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Apart from sardine, mullet is one of the most commonly used bait fish along our coast, and I have used them with amazing success for garrick, shad, shark, rays and kob, especially when targeting shark, kob and big shad that often won’t take a sardine.

I find that the bigger shad tend to prefer fresh bait fish like karenteen, blacktail and fresh mullet. This bait tends to trigger a bite from sharks and rays much quicker than most, and a ragged-tooth in the area will not often pass up a freshly trimmed mullet. It works better than a live mullet at times because of the blood being released through the tail.

I use a 6/0 Rioichi or a Mustad Big Gun 6/0 when fishing a trimmed mullet. This also depends on the size of the bait fish and what size fish you are targeting. If I’m fishing for shark, I use a 9/0 or 10/0 4826T Mustad as these hooks have a wide gap and sit very proud on the bait fish. Use a hook file to sharpen them as they are heavy hooks and need an extra bit of work to flatten the sides of the hook for better penetration when you get a bite.

Step 1

Start by feeding the hook through the mouth and out through the gills (without killing the fish).

Step 2

Pull the hook out and place it in the centre, coming out just short of the tail. Using a hook or bait needle, make a small hole in the side of the fish in which to place a toothpick.

Step 3

Place a toothpick in the eye of the hook – this will keep the hook facing upwards when you get a bite and stop the hook from falling flat on the bait. It will also help to stop the bait curling up and will give it a more natural presentation in the water. Trim the tail of the bait fish and, using some braid scissors, trim the tooth pick.

Step 4

The blood will be released into the water and this normally triggers a quick bite.