Catching & Using Poddy Mullet to Catch Dusky Flathead.

Sure, flathead can be caught while using artificials and bait, but have you ever tried to catch flathead while using live poddy mullet?

Flathead of all sizes will take a live poddy mullet.

So, what is a poddy mullet?

In NSW, the term “poddy” refers to the juvenile of a particular species, which is the sea mullet and they are very popular with anglers for use as live bait, especially in estuaries and around river mouths for flathead.

However, it can be very difficult to identify the various species of mullet, particularly when they are juveniles.

As a result, anglers may take any species of mullet in NSW for use as live bait only. Provided they are less than 15cm and the total number does not exceed 20 per person.

You will find that in other states the size and bag limits will vary, so you will need to check the requirements in your state or territory.

Click on the following links for more information:

Queensland – https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/fisheries/recreational/rules-regulations/size-possession-limits-tidal

Western Australia – http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/Fishing-and-Aquaculture/Recreational-Fishing/Recreational-Fishing-Rules/Bag_And_Size_Limits/Pages/All-Other-Species-Of-Finfish.aspx

Victoria – http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/fisheries/recreational-fishing/recreational-fishing-guide/catch-limits-and-closed-seasons/marine-and-estuarine-scale-fish/mullet-all-species

South Australia – http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/fishing/fishing_limits

Tasmania – http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/sea-fishing-aquaculture/recreational-fishing/catch-limits

Northern Territory – https://nt.gov.au/marine/recreational-fishing/possession-limits-for-fish

This Australian salmon took off with one of the mullet that was meant for a dusky.

What do you need to catch poddy mullet?

You don’t really need a lot to catch poddy mullet, it can be done with just a handline, small number 12 long shanked hook and some white bread. You could also use a rod and reel outfit.

Reily and Lachie patiently waiting for that bite.

The only thing with using these outfits is that you have to catch them one at a time. That is unless you try using a multi hook bait rig.

What I prefer to do is to use a poddy trap, as you will tend to catch quite a few at a time. Saving you time to spend more time fishing for the flathead.

It’s always a great feeling when the trap is full of poddy mullet.

Poddy mullet traps can come in a number of shapes and sizes. There is the Alvey clear plastic cylinder, a plastic bottle with a hole cut in it, a clear glass bowl covered with fly wire, a clear milk bottle, clasp able fine wire, Perspex and many more.

I prefer to use the Alvey clear plastic cylinder that has removable ends. To help the trap to not float away I have tied a snapper sinker inside.

There are a couple of things to remember when using a poddy mullet trap; make sure that you face the trap so that the water will flow through the openings, place only one slice of white bread inside, don’t have any more than 30cm of water above the top of the trap, make sure that you check the trap every five minutes and if you don’t get a poddy mullet to go into the trap you will need to catch one and then put it in the trap.

Place to trap in the direction of the water flow and don’t have more than 30cm of water above.

The movement of the fish in the trap will attract other mullet to come inside.

If you are fishing from the shore you will need a large plastic bucket with an aerator to keep the poddy mullet alive. If you don’t have an aerator you could try changing the water every now and then.

Take out the poddy mullet and put into the bucket. Then re-set the trap

If you have a boat you may have a live tank that you can keep them in, but make sure that you keep topping the water up.

Places to get poddy mullet?

One of the best places to go is a boat ramp or you could try a small creek or drain, sand bars, weed beds, rocky foreshores and mud flats are all worth a try. Just remember to not have any more than 30cm of water above the top of the trap.

When retrieving, the trap make sure you cover both ends of the trap.

How to rig them?

There are a number of ways that you can rig your poddy mullet. The main thing is that you don’t want to kill it.

So, pinning it in the trail and dragging it along the bottom will tend to drown the fish very quickly. Through the nose or bottom jaw – great for when you are drifting or fishing in fast current while at anchor, as it will allow the water to flow through the fish’s gills keeping it alive.

Through the bottom jaw

If you find that the flathead is not hooking up, you can always put on a second hook. Make sure that it doesn’t impede the swimming action of the bait.

Through the shoulder of the fish, just behind the petrel fin and above the lateral line – great for suspending underneath a float or bobby cork, as it allows the fish to swim upright.

Through the tail – ideal when you are casting the fish into a snag, creek mouth, along the edge of a small drop-off.

Through the shoulder of the fish, just behind the petrel fin and above the lateral line.

Types of rigs.

Let’s face it. If you put a hook into a like poddy mullet and you put it in where there are flathead it won’t last long, as any self-respecting dusky flathead will be climbing all over it.

So sometimes it doesn’t matter where you put the hook, as long as it’s sharp and the hook point and barb is out of the fish.

