Finger Mullet as Bait

Finger mullet are a seasonal estuarial visitor.  Brackish water areas come alive with schooling finger mullet as hot summer days settle in.  This creates a feeding bonanza for many fish species like sea trout, redfish, stripes, and flounder.

Finger mullet can easily be caught with the use of a cast net by strolling along the shoreline or slowly wading shallow sandy bottom waters.  Look for signs of surface disturbances and the mullet jumping.  Also, take advantage of the sunlight to sight the finger mullet swimming just below the surface but keep in mind they are very skittish and will flee at any sudden movement.  Since mullet are fast swimmers often they leave a tiny wake indicating the direction they are headed, casting the net ahead of this wake should prove productive.

Finger mullet require clean water to survive in a live well or bucket.  If fishing from a boat with a live well, keep the water fresh and aerated.  If fishing off the shoreline or in a boat without an aerator simply use a Frabill Flow-Troll minnow bucket with holes that will allow water to flow through.  By setting the bucket in the water the natural flow of the currents will keep the mullet alive.

finger mullets



A bottom fishing rig works very good when using finger mullet for bait.  If the mullet are no more than three to four inches in length, a 2/0 hook should work adequately.  If fishing from a boat, a pier, or bridge use an egg sinker one to three ounces, cast out so the current will keep the line taut.  If casting into a cross current, such as when fishing from the shoreline, use a more traditional rig with a pyramid sinker.  The pyramid sinker is harder for the current to move than the round egg sinker.  The pyramid sinker may need to be a little heavier to help hold it in place.

The finger mullet should be hooked through the lips or though the eyes (which is even better), the trick is to keep the mullet alive allowing it to move naturally.  The finger mullet can also be hooked in the tail especially if a float is used to free line the bait.

live mullet rigs



Fishing finger mullet on or near the bottom can be very productive for a wide range of predatory fish and half the fun can be in catching what is needed for bait.  So when these mullet are in, don’t spend money buying some other bait, catch what you need and have fun.  Here one more tip, freeze any leftover mullet you may have at the end of the day and use them as cut bait on a trotline later.  Cut mullet is excellent catfish bait.

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