Carolina fishing: how to catch sea mullet

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Carolina fishing: how to catch sea mullet
Carolina fishing: how to catch sea mullet
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Carolina fishing: how to catch sea mullet
 
 
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Capt_Keith
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Joined: Apr 02, 2009
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 6:40 pm    Post subject: Carolina fishing: how to catch sea mullet Reply with quote

Carolina fishing: how to catch sea mullet

Sea mullet, also called whiting or kingfish, are an important food and small game species along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico. There are three different species that overlap in places, all look similar and are caught by identical methods.

Anglers in the Carolinas often refer to them as Virginia mullet or just mullet even though they are not related to real mullet like the striped mullet. Whiting are instead members of the drum family cousins to croaker, spot, redfish, and sea trout.

Sea mullet do not get very large but are valued highly as a tasty panfish and they put up a short, spirited fight for their size. They are commonly caught from the surf or ocean piers but will enter inshore waters.

Sea mullet are around most of the fishing season with the exception of the coldest months. The Carolinas sometimes have runs of "winter whiting" on the piers as early as February and as late as December, if any piers are open. Early spring sea mullet action is often the best thing going in the surf in relatively warm temperatures.

The surf just behind the breakers is one of the best places to find sea mullet. They like to eat sand fleas and other small shellfish. You can also look for holes in the surf (called sloughs, pronounced slews) where deep water exists and draws them.

Whiting run in small pods but not in huge schools like croaker or spot. If they are there they will often provide steady action while the tide is moving.

Most sea mullet rigs feature two-hooks size 4 or 6 and two-ounce pyramid sinkers. They are a fish of the bottom with an underslung mouth. Rods 6' 6" to 8 feet are fine while surf fishermen may need a longer 9 or 10-foot rod to reach whiting out behind a sand bar.

Sea mullet love fresh cut shrimp. They also bite squid and bloodworms reliably. Earthworms will work as will cut bait. Sand fleas can be used as in pompano fishing. Use a small piece of bait as whiting are a grab and run fish. Very large whiting can be taken on small jigs bounced on the bottom.

Whiting range from tiny to about two pounds, though slightly larger ones are caught all the time. Because of their torpedo-like body they can be filleted, but most folks fry or bake them whole and dressed.
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