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January 04, 2007

Mullet by the Plateful

Have you ever gone to one of your favorite mullet holes to cast-net some bait and found them circling around the only rock in the area?

Have you ever gone to one of your favorite mullet holes to cast-net some bait and found them circling around the only rock in the area? No matter what you do, the net hangs up on the rock and the baitfish escape.

I found a way to trick mullet into leaving their safe rocky haven: Create temporary structure of your own. Take a 9- to 12-inch disposable plate and toss it nearby but away from all underwater obstructions. As the plate floats, the mullet will find it and think it's cover. Give the fish about 15 minutes, and they'll be circling around that plate - their own personal canopy - giving you a clear shot with your cast net. If winds kick up, tie a piece of monofilament to the center of the plate and add a little weight to keep it in place.

If your net doesn't also trap the plate, be sure to remove it from the water before motoring away.

Capt. Scott McIlvaine
Pompano Beach, Florida