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CaryGreene

Pony - Up Your Mullet Paterns Boys - Fall is Here at Last!

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I'll kick us off on this one! Happy fall season everybody!

 

Finger Mullet definitely have the attention of Bluefish all along the Coast right now.

 

Albies are working over the Bay Abchovies which are heavy this time of year. We have some pods of Spearing around and of course plenty of Peanut Bunker and larger Bunker up and down the coast.

 

A lot of guys are sitting in their lawn chairs or standing next to their sand spikes with their trucks nearby, tires deflated  on down to about 15 pounds or so & their coolers are sitting on the tailgate filled up with ice and all sorts of different refreshments. Halloween is not far off and where now smack dab in the middle of arguably the best fishing month of the year. 

 

Also cooler temperatures are moving on in and that's going to be great for cooling off that warm water and starting the big push. 

 

Many bait guys are throwing Bunker heads on big 9/0 Gamakatsu Circle Hooks, hoping to get down below all those blue fish and maybe catch a big bass who happens to be migrating. In most areas out front right now it would take at least 5 oz to hold bottom. 

 

In a lot of places Mullet is on the menu & they've been running strong this year. Many refer to Mullet as "whitebait".

 

While there is no question the larger bass are looking for a serious meal, fly rodding with a Mullet pattern can be a lot of fun this time of year.

 

Mullet imitations are a pretty reliable searching pattern this time of year and that's why a lot of spin fisherman pack  the SP Minnow in Mullet or perhaps a Super Strike Stubby Bullet or Sinking Little Neck in their plug bags in the fall.

 

This time of year wind can kick up pretty nice and when it gets over 20 to 25 miles an hour I'll hit the surf happily with a little bit of metal and a whole lot of Tin.

 

When it's windy I stick to Mullet Tins and when it's really windy I just go to the Ava jig with a Bucktail and a homemade Rind. 

 

As I work the beaches towards high tide I'll drop in just about any place but as the tide starts moving out I'm looking for cuts and definitely cruising beaches and looking for bird squalls.

 

Mullet can easily get pinned against the beach and like Peanut Bunker & Bay Anchovies,  fly fisherman can get quite a treat when large predators pin these helpless Bait fish against structure. It can also be a really frustrating time of year during these situations due to the plantiful numbersnumbers of bait in the water. That's why you have to carry some brighter colored patterns to help you stand out. But as a general rule of thumb when you're searching you kind of stick to the more subdued colors.

 

Spin fisherman have to think twice about using soft Plastics this time of year because blue fish can go through several packages of Sluggos , Hogys or other Soft Plastics in a single day.

 

But fly fisherman can handle this challenge pretty easily when the weather in in particular the wind cooperates.

 

This is why my go-to Mullet pattern is built with durability in mind. Coloration on a Mullet Fly is easy. In some areas they will be light brown on the dorsal line in other areas they will be Medium Gray. Because Bunker are Olive Brown, I've always kind of favored Brown Mullet patterns.

 

Of course you can use all kinds of Deceiver variations to effectively imitate Mullett and you can bring into play all sorts of colors that stand out which is a pretty good idea during a blitz.

 

Sometimes when matching the Mulket hatch doesn't work, I'll go to a Electric Yellow or Chartreuse Dorsal line over White - opposed to a solid color. This time of year water can be very clear and contrast is always a good idea as Bass respond to it.

 

I'll also incorporate a rattle into every single fly that I use. During a blitz a little sound is a great way to set your fly apart. 

 

So without further Ado here is my favorite Mullet pattern, in light brown as advertised simply because it could be mistaken for a Bunker as well unfortunately the lighting in the pictures doesn't really show the contrast on the back but it's Brown over White, so its got the subtle contrast, the rattle and the full synthetic durability so Blue Fish can pound it all day long.

 

Typically I will fish it on an Intermediate fly line and utilize heavy fluorocarbon if necessary. I don't generally mess with wire leaders because I have found from personal experience that I catch less if any Stripers when using them. This is not to say that I haven't been surprised over the years but it's more a general observation.

 

So fluorocarbon is IMO a necessary evil this time of year and I'll carry it from 30 lb all the way up to 80 lb if I have to.

 

Also if I do happen to catch a Striper, this time of year I actually really pay attention and if needed I'll drop down as light as 12 lbs on the Tippet.

 

At times making this simple change  was all that was required to catch  Striper after Striper  when no Blues were around.

 

I'm also ready to switch to a tiny Clouser the second I see Bay Anchovies. Sometimes this switch with the decrease in tippet is all you need on a fall day it's amazing how many guys miss this little trick.

 

If perchance there are Spearing, a slightly bigger Clouser will usually do the trick or perhaps I'll use a Surf Candy. For Bunker I am committed to using little Cease fF,ly patterns more for experimentation purposes this year as I did the last two years but I'll also go to smaller Polar Fibre or Craft Fur patterns for them.

 

One thing you notice with a Mullet is that it is more cylindrical in shape than a Bunker.  for this reason I like a pattern that a striper could approach from any angle & see  the right silhouette.

