Mullet Fishing In Florida: Everything You Need To Know!

Florida is without a doubt, the fishing capital of the world. Anglers can catch giant tarpon, colorful reef fish and monster billfish from practicially anywhere in the state…

But what about mullet? Where does it fit into Floridas rich fishing heritage?

Well, beleive it or not mullet are more than just a popular baitfish. In fact, Florida’s earliest settlers and inhabitants fished for mullet and many residents still do today.

In this guide, ill tell you everything you need to know to get started mullet fishing in Florida, and why this overlooked fish species provides more fun and fight than you may think!

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Table of Contents

How To Catch Mullet In Florida

The most effective way to catch mullet in Florida is to first chum an area with bread crumbs where mullet are feeding. Next, use either a very small #10 sized hook, or a #12 size fly and pitch your bait or lure into the chum slick area. Use a cork to indicate a bite, and be patient.

Mullet are very skiddish, so be careful not to speak them. Slowly paddle your boat or kayak into range, and keep the sun to your back. Wading for mullet is also very popular because it keeps you low to the water.

Mullet Fishing In Florida: Everything You Need To Know!

In Florida you can catch mullet in traditional locations such as along beaches, in the surf and saltwater inlets and bays.

But Florida is unique because you can also catch mullet in tidal creeks, freshwater springs, and even in some lakes!


In Florida, you are allowed to take mullet with a variety of methods, from cast-nets to traditional hook and line.

You can use lures, flies, and a wide assortment of baits. Some anglers even bowfish for mullet (which is a ton of fun!).

Depending on where you are fishing and the time of year you can use different methods to suit your preference and style.

Cast Net

If you really want to load the cooler with mullet, a cast net is the most effective method.

Common mullet nets range in size from 6 to 10 feet in length (12 to 20 feet in diameter when opened) and usually have 1″ mesh for adult-sized mullet.

Cast nets are most effective when thrown from up above, like off the deck of a boat, or off a dock, pier or jetty.

Florida’s robust commercial fisherman use large cast nets to catch 8-9 million pounds of mullet every year. They work!

Hook and Line

There is a common misconception in the saltwater fishing community that Florida mullet wont bite, and they are impossible to catch on hook and line.

That couldnt be farther from the truth! Anglers in places like Palatka, Apalachicola, and Marco Island have been targeting mullet on hook and line for decades.

The key is to downsize your equipment, especially your hooks and be patient and calm. Mullet spook easily, and quickly move on when disturbed.

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is another popular method to catch mullet in Florida. Sure, they aren’t as glamorous as an 8-pound bonefish from Biscayne bay, but they are still a lot of fun and provide great practice with a fly rod!

See Also: A Quick Beginners Guide To Fly Fishing For Mullet

Other Methods

Aside from the above-mentioned methods, you can also harvest mullet in Florida using a gig, spear (only in saltwater), and even a bow!

Best Bait For Mullet Fishing In Florida

To determine the best bait for mullet, you need to understand what mullet eat.

Most anglers just assume they eat algae off the bottom, but the truth is mullet eat a wide variety of marine microorgansims and detritus.

This means that your bait choices can vary from location to location, and you should experiment with different baits for different times of the year.

Some of the most reliable mullet baits for mullet fishing in Florida include:

  • Bread balls
  • Dough balls (raw biscuit dough works great!)
  • Corn
  • Small sand fleas
  • Small pieces of shrimp
  • Fish bites or gulp! shrimp
  • Small pieces of plastic worms

Chumming is a very effective method for drawing mullet into a specific area and then getting them to bite. If your using bread as your chum, then try that for bait!

If you’re using fish scraps as our chum, then try using a small piece of fish meat as bait!

The point is to experiment with what works in your area, but remember keep you baits small.

Fish them on the bottom with a 1/64 oz split shot and under a small cork or bobber. Wait patiently and avoid sudden movements that might spook away fish.

Where To Catch Mullet In Florida

Florida is surrounded by saltwater, and the interior of the state is filled with rivers, lakes and estuaries often loaded with mullet…so the better question is, where NOT to catch mullet in Florida!?

Searching a shallow flat for striped mullet in Florida

Mullet can be caught in every coastal county on the eastern atlantic coast, all the way down and around the gulf of mexico and into the far reaches of the panhandle.

But Florida mullet can also be caught inland and live in freshwater ecosystems!

In fact, mullet are found in the Suwanee river, St. Johns River, Apalachicola River, Ohclochonee River, Santa Fe River, Crystal River and countless other tributaries, creeks and springs.

If you want to find mullet in your local area, start by calling around to few bait and tackle shops nearby and ask them for some information on mullet fishing.

In my experience, these small businesses are always willing to help, and I do what I can to support them.

You can also take a drive to your local marina, fish house, boat dealership and talk and network with other anglers.

Popular fishing apps like Fishbrain also provide social media platforms for anglers to share catches, pictures and even tips within the fishing community.

Best Time To Catch Mullet In Florida

The best time to catch mullet in Florida is during the annual mullet run, which occurs each fall.

The mullet run is mass-migration of mullet along the coasts, inlets and bays of Florida when they are spawning, and the reason is a great time to catch mullet is because of the sheer numbers of fish.

However, the winter is another great time to catch mullet in Florida, especially if you have any natural springs in your area. During the winter when temperatures drop, freshwater springs in Florida stay at 72 degrees Fahrenheit all year long.

These warm waters attract mullet (and tons of other fish too) and make for some beautiful and fun fishing opportunities.

Mullet Fishing Regulations In Florida

To stay up to date on fishing mullet fishing regulations in Florida, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website.

They are the governing body for all fishing regulations in the state and provide up-to-date rules, regulations, and requirements for mullet and other saltwater species.

Below are a few of the most commonly asked questions:

What Is The Limit On Mullet In Florida?

For recreational anglers, the daily bag limit is 50 fish per person, with no minimum size mullet. This includes Gulf and Atlantic state waters for Striped mullet, silver mullet, fantail mullet, and redeye mullet.

Note: Some counties such as Pinellas and Charlotte may have more restrictive seasonal bad limits and closures. Always confirm the regulations before you go fishing.

Can you Bow Fish Mullet In Florida?

Yes, bow fishing for mullet is allowed in Florida. Anglers must have a valid fishing license and follow all state bag limits.

Commercial Fishing For Mullet In Florida

Florida has a robust commercial mullet fishing industry, dating back hundreds of years. These rules and regulations are much different than those for recreational anglers.

For the most up-to-date information regarding commercial fishing for mullet in Florida, visit

Are Florida Mullet Good To Eat?

Native Floridians have a strong affinity for mullet, and it remains a popular fish either fried or smoked in many communities all over the state.

See The Full Article: Are Mullet Good To Eat? You Might Be Surprised!

Can You Snag Mullet In Florida?

Technically, yes you can snag mullet in Florida since they are legal to take with a gig.

What Type Of Mullet Are In Florida?

There are four common types of mullet found in Florida: The most common is the Striped Mullet (Mugil cephalus) and the White Mullet (Mugil curema). Redeye Mullet (Mugil gaimardianus) and Fantail Mullet (Mugil gyrans) are also found throughout the sunshine state.


The humble mullet may not have the same reputation as prized gamefish like snook, tarpon or redfish…but they still offer a fun opportunity to the willing angler.

I hope the tips in this article encourage you to get outside and go catch some mullet!

You May Also Like: Do Largemouth Bass Eat Mullet?

Growing up in Florida, I’ve been surrounded by saltwater my entire life…and I love sharing my passion with others.

To learn more about why I started Saltwater Mecca, visit the ABOUT page.

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