(Chelon Labrosusi)

There are three species of grey mullet that the angler is likely to observe while out fishing: the golden grey, the thin-lipped and the most common, the thick-lipped. When small they are often confused with the bass, but there are a few differences that help to identify them correctly. Mullet are covered in large scales all over the body, even over their gill covers, unlike the bass. It is possible to tell the age of a good-sized mullet from the scales by counting the number of rings present. The thick-lipped mullet is coloured in a shade of grey across the back and has a white belly. As the name suggests it has a pair of thick lips and contrary to belief can be hooked and caught by the angler. Mullet have long been surrounded by a myth that they are uncatchable, and if hooked by the angler they are easily lost, due to the soft lips. However, although they are a shy, clever fish and often seem to ignore anglers' baits, they can be caught, and the lips of the mullet are actually quite tough.

Where To Find Them

They are present throughout the shallower waters of the British coast, the Channel Islands and north-west Europe. Thick-lipped mullet move in shoals and feed close to the surface on small crustaceans and vegetable matter. They have poor teeth, so food is swallowed and broken down in the stomach. They can be located close to the shore and in the summer are present in many harbours and estuaries. Visit any harbour in the warmer months and you will see the mullet cruising around just under the surface, searching out scraps of food and sucking items of waste from the underside of fishing boats. As they are able to tolerate brackish water, they are very often caught in the lower reaches and estuaries of many river systems. Dover's Admiralty Pier is just one of the man-made structures around which mullet love to live.

When To Find Them

April through to October.

Natural Food and Best Baits

Mainly plant life, small crustaceans and algae. Bread flake.

Tips and Tactics

Filling an onion sack with mashed bread and lowering it over the side of a pier or breakwater often attracts mullet to the surface. Fish with light tackle and use bread flake on the hook as bait.

UK Records

Shore: 14lb 2oz

Boat: 10lb 1oz