Venues where mullet are taken for the pot rarely produce the big fish Yes that does work, but not as well as it might. The real evidence is the landing net and the long thin rod. But beware any tears that sometimes mysteriously appear in the sack. It’s the criticality of the size and construction of the mesh that really amazes me. After all, mullet are usually niche feeders, not competing with any other species for their usual food of algae and micro-organisms sifted from the mud, or scrapped from rock. Watch them for a while, and you begin to notice that whereas their wandering seems to be completely aimless, somehow there are spots that they will wander over time and again, on their seemingly aimless routes. Jim eventually won, to both their surprise. Alternatively, watch the bubble float and when it slides across the surface, strike. The bread in an ‘inefficient’ sack just sits in the sack, going nowhere, whilst the flexing of the mesh of a good vegetable bag seems almost to pump out a stream of particles.

But once they have marked the spot, they will return. Watch out for sharks though!). Again these are not very efficient at generating a steady stream of bread particles into the tidal flow. You need to allow for that when deciding how deep to go. What they don’t take on this pass will almost certainly still be available on the next pass. A bottle cork, held by a length of line attached to the bag, will make a good buoy, (or as the carp anglers will tell you, a marker float!). Some of this is used to fill my swim-feeder, when I’m using a swim-feeder rig on my second rod. With a float fished bait, close to the net, do you wait for the feeding fish to find your hook-bait, or do you move the bait, knowing that the movement of the rod overhead may spook the fish away, but also knowing that a bait lowered down next to the bag often provokes a take? Though they will repeatedly return to a baited area during their meandering, feeding as they pass by, They are perfectly happy to leave the baited area, and resume their meandering, even though there is plenty of food still around. (Is there a better feeling than that of squishing wet bread between your fingers on a hot summer day? If the net is working well, and with a reasonable tide, you should see a satisfying stream of tiny bread particles drifting off down tide.

Perhaps the reason for that is what often happens to the shoals of coarse fish, competitively feeding in a baited swim. And then of course there are the crabs! Maybe as they follow the tide up and down the coast, or along the banks of a tidal river. At the end of the season too, when the water temperature starts to drop, I find that the fish prefer to feed deeper. Before fishing, throw in a few chunks of the bread bait and see how fast mullet will go and suck up the bread. If the fish aren’t coming to the surface to feed, then it’s worth weighting the bag (perhaps with a stone or half brick) and lowering it deeper, adjusting the depth at which you are going to fish accordingly. The colour doesn’t matter at all, but the soft multi-strand mesh is the kind to look for. Usually brussel-sprouts, often swedes and beetroot too (but they usually come in different coloured netting, perhaps orange or mauve). Once the mixture has reached a lumpy, creamy texture (I’m writing a cookery book next! Coming from a coarse angling background, I’m used to the principle of baiting an area, and holding fish in that area by constantly re-baiting. Some can be fed directly into the water (preferably using a long-handled kitchen spoon), when the tide is slack and the day too calm to rustle up a breeze to generate wavelets to gently rock the bread sack and keep it working. The wake from a passing boat can swish the whole net around releasing a sudden cloud of bread particles into the flow. If they are consistently down toward the bottom, then the fish may be feeding deeper. It seems to be a cosmological rule that things that do the job best are usually considerably more expensive than the alternatives. Perhaps mullet fishermen are blessed in some special way! (Though during a lengthy session, it’s sometimes necessary to lift the sack, when most of the finer particles have been washed out and to give it a good squishing using the method of your choice). The swans are as bad! In my experience, the universe doesn’t usually work that way. Even a small hole can release mashed bread at a considerable rate. Although you’ll often read old advice to use an onion sack, most of today’s orange onion sacks have too stiff a mesh to be efficient for use as a bread bag; they are rather on the ‘too big’ side as well. Even if you are not using flavour or smell enhancers, the bait will absorb the creamy water from the mash, making it more attractive than bread-flake that has absorbed mere seawater (for a while at least). If the bag is refilled each day, they will go out of their way to visit.

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