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Kayak Mullet Fishing feed

mullrt gleaming

Let’s Go Mullet Fishing…
First, let me thank you for considering spending time on the water with me as I show you the finer points of how and where to catch a mullet by cast net. The fishing is great and it seems to get better each year. I truly enjoy mullet fishing by kayak, and I think you will, too. As a matter of fact, I’m crazy about it! Allow me at this point to give a primer on what it is that I do, and that might help you decide that you’d like to book a charter with me. As far we can tell, few other companies along the northern Gulf Coast are offering to take people mullet fishing, and certainly none of those are offering to put you on a sit-on-top kayak and get you into the water!

Some ‘Mullet Man’ History
thowing a cast netAbout 10 years ago, while in my mid-40’s, some friends from the area invited me to go mullet fishing with them. When I was being shown the proper technique for casting a monofilament net in pursuit of the wily and conniving Mister Mullet, the fellow teaching me quickly walked me through the steps to “load” the net. But, he never bothered to tell me that if the net is not loaded properly – down to the smallest detail – it will not open once you heave it toward your target. So, I was left to load and reload this heavy beast of an eight foot net that felt heavier with each succeeding attempt. After a half a dozen attempts, I was pretty much spent.

Castnet Notes…
I’m going to show you, if necessary, how to hold, load and throw the net. I’ll also teach you what I know about care of a net. If you don’t have a net to use, I’ve got 6-, 7-, 8- and 10-foot nets to rent. I hope to show you the proper technique, and save you a lot of time and frustration! If you are like me, you might want to use a light-weight net. That’s what I have. A standard mullet net might just be too heavy for you, as it is for me. I am not all that broad at the shoulders. I did not grow up throwing a cast net. I am not much more than 5 feet 10 inches tall. So, after a lot of trial and error, I went to a custom net maker and asked if a light-weight net could be fashioned. I told my net maker that I was fishing most of the time in relatively shallow water – less than 24 inches deep. I asked if he thought a net with half the weights as normal would sink fast enough to allow for the net to still trap my scaly quarry before they had a chance to flee. He affirmed it would. So, I had him build a light-weight six footer, a light-weight seven footer and an equally weighted eight footer. They worked great. (My ten-footer is a beast!)

Chasing Down Mister Mullet
Alligator HarborSo, once we are in the water, we will be wading through the upper end of the Harbor, around the tidal pools, sand spits and oyster bars. First we will use kayaks to get to the areas where we fish. It will be about a 20 minute paddle from the place of our launch. Second, we will use the kayaks as our support vessels to ferry our coolers (one of which will hold your recently-caught mullet!), snacks and drinks. The kayaks are single-person only, so don’t ask to put a second person in with you! You can bring your own kayak, but make sure that it meets all Coast Guard rule
s and regs. Review those here. All of my supplied kayaks will be fitted out per the Coast Guard specifications.

So what I’ve just said is, we’re going to chase down Mister Mullet by wading through the channels and stalking him. We will also use certain pinch points in the bay to net him as he comes by us. We’ll use all our faculties to out-smart him, and, believe me, it won’t be easy! Most of the time, our adventures will last about 4 hours, but you should allow for more time, just in case the fishing or the circumstances demand. And, if you’d like, I’ll show you how to clean the fish when we return to the landing. (See the pricing down below).

Necessarily So….
You must certify that you can swim.

You much have a valid Florida fishing license. You can buy that here.

You are going to get muddy! It’s a real slog through some of the areas where we will be fishing. But in other areas, the going won't be so tough. The swallow bottom of the bay has sandy spots that are firm, muddy spots where you can sometimes sink to your knees, and everything in between!

No Guarantees
love.peace.mulletI catch fish 100% of the time, but that is NOT a guarantee. There are just too many things that can go wrong, but we’ll have a good time no matter what. And, I personally do not advocate catching more fish than you can eat. Mullet should be eaten fresh, so even though the limit for a recreational fisherman is 50 fish per boat, surely, you won’t want to try to push 50 mullet into a 48-quart cooler! So, what does that mean? Stop at about 10 fish each? I don’t know, you’ll have to tell me!

Tides & Weather
Apalachee Bay Tidal ChartThe tides are all-important. I watch the tide charts daily, and certain tides are better than others, and certain other tides are so bad, that you might as well not even try! All of the tidal information will factor into whether we go on any given day, or at any given time. (Current tides & weather conditions)

The weather can make or break a trip. It can instantly ruin a trip. And, I simply will not fish with thunder in the area. We are the tallest things out there on the water within a mile in any direction. This is such an important aspect of the trip that you must completely understand, that if I call off a trip, it will be because of your safety. We might also simply have a delay as a small thunder cloud moves through. If we have not yet left the landing, and if the weather closes in, I’ll give you a full refund. If we have fished for a while, but the trip must be truncated because of weather, a partial refund will be given based on actual time spent on the water.

Pricing
So what would an adventure like this be worth? $4000? How about only $400 for parties of up to 3 kayakers maximum which includes the kayak, coolers, drinks, snacks and ice?

Net rental, should you need, is $15 for the day.

An hour or so tutorial prior to leaving the launch on how to throw the net is an additional $40.

If you want me to clean ten or so fish once we get in, I’ll do so for an extra $20 which takes about 30 minutes. Let me know ahead of time, so I can have the proper equipment handy (knives, boards, water for rinsing, etc.).

And remember that sometimes we have to move around the harbor a bit to get the right technique to work for us. So, things might start slow, but we’ll hang with it and get to the right spots to throw our nets at some fish.

What Next?...
If all of this sounds like your kind of adventure, contact us and we will send you my full letter with complete details, passenger information and disclosures.

Let’s go catch some mullet!!

Peace, Love & Mullet,

 

 

Jeff Tilley

Jeff Tilley, mullet hunting guide