|2.5lb of golden mullet fighting machine|
|Living the dream|
Well this was my return visit to this amazing island..
February back in the uk is grim... Real grim..the grayling seem to switch off and the trout season feels miles off so nothing better than to hit the warm seas of the canaries with a fly rod in hand..
I had done the same spot last year and found my feet by the end of the holiday but this year i knew where to fish and what times..
I had packed my airflow 9ft 9# nano salt rod and my streamflex 10ft 3#, my main rod would be the streamflex for the mullet and the big airflow was if anything big came along !!
I live 2hrs away from any sea back home and have fell in love with mullet fishing, my main goal was to go and hunt these fish...
There is a obvious myth with mullet that they are impossible to catch on flys or bait, this is total bullshit BUT I must add these fish are the hardest to catch than any other fish I know!! There are many reasons for this and the main one is that mullet are sifters of food, they rummage through algae etc and can become occupied on one food source more than any wised up trout..
You may see them heading and tailing infront of you feeding there heads off but 90% of the time they are just filtering food through there complex digestive system..and what makes it even harder is most of there food source is is micro organisms..along with many other reasons these fish are super wary
This might turn people off trying for them and I don't blame some anglers but be prepared for the most frustrating fishing of your life, when you hook one you will have the highest buzz in any fishing you have done..
I had spoken to top English mullet fly man Colin mc.... He had gave me some superb advice..
This is something I have always done, I always watch speak and listen to experienced anglers all over in my fishing, I see many anglers trying to do it all themselves, thinking they know it all but my biggest advice is to learn off the experienced anglers and you will reap the rewards..
Colin had told me of the sun rise and the fall and this was the critical in what happens in all my amazing catches..
My first session was a hour before sunset so I packed my gear in the hire car and drove 5 mins down the road to the beach front.
Now if your going on holiday always look for the sandy bays where all the sunbeds are..I can guarantee there will be mullet there, most say you can't fish there but if you go in the evenings or early mornings not even a fishing Baliff will care..a man with a fly rod is much less menacing than a 15ft beach caster!!
I have also found that these islands are funded by us tourists and the locals are very polite and just leave you to it..
My first session was going to be using a bread fly.. I had caught them last year with this method, and for starters I wanted to see what was about but later in the week I was gonna tackle more trickier way with flys..
I breaded up and with in seconds small bait fish were hammering the free offerings, next I saw a big fiz as big mullet moved in to get amongst the offerings..
It was then I cast amongst the mullet with a size 16 bread fly..
It was then I felt that heart pounding bumb through my fingers holding the fly line, then a few seconds later my whole set up screamed into life as i hooked mullet of over 2lb set off for deep water!!
It's funny how you forget what it actually feels like to hook a rocket like these fish and when you do you get a real buzz.. It's not often back home you get onto you backing but every mullet you hook I can guarantee you will be way into it!!
It was good to be back and the night closed in with 3 mullet to hand and lots of bumps offs..
It quite strange how the light goes and the fish just turn off the feed at the push of a button..
The next day I was to be up a hour before sun rise, something in have never done before on holiday but Colin had highly recommended it...
Now anglers get to see some magical settings and there is nothing better than a holiday resort with not a single person about, standing in a resort bay casting a fly on a rising sun is good for the soul..
Now this time i wanted to fish for mullet with 'proper' methods using flys, no baiting up with bread just total flyfishing methods..
This was going to be alot tougher but that's how I like it and it feel more 'real'
I set up with a 15 ft tapered leader and a 3 ft of 3.7lb flourocarbon tippet connected with two of my soft touch shrimps with a red hot spot (size 16 unweighted )
There are some great mullet flys about including the dawl Bach with a red glass bead but i wanted to see my new pattern against the mullet..
Now arriving at the beach I had to have a completely different approach from the 'bread' method
I stood for 10 mins looking for mullet on the move and as the orange glow spread across the flat calm bay my heart picked up as I saw the 'mirroring' of the surface as a big shoal were 20 yards away in 3ft of water!! They were 'on it' feeding there heads off, it was obvious, they were flashing there sides and moving a good speed..
Now I knew if I spooked them with a cast over them it would be all over, these fish sence any danger whatsoever and they will just switch off the feed..
My experience back home of fucking it up time and time again had taught me well..
Cast a line 20ft plus in front of them, let them hang and see there reaction as they come though the flys, I did this perfectly and as they come through i waited for any movement in the fly line..
It did and ripped away for 10 yards until the barbless hook pinged out!!
The whole shoal bolted and my chance was gone..
I was gutted but buzzing....I had for the first time hooked mullet on flys!!!
Now after a day chilling with the mrs by the pool it was time for everyone to go in for a late afternoon kip... It wasn't for me, my insane excitement for a rod bend just keeps my tiredness at bay..
Now there are some things that happen in life that you will never forget and I can honestly say I have loads in fishing but this one just beats them all!!!
I packed my gear in the car for the evening session and arriving at the beach I noticed a full tide which looked perfect..
I stood looking for shoaling mullet but nothing showed at all.. Gutted!
I ran back to the car and got some bread.. I wasn't going to be messing around with nymphs with no fish in sight..
I filled it in and waiting for the mullet to appear......
I could not believe it, not even the small fry were taking the bread..
I went walking along the beach and had to take a double look as I saw a huge dark shape moving in 3 ft of water..
A shark around 7 ft long!! as I looked around then appeared 6 of them!! They were where people paddle when walking along the beach...
In anti clockwise movements they were circling very calmly..
Before now a crowd had gathered around me and people were amazed to see such a sight..
