw stacks of mullet milling around virtually every single place I went looking. I reckon I saw a few fish nudging the 5lb mark, and even though I saw a couple of mullet swirling around about a month or so ago, it was only on Saturday that I saw serious numbers for the first time this year. Those mud flats must have warmed up nicely as the tide flooded in over them for a high tide of around 2pm I think it was. Mullet love this and I can't think of many things more exciting to an angler than being able to watch fish so closely. I love it.
I went back on Sunday afternoon for a go at them. Dusted down the mullet gear, bought a few loaves of sliced white bread, grabbed the Costas and headed down there - to find the wind in my face and some very tricky light for spotting them. How different to Saturday, but I got a few fish feeding and managed to catch a couple of mullet up to maybe 3lbs or so - with the odd missed bite and resulting cursing to the heavens of course !! I can still do it - catching mullet or losing my temper at them ? Huge fun and I simply need to get out and do more of this mullet fishing like I used to.
Anyway, while I was fishing I started to wonder if some of these ultra-light lure rods that are gaining in popularity for LRF fishing could actually prove to be useful for mullet fishing. I can't pretend that I have much interest in LRF fishing myself, but I love the fact that it exists and I think anything that gets more people out fishing and catching fish is a very good thing. But how about some of the gear for mullet fishing ?
I haven't picked up many LRF-type rods in the Art of Fishing and Lure Heaven tackle shops down here, but for some reason I got to thinking whether perhaps the slightly "heavier" rods that are rated up to say 10g perhaps might be worth looking at for mullet fishing. As with lure fishing and wanting options, with mullet fishing I used to use (and did so on Sunday) barbel or feeder-type freshwater rods to cope with freelining, floatfishing, ledgering and surface fishing with bubble-floats, carp-controllers etc.
Would the "heavier" end of the LRF lure rod spectrum deal with this kind of fishing ? Sure, I could just as easily go back to my barbel or feeder-type rods, but crumbs do they now feel unwieldy when compared to the lure rods I fish with. I know that I simply don't need a really long rod for mullet fishing and I think I would feel comfortable with a rod in the region of say 8'-10' - but of course I won't know until I try one out.
I don't reckon there should be a problem with these rods not coping with the mullet themselves, for that I believe is down to the angler and how they fight their fish. Any added feel/sensitivity I might get from a rod like this could only be a good thing, but I can see a potential frustration at possibly not being able to bang out a bubble-float and bit of bread out a long way if needs be, and perhaps this is where the power of a barbel or feeder-type rod might actually prove to be of more use.
Perhaps I just need to go looking for a more modern and up to date barbel, feeder or even a "commercial water" freshwater rod. I have seen a few in the Shimano catalogue for example that can be used at different lengths, say 9' or 11', and from the weight ratings they might be worth having a look at. The one I have had for years now is 12' long and to be honest it now feels just too long. Do any of you have any experience of chasing thick lipped mullet with light lure rods, or am I barking up the wrong tree even thinking about it ?