June & July Mullet

June and July are never the greatest fishing months for me, with loads of exam work on and precious few opportunities to get out. However I did manage to slip away a few times ...


On 7th June I headed down to Rosscarbery for a shortish session over lunchtime. It was a blustery day threatening rain, and as far as I could see in the choppy water there didn't seem to be many fish in residence. 


I set up on the grass and catapulted out a dozen small balls of groundbait in a tight pattern, supplemented each cast into the same area by another ball moulded round my leger weight . Often it's not possible to tell if this groundbaiting does much good, but today when I started to see mullet moving, after about an hour, it was right in the area I was baiting. Activity remained concentrated in the same area over the next couple of hours.


Soon after this activity started up, I began getting bites. First up a modest fish that threw the hook after a few seconds. No matter, as I was soon in again, and then again, with a couple of fish either side of 3lbs ...

A few minutes later my left hand rod pulled over more decisively and I found myself attached to an obviously weighty fish. It didn't run far but chugged around at range for a while and only came in very grudgingly. It started spotting with rain, ominously large drops, and as I slid the net under what looked a specimen mullet, the heavens opened. I left the fish in the net in the shallows, abandoned my rod, hastily erected the brolly and huddled beneath with Fern Collie as the rain lashed down.


My second rod must have been fishing at least half an hour and it was surprising the crust bait was still intact when, at just about peak rainfall, it pulled down hard in the rest and line started stripping off the spool. I grabbed the rod and played the fish as best I could from my seat under the brolly. It was a much livelier fish than the first and ran out strongly, kited left, ran out again, and finally kited in towards the edge to my right. Fortunately the rain had eased by now, so I emerged from shelter and beached the fish. It went 4:14, and the one waiting in the net was 5:04 ...

I got organised again, and soon had two baits back out in the groundbaited area where mullet were still showing from time to time. Soon I was into another good mullet that gave another protracted fight, the fish coming in quite easily but repeatedly surging out again. It was nearly ready for the net when the other rod pulled over ... not much I could do about that for now as I concentrated on getting the first fish in. With that one safely stowed in the net, I ran over to the other rod. The fish had gone way out but fortunately had not found a snag or picked up too much weed on the line. It kited over to the left then, as I brought it closer, it dived into the deep water in front of the bridge arch and spent ages there under the rod tip, banging away. After it surfaced, as my net was occupied, I had to lead it right round to the shallows to the right to beach it. It was a cracker of 6:01 and the other fish in the net was 5:09. Three-and-a-half hours, six mullet, three over specimen weight including a season best to date - what a great session.

Mullet always seem to find a way of bringing you back down to earth. On my next trip to Rosscarbery, in early July, I only managed one bite for the session, albeit a decent fish of 4:13. Next time down, even fewer mullet seemed to be present and again I managed just one bite, but the fish fell off half way in - it felt pretty middling anyway. Next time down, late July now, I lost a much bigger fish - something well over 5lbs and possibly over 6lbs - which I had on for seven or eight minutes till it came off near the net. Quite upsetting and that was also the only bite of the session apart from a pretty little golden grey that chanced along on my bread bait to save me from a blank.

Fortunately the fishing was a bit easier on my home patch. I did a couple of quick low water sessions on the rocks in Bantry Bay, catching three mullet each time - these were only small fish up to around 2lb 12oz, but they gave plenty of bites and scrapped well on float tackle.

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