 

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So let's raise a glass to our military veterans and let's salute our favorite Mullet patterns!

 

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Nice tie! My suggestion is the September Night Fly by Ken Abrames of Striper Moon, the book, fame. 

 

Now, it's hard to find white saddle hackles. Just use purple for the whole deal. 

 

You can also just tie it as a bucktail only fly and works every bit as good, as many anglers can attest, after find the bass on mullet situation and losing all the hackles off the fly over course of the bite. 

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Cary

 

If a Striper Fishetman is not clued into the richness of the fall after even  just one season fishing  for them there is no helping them.

 

Horse ,water trough ,drink ,drag to it. No cigar.

 

Mikey

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These will never come within 400 miles of a striper, but so what, mullet is mullet.

 

 

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mullet aint what they used to be on the NE coast,scarce to non-existent anymore in the places I fish

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I was down at Island Beach State Park in Jersey today looking to capitalize on some Mullet action but it was pretty quiet out there today. Beautiful day for a bike ride in the fluffy sand though.

 

There were some  decent schools of Bay Anchovies that were hugging the shoreline but that's about the only sign of life I saw besides a thousand birds picking away in the sand.

 

It was flat calm &  the water was clear beautiful day for a bike ride on the beach. Tomorrow the wind is supposed to pick up.

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Posted (edited)

Mullet Flies: Didn't name the first 2 but they are, as I recall, a Rich Murphy Back Bay Bomber with a lip constructed of Epoxied E-Z Body braid. 3rd is September Night Fly, but I incorporated Steve Farrar blend where Kenny used Bucktail (except for the hackle support), as I wanted the tubular body shape in the water, 

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Edited by FlatWing

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This fly has been very good to me fishing for red drum in the surf down here in NC.  I'm certain stripers & blues would eat it too.  This is the only fly that I've found a use for emu feathers.  I normally tie in two to four, Deceiver style, to simulate the tail of a finger mullet which has a dark tip.  The rest of the fly is a combo of bucktail in the tail and then the rest is tied in with EP fibers or Farrar fibers like the EP Peanut Butter.  Tied correctly on a Eagle Claw 254 hook, it will sink very slowly in a horizontal profile.  It's called "Buster's Last Stand."  Years ago when I worked at the air station at Camp Pendleton, CA, a woman in the public works dept lived out in Temecula, CA on a small ranchette where she and her husband raised goats, donkeys and assorted critters.  They had a emu named "Buster."  One day when she was out feeding the critters, Buster came up behind her and pecked her real hard on the head.  She went in the house and got a .243.  No more Buster.  I asked her for as many feathers as she could get off the corpse.  Still got 'em in a ziplock almost 20 years later.  (Only a small portion of the feathers are suitable for fly tying, and sometimes you have to doctor them up with scissors and a magic marker.)

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Posted (edited)

decent finger mullet action this year at Cape Lookout.  Yesterday just as the tide turned and started to ebb there were some albies on finger mullets.  Sunday we had a strong northeast wind and the finger mullet were pouring out of the Hook.  There was an amazing show of king mackerel skying the pods of finger mullet.  

Edited by bhorsley

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I saw it.  Was up there Sunday fishing with Sasquatch in vicinity of your lovely bride.  I've never seen that many kings skying on bait in my life.  Some were big too! 

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This is my Mullet fly.  Actually my rendition of Gunnar Brammer's Fuz Jr.  For anyone not familiar with his work, he is a brilliant, young American fly tyer and fisher.  The link to the video explaining the architecture of the fly is below.  He explains it better than I can.  But after fishing this fly for three months now, I can say that it is pure money.  It has taken a place in my box with my Rhody Flat Wings (I know that I'll probably be excommunicated from the Rhode Island saltwater fly fishers club for that).

 

This fly is light, it does not absorb or trap water and balloons out for a large profile in the water.  The magic is in the head, which is a spun loop of Hedron Fuzzy Fiber, a synthetic, wool-like, material that is then sculpted like deer hair.  Gunnar, who I believe is an engineer, explains the hydraulics, but it does what he says...it pushes water without trapping or absorbing it and has great action with a strip and pause retrieve.  Best of all it is a relatively quick and easy tie.

 

I tied this a little bushier in the middle to give it a Mullet's fusiform shape.  I also blended gray and light brown Fuzzy Fiber (but they all have a bit of a color blend to start with).  This on is about 6" in length on a 1/0 hook.  But you can tied them in any length by using longer tail material, or hackle instead of Ostrich.  Or, there is also an articulated version, the Hot Fuzz and I think a Fuzz Sr. is in the works.

 

There is a separate video on Gunnar's site explaining the eyes and adhesive he ultimately landed on when designing this fly (it's important to not pinch the head too much and to used a thick adhesive).

 

Tie one and try one, you won't be disappointed.

 

Mark

 

 

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That's an incredible looking fly Mark. Now I gotta go on line and buy a bunch of Hedron Fuzzy Fiber.  Thanks a lot! 

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