Fly Fishing for Coastal Gamefish
Mullet are important gamefish prey wherever they occur. They can be found seasonally as far north as Rhode Island, but are most abundant farther south. Other than bonefish and permit, I think all gamefish eat mullet. They are primarily shallow-water inhabitants, found in estuaries, lagoons, bays, and along coastal shorelines.
Adult mullet are present year-round in the sub-tropics and tropics, and are present seasonally in warm-temperate areas. Juvenile mullet (those most often eaten by gamefish) are most common in estuaries in all regions from summer through fall. In some regions they undergo coastal migrations: along the southeastern US coast, for example, juvenile mullet (primarily White Mullet) migrate southward from warm-temperate estuaries in the fall. These migrations are fed upon by most coastal gamefish, including tarpon, snook, cobia, ladyfish, jacks, red drum, and barracuda, among others. Most mullet grow large as adults, but it is the juvenile sizes that are most eaten by gamefish. Keep this in mind when tying mullet flies. Mullet occur throughout the water column in shallow coastal habitats, but tend to head for the water surface when being chased by gamefish. Most fly anglers realize this, so most mullet imitations are unweighted and are fished near the surface.
The Fisherman's Coast approach focuses on how coastal gamefish interact with their habitats and prey. The more you know about the gamefish you pursue with a fly rod, the more often you'll be in the right place at the right time with the right fly making the right presentation. It's about catching more fish.
Our sister site Tribal Bonefish is all about conservation through responsible fishing. Tribal Bonefish shows you how to become a better steward of our coasts to protect our fisheries today, and ensure future generations get a chance to experience these fisheries.