I was gobsamcked, they looked around 150lb plus and totally menacing...
What did I do ? I walked up the beach and grabbed my 9ft 9# nano salt rod and clipped on a huge clouser minnow!!
Now it must be in me, Everyone was out of the sea scared and all I could think of was hooking one on the fly!!!
People were looking at me like I was insane as I started to cast the rod.. I did have a thought of what I would do to land it! Hell I would dive on it if I got the chance..
After about 5 casts I ripped it past one and it turned its head and calmly opened its mouth as the fly disappeared .. Oh fuck it's took it!!
I strip striked and set the hook!!
Now I can't really put into words what happened but I Remember looking down at the rod before I could lift into the fish and it was 20 yards into the backing.. I lent into the fish and all I could see was the shark fin out the water screaming down the edge of the beach in 3ft of water..
I looked at my reel and the 100 yards of backing was disappearing fast... Now picture this...
I started to run down the beach with this shark in view to everyone.. I had met at Scottish pike angler David and he was yelling 'goo on lad' 'let me have a hold of the rod!!
5 mins had pasted and I was still battling with the fish but i knew I was against all odds and its wasn't long after I really got stuck into it and it rolled over and I saw the line ping on its teeth!!!
It was all over.. to be honest I was slightly pleased.. I did not want to be wrestling around the beach with hundreds of people watching me!!
It's was a pure adrenaline buzz , like being totally shitting myself but buzzing at the same time..
I never got any pictures of the madness but there are two Italian girls who took some and I have them my email so I really hope they send them..
The next day I returned to the same place in hope of seeing these magical fish..a quick walk along the beach and no signs of any sharks so I went out in search of mullet...today the mullet were really showing thereselves as the sunbathers were packing up and going home..
I opted for the soft touch shrimp again with mullet visable all over..
For some reason the mullet were showing but they did not look in feeding mode..
This was time for me to test the soft touch by moving them to get a reaction.. Work?? Oh yes, short inch pulls were met with absolute savage takes and screaming reels..
I don't want to bore everyone with the fights but the fish I was taking were golden mullet... These fish are more aggressive than the standard mullet, smaller in size but they are absolute beautiful fish and are perfect sport to a fly angler...
Over the week I had flat head mullet over 3 pound and none of them compared to the fight of a golden grey..
Luckily I had done some soft touch shrimp for mullet with barbs, there is no change you would hold onto one of these without it..
The fishing went dead and I wondered why??
I should of
I was standing upto my balls in water and to my left something caught my eye.. A shark was cruising past me 10 ft infront of me!!
It was a big fucker too.. Really big
I calmly stepped back towards the shore and think was the wrong thing to do!! It saw my movement and kicked its tail and turned straight towards me to have a look!!
I absolutely shit myself and slipped backwards straight under water and scrambled along the sea bed to the shore!! I was just waiting for a nip on my calf and time passed very slowly !!
I clambered up the beach looked behind me to see the shark peeling off to my right.. It's had followed me all the way in...
Things like this don't happen once in your life but being around fishing as much as me they certainly do!!
Telling my mrs Michelle back at the hotel she must of thought I was insane.. She told me i was banned from wading again!!
|Travally and bream on fly|
I certainly did! I was there to get the mullet and it did not stop me but I was never far from safety beleive me!!
The holiday fishing was sublime, I ended up studying mullet in feeding action, I got to see there behaviour in many ways and hopefully it's taught me loads more to catch mullet back home in the uk..
I even caught a travally and bream while I was there on my sts.. So the trip really did reveal what I wanted to..
I am sending some of the sts out to some top mullet anglers around the uk so hopefully they will work there but only time will tell...
To finish this post off I must tell people my methods to help them experience the fun i have had with mullet on holiday
1. Bread fly
This is a method that should be done for the fly men who just want to hook one a feel the buzz..it might not be the classiest way to catch them but your on holiday and you want to catch!!
Take three big sticks of bread and slowly start to feed one spot
Don't cast until the fish are well and truly 'on it'
Fish with one bread fly on a 15 ft tapoured leader with 3 ft of 3.7 lb flourocarbon
Start with size 12 bread fly and if there is no interest try going down to size 18..
Once the fish know your fly is fake they all will until a new shoal moves in.. Again change fly size..
You should be fishing the tightest line possible.. I do figure of eight at all times to stay in touch.. Do this at the slowest you can possibly do.. You will not get a single fish unless you are 'in touch'
Point your rod directly at the fly.. U want no slack in the line and the fish will hook themselves..
Do not lift the rod until the fish has screamed off your drag for 20 yards..
Set your drag at the lowest setting and have some slack hanging down from you reel.. You will know your in when the line bumbs your fingers..
2. Fishing the flies
This method is for the more experienced mullet angler and is alot more satisfying catching them with trout like methods..
I am no expert in this as yet and I have had plenty of advice from timmy mullet (Colin) off the forum..
I cracked this method on holiday and had super fun with the golden mullet landing one around 2.5 lb
You have not bread to bring them on the feed so you must go and look for feeding mullet.. You won't miss mullet feeding.. They flash and head and tail of the water..
Place you flys well infront of them and either dead drift them or twitch them in very short inch bursts..
Spook these fish with a bad cast and you should leave them and go find another shoal ...
|Expect runs onto your backing|
This method is more the real deal and when you catch one you will be over the moon..
I hope that my methods will give anyone going on holiday some great fly sport..
There is no fish that fight like salt water fish and the buzz from hooking and fighting a mullet will have you buzzing for months..
'Stil living the dream'
|Soft touch shrimp in the bag|