Unveiling the Secrets: A Guide to Catching Grey Mullet Around the UK

Grey mullet, a challenging and elusive species, inhabit the coastal waters around the United Kingdom. Known for their finicky feeding habits and wariness, catching grey mullet requires a combination of patience, knowledge, and strategic angling. In this guide, we’ll explore the techniques, baits, and locations that can enhance your chances of success when pursuing these enigmatic fish.

Understanding Grey Mullet Behavior:

**1. Feeding Habits:

  • Grey mullet are opportunistic feeders, primarily targeting algae, small invertebrates, and detritus. They often feed close to the surface, utilizing their specialized mouthparts to graze on algae-covered structures.

**2. Habitat and Locations:

  • Mullet are commonly found in estuaries, harbors, and coastal areas with a mix of freshwater and saltwater. They are known for entering tidal rivers and can be found in shallower, warmer areas during the summer months.

**3. Wary Nature:

  • Grey mullet are notoriously wary and can be easily spooked. Approach fishing for mullet with stealth, using a low profile and minimal disturbance to avoid alarming them.

Essential Techniques for Catching Grey Mullet:

**1. Float Fishing:

  • Float fishing is a popular and effective method for targeting mullet. Use a lightweight float and set your bait at various depths to mimic the mullet’s feeding behavior. Employ a sensitive float that can detect subtle bites.

**2. Free-Lining:

  • Free-lining involves fishing without the use of additional weights. Cast your baited hook into the areas where mullet are feeding, allowing the bait to drift naturally. This technique requires finesse and a keen eye on the subtle movements of your line.

**3. Bread Fishing:

  • Grey mullet are known for their affinity for bread. Use small pieces of bread or floating crust to entice them to the surface. Chum the water with small bread particles to attract mullet to your fishing area.

**4. Sight Fishing:

  • Sight fishing is a thrilling technique where anglers visually spot mullet and cast to them. Polarized sunglasses are essential for reducing glare and helping you spot mullet swimming near the surface. Accuracy in casting is crucial for success.

**5. Berleying:

  • Create a berley trail using a mixture of mashed bread, sand, and water. This attracts mullet to the area and encourages them to feed. Regularly introduce small amounts of berley to maintain their interest.

Bait Selection for Grey Mullet:

**1. Bread:

  • Bread, particularly floating crust, is a highly effective bait for grey mullet. Use small pieces or flake to mimic natural food items. It can be presented on the surface or just below it.

**2. Small Worms:

  • Ragworms and small pieces of lugworm can be enticing for mullet. Fish them on the bottom or present them at different depths using a float.

**3. Shrimp and Shellfish:

  • Mullet are known to feed on small shrimp and shellfish. Use fresh or frozen shrimp, prawns, or small pieces of shellfish to tempt them.

**4. Artificial Lures:

  • In some cases, small artificial lures resembling natural prey items can be effective. Experiment with soft plastics or small lures that mimic the movement of small fish or invertebrates.

Equipment and Tackle:

**1. Light Tackle:

  • Use light and sensitive tackle to maximize the enjoyment of the fight. A light spinning rod and reel combo with a balanced line and leader are suitable for mullet fishing.

**2. Small Hooks:

  • Mullet have relatively small mouths, so use small, sharp hooks to increase hookup rates. Size 8 to 12 hooks are commonly used for mullet fishing.

**3. Long Rods:

  • A longer fishing rod, around 11 to 13 feet, provides better casting distance and control, especially when sight fishing or float fishing.

Conservation and Responsible Angling:

**1. Catch-and-Release:

  • Consider practicing catch-and-release to contribute to the conservation of mullet populations. Handle the fish with wet hands and release them gently to ensure their survival.

**2. Abide by Regulations:

  • Familiarize yourself with local fishing regulations, including size and bag limits, and adhere to them to promote sustainable angling practices.


Catching grey mullet in the UK is a pursuit that combines skill, observation, and a deep appreciation for the coastal environment. By employing the right techniques, selecting suitable baits, and respecting the wary nature of these fish, anglers can unlock the secrets to a rewarding mullet fishing experience. Embrace the challenge, savor the coastal landscapes, and relish the thrill of connecting with these elusive and fascinating creatures along the shores of the United Kingdom.

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