Any suggestions for chum mixture that will attract bait-sized mullet in the bays and rivers off of the ICW?
I am a Floridian who stupidly moved to another state for work and can't find a way to move back until the economy gets out of the toilet, but I do occasionally sneak a fishing trip to my old Daytona/NSB stomping grounds - and will do so again in late July. I no longer have a boat and since I moved away almost all my shore-bound mullet spots have been made completely inaccessible by "progress".
I know a few places where I can still get inshore water access on foot, but the mullet usually stay too far from shore to get more than a half dozen or less in over an hour, when a school barely passes close enough to toss a net at one or two of them.
So I was hoping to chum a school within reach of a cast net this time. I've searched the internet and read of various mixtures of oatmeal, breadcrumbs, Bisquick or Cat food that are supposed to work. Anyone have any success with something different? Or any tips in general? I assume that once I throw the net in one area, I'll have to move and chum another area since it will clear them out, but hopefully they'll return quickly since the public access is so limited.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. The only place I know anymore to even try are random spots along US-1 between Port Orange & New Smyrna (the few where they haven't blockaded parking/access with guardrails). If anyone would like to share any general spots to look for them, that would be very generous of you as well (obviously not asking for anyone's secret spots - just love to know if there are any other parts of the DB/NSB area that still have land access and potential bait mullet schools to be found). I use an aerator and after fishing always return any unused mullet back to where I got them in their inshore nurseries - I want them to keep breeding if possible and if I let them go where I am fishing, they'll be fish food pretty fast.
The only chum that I found that works for mullet is.....Money!
Take some to your local bait store and its almost a lock to leave with live mullet :-)
Seriously, mullet congregate around all the shorelines in this area. Throwing anything at them will just sppok them. Quietly wade near them and pitch your cast net. when you get them, you will typically get more than you can use.
I've never heard of bait shops carrying live mullet (and I used to ask a lot) - maybe I went to the wrong places (or is it a new thing?)...any in the Daytona-NSB area to suggest? If not, I'll call around when I get there. I like to catch my own, more sporting that way, but when you get skunked it would be great to be able to buy it.
Apparently (according to articles I found) people who fish for mullet with hook & line chum for them with various grain-based stuff like oatmeal and bread and claim it works...have no idea if it does, but I'm game to try. I remember catching them as a kid on corn.
I was cast-netting mullet in the back-waters for years when I lived in Florida and got pretty decent at reading the water to find them, but my road block now (literally, at times) is that in the 10 years since I moved away, almost all the public access has been taken away.
Used to have 10 places or more in any stretch of road near the ICW or its creeks, and eventually one of the spots would be holding and I'd have what I need in 30 minutes or so, sometimes less, often without getting my feet wet. With only a couple public access points left, and none of them very good, I wind up wading to my neck, dodging the moccasins to get to a decent spoil island area out in the river/canals and taking an hour or so to get a half dozen (which are gone in abut 20-30 minutes once the fishing starts).
I'm probably just SOL until I can move back and get a boat again.
Anyway, thanks again for the suggestions. After living in New England where they can't even call fish by the right names, its nice just to have conversation with normal fishermen again. ;)
When I was a kiddo, we used chicken feed. Pellets. Not sure if it drew them in, or just kept them around while we netted them. That was for the larger mullet in Lake George. We would gut them and find the feed in their stomach. Im, sure it would work on finger mullet, maybe use chicken crumble instead of pellet.