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Thick-lipped mullet

The mullet (Chelon labrosus) has an unusually small mouth so anglers must use specific hooks and bait to have the best chance of catching one.

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Bread is one of the best baits to catch mullet with.
Carl Nicholls, fisheries & angling manager

Appearance: they have a large, bright silvery blue-grey body and a forked tail. They have two small dorsal fins with the forward fin usually having spines. Mullet have very small mouths compared to their often large size. The upper part of the lip is thick and rubbery and gives it its name. A very distinguishing feature is that mullet have scales on their heads. Nearly all freshwater fish have smooth body heads.

British record: 14lb 2oz 12dms (British record committee 2015)

Lateral line scale count: 45-46 (this is the dark row of scales along the central length of the fish's body)

Lifespan: Up to 25 years

We like mullet because: they usually shoal and can be found in large numbers.

How to catch a mullet

With its small mouth, it is essential to fish small hooks and small baits. Mullet are mid to upper water feeding fish and float tactics work very well. They can often be caught using stalking tactics, targeting the larger fish you can often see nearer the surface. Bread is one of the best baits to catch mullet with.

Where to catch a mullet

Most estuaries of major rivers, such as the River Severn, River Dee and River Tees.


Find a place to fish

Enter a town or postcode into our fishery search tool to find good local fishing spots

Last Edited: 24 December 2020

photo of a location on the canals
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