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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure where to put this post so maybe a mod will move it if in the wrong place.

Earlier in the week I went for a evening session. Very clear sky, very bright moon. Was luring away and nearly every cast i kept feeling "bumps". felt like small pollack plucks, or maybe the lure was bumping along the bottom. but i was fishing in 10-15ft of water with a shallow diver (tide minnow i think it was) so i know i wasn't anywhere near the bottom. some "bumps" were stronger than others, quite firm in fact. I couldn't work it out. Could it be squid or cuttlefish? never had either of those before but surely one would get hooked?

Moved 50yds along and the same was happening but this time I was a little higher off the water. so i turned my light on to have a look.


Fish everywhere! hundreds and hundreds of them, all in grid formation, about 3 ft apart side-to-side and head-to-tail. just sitting there, in the (quite strong tide) flow, about a foot under the surface. I couldn't make out what the were, but either bass or mullet. and they were a good size, 3-6lb I'd guess.

I kept on casting but couldn't get a take, but I was now certain the "bumps" was the lure riding over the back of the fish. I did bring in one scale on one cast. walking about 50yds up and down and it was the same, fish after fish after fish just sitting there in the current.

Now, I have seen this once before, in the same place about 3 or 4 years ago, at roughly the same time of year (i remembered before that it was 5th November cos I watched a firework display while fishing).

Why would they be there? surely they wouldn't be spawning at this time of year? any one else seen this and any ideas as to what they were doing and whether they are bass or mullet?
 

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No idea personally - but if anyone knows from those parts it will probably be Mike Ladle. If you haven't already, send him the same message ([email protected] - address is on his sea fishing blog - so he wont mind, esp. something as fascinating as that!) - he always seems to know everything that has ever happened down that way.
 

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Interesting. I'd like to know what they were, my hunch would be mullet, seen them in a flotilla formation like you describe, but a mile out to sea.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is the reply I got from Mike Ladle:-

"Dear Adrian,

Thanks for the email. I have heard of mass aggregations of thicklipped mullet around the Portland area. A year or two ago many tonnes of mullet were netted (in November I think) from such aggregations (terrible waste of wonderful fish!). Anyway, I expect that's what you encountered and I would guess that they are prespawning groups of fish which may move off to the Channel Islands to breed, although the habits of mullet in this respect are still obscure. If they had been bass you would surely have had a few proper bites.

Hope this is helpful. Clearly not all mullet do the same thing because large numbers have been actively feeding along the Purbeck coast this week.

Regards,

Mike"

So it looks likely that they were mullet.
 

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Adrian, just read this one. I have seen Mullet muster like that a few times. Even experienced the bumping etc you did, they were def not in a taking mood.
 

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Thin lips ?

More chance its Thin lips, have seen it over here.As soon as the sea temp starts to drop they shoal ready for moving out. You normally see them right on the edge of tidal flows in very localised areas, they will use the same pre migration areas every year(unless they get netted out!). As Mike Ladle said the Thick lips are still in feeding mode at the moment.
Try using a Mepps baited with small White rag, change the treble for 2 size 6 Aberdeens pennel rigged.Slow retrieve,don't strike.They do take at night. If it is Thin lips your in for some great sport.
 
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