- Closed Season: None
- Size Limit: None
- Bag Limit: 50 fish per person per day
Fish these waters from Thanksgiving through January and you’ll be sure to experience what’s known as the ‘fall mullet run,’ peak season for this species as large schools move down from the Carolinas into the warmer waters of Southwest Florida before heading offshore into the Gulf. Throw a baseball-sized fist of chum away from the boat and cast into it for your best shot at catching mullet as they’re easily spooked by your anchored vessel.
Catch mullet to use as bait or use the school itself as bait – a school of mullet gives itself away by quickly leaping across the surface as they’re pursued by predators. Use this to your advantage to catch the prized sportfish hunting the mullet! Instead of putting yourself right in the middle of the commotion, cast your bait towards the outside of the frenzy and work it across the surface like a wounded fish in order to entice snook, redfish, trout, and others looking to pick off mullet on the outside of the school.
While mullet make excellent live baitfish as nearly every fish in the Bay will feed on them, their reputation is changing from exclusively that of baitfish to more elegant table fare. Mullet roe is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, especially China. Known internationally as “bottarga,” mullet roe is beginning to gain popularity domestically as well, with Cortez Bottarga of Anna Maria Island, Florida fetching $300 a pound to supply upscale restaurants with mullet roe around America and the rest of the globe.