I mainly use four types of rigs when chasing dusky flathead. They are as follows:

No sinker or swivel. Just a circle hook.

Running ball or bean sinker down onto the circle hook.

Running sinker down onto a swivel, a leader of between 30 to 45cm to the circle hook.

The paternoster rig with only one hook.

Preferred outfits.

A Pflueger Aspro PFLA-SP772H, 6 to 10kg rod mounted with a PENN 6500 threadline reel spooled with 15kg Fireline Braid.

The leader material will be 10 to 15kg Berkley Vanish. Mainly used when targeting very larger duskies.

A Shakespeare Slingshot Engage SSESP701M, 3 to 6kg rod mounted with a Shakespeare Slingshot Engage 40SZ threadline, spooled with 4 kg Berkley Crystal.

The leader material will be 6 to 12kg Berkley Vanish.

Gary Brown

About Gary Brown

I have been fishing from a very early age (around # to 4) in the estuaries from Qld to Victoria for bream, whiting, mullet, flathead, leatherjackets, john dory and luderick. Having owned my first boat at 12, I was able to fish further afield in many different estuaries up and down the NSW coast with my dad. In my early teens I started to fish from the beach for bream, whiting, tailor and salmon and then progressed onto the rocks for bream, trevally, tailor, salmon, drummer, luderick and snapper. I also targeted snapper, morwong, other reef species off shore, plus a variety of tuna. In his teens Gary brought his first boat and started fish out to sea on the south coast of NSW where he could chase snapper, tuna, morwong, pinkies, leatherjackets, mulloway, bonito and many other fish species. Over the past 22 years I have been teaching many anglers how to improve their fishing ability in my “How, Where, When and Why to Fish” classes throughout tackle shops in Sydney. In 2002 I had my first book published (Fishing Sydney’s Waterways) by AFN and it has been revised 3 times. Since then I have now had 4 more books published: 2005 Beach and Rock Fishing Australia. 2010 Fishing guide to South of Sydney. 2011 How to catch Australia’s Favourite Saltwater Fish. 2013 Land based Fishing GUIDE FOR Sydney Harbour. I have also produced along with Scotty Lyons 2 dvd’s; A Day on the Bay and Port Hacking – The Jewel of the South. Over the past 11 years I have successfully competed in a number of bream tournaments. Ranging from ABT, BETS and the Southern Bream Series. I am currently sponsored by the following companies: Pure Fishing/Pflueger/Shakespeare now for 22 years as one of their Pro Anglers. Australian Fishing Network (AFN) Tackle Tactics. Strike pro.

<

Previous Relaxing Rainbows
Next NSW DPI Fisheries - Illegal Fishing

You might also like

Fish Talk

BIG REDS WA Style

It seems no matter where you go in coastal Australia, big red fish hold a special place in the beating heart of Aussie fishing. In southern Australia, the lusted after

Ben Knaggs

About Ben Knaggs

Born and bred in South Australia, Ben’s love of fishing developed from a very early age and evolved to become an obsession which would ultimately shape his life. Actively involved in fishing related journalism from his mid teens, Ben has written articles for most Australian fishing titles and served as editor of Saltwater Fishing magazine for eight years.

Fish Talk

Switching Sails: The Definitive Guide To Switch-Baiting For Sailfish

    Often named as the fastest fish in the sea and certainly one of the most spectacular, sailfish are one of those ‘must catch’ fish for anyone who spends

Ben Knaggs

About Ben Knaggs

Born and bred in South Australia, Ben’s love of fishing developed from a very early age and evolved to become an obsession which would ultimately shape his life. Actively involved in fishing related journalism from his mid teens, Ben has written articles for most Australian fishing titles and served as editor of Saltwater Fishing magazine for eight years.

Fish Talk

Surf Fishing Basics

Have you ever wanted to beach fish but just don’t know how or where to start? Have you started but don’t seem to catch anything? Gary Palmers’ (aka Squidgie) Surf

Squidgie

About Gary Palmer

My name's Gary Palmer, I live on the North Coast of NSW and most fishers up this way know me simply as Squidgie. I have been fish since I was a kid growing up down the South Coast of NSW and cut my teeth on bream and flathead in Lake Illawarra. I've been living up here for over 30 years and have not used bait for many years. Soft plastics and hard body lures are my drug - well they say once you use these rubber bands it's welcome to the dark side. I write for fishing mags and had my own radio show on fishing for a long time until I became ill and couldn’t continue, but still do small reports on radio. I love bass and estuary perch fishing but bream and flathead are still up there for me. I also love blackfish don’t think there is anything better than watching a float go down with fish on. I am a river rat I love fishing rivers but I do fish beaches and occasionally go out in the deep blue.

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

Prove you are human * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.