by: Joe Sheaffer
As spring comes to an end and summer’s heat is knocking on our door, we should think about how the fish will react to these changes. However, there are definite behaviors and patterns that are consistent through the summer months. One of these behaviors we can key on is fishing near, around and even in mullet schools. I like to spend time looking at maps, reading local fishing reports and reviewing past fishing trips. Preparing and having a plan for our fishing adventures can help us enjoy the time we spend on the water fishing. With all that said, I have a rule, no mullet schools move. I want to see mullet in the areas I plan to fish and if they are not present, I will make a move. My confidence is very high when fishing any area that has abundant schools of mullet. The larger the schools the better, there will be predators around. Other things that I key in on, points, funnel areas, potholes, hard structure to name a few. Current, tide movement and wind can be important factors as well. Put many of these together along with mullet schools, it is almost a guarantee that you’re going to catch fish. Once we are around these schools of fish, what are the fishing strategies we should use? Here are a few keys that may be helpful. I like to keep my boat as far away from the school as I can but still in casting distance. Mullet will spook and if the predators are with them, they’ll spook. Try to keep the school in front of you, chasing them seems to just make them more nervous. I like to see the mullet meandering, flashing and jumping, they definitely seem to be happy, and the predators should be less spooky. Casting beyond the school and retrieving your lure slowly can be productive. Keep your eyes open for reds, snook, trout and other species. There will be sight casting opportunities, again lead your target, don’t plop it on their heads. Our target species are counting on the schools of mullet to spook shrimp, crabs, fish and other critters they can swoop in and eat. Not every school of mullet will have fish but MANY times they will. Hang with the mullet as long as you can, and it can make for a great day of fishing. Good luck and keep casting.