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Mullet Run

Mullet Run

The Mullet Run: Explaining This Natural Phenomenon

There are so many great things that happen when September is here. Kids go back to school, NFL and college football are back, bull reds start to school and last but not least, the mullet run occurs. Every year in the fall, from August to November, when the air is crisp and starting to cool down the popular saltwater baitfish known as the silverback mullet leave their feeding grounds and head south to spawn. From the Carolina's to northern Florida the mullet head to South Florida and the Florida Keys. Once they have arrived in these warm waters, they move offshore and form large bait schools. It is in these massive bait schools that the mullet spawn. This yearly migration makes for some of the best fishing in South Florida. From incredible bait school explosions to all the topwater smashing this year's mullet run is sure going to land anglers some nice fish this year.

Mullet Run To South Florida

Drone footage of the mullet run South

Because of the large fish that follow the mullet to feast on this passing prey, many anglers look forward to fishing during this time. The mullet run is not limited to any one species of fish that feed. Often the smaller saltwater predator fish include species like snook, mackerel, reds, flounder, and bluefish. There are also a few larger species of predator fish that you can catch, and those include tarpon, blacktip sharks, and cobia. So when the mullet start to run so should you to get out there and start catching fish to fill up those coolers.

Where Anglers Should Be Fishing During The Mullet Run

Florida Jettie from Florida Parks

 Mullets run from North Carolina to Florida on their way down south. Fishing any beaches in between here and south Florida when the mullet are passing through can yield a great day of fishing. No matter what beach you are on in the south-east, given the right time and day of where the mullet are, could be some of the best fishing you have ever experienced. Always fish the traditional areas of a location like jetties, inlets, piers, and the mouths to the salt marshes. These mouths and inlets act as a natural funnel for small bait fish like the mullet in search of food on their way south. Because of this the predator fish like reds, trout, and flounder often sit in these areas for hopes of the next meal. Since you now know where to fish you need to know what to fish with to catch that next monster fish.

What Baits  Saltwater Anglers Should Be Fishing With During The Mullet Run

Live Mullet Rigs for fishing during the mullet run

Often anglers swear by throwing artificial baits. These range from crankbaits, jigs and topwater. During the mullet run the only bait you should be using is live mullet! It may seem obvious, but the fact is that there is tons of live mullet and all you need is a cast net to catch them. Species like snook, reds, and trout are only feeding on a diet of mullet during this time of year. Fish with what the fish are eating is what my dad always told me. It will be a perfect time to get some practice with your cast net skills. 

Once you have collected your live bait its now time to fish. I have seen anglers free float mullet behind the boat, or others use a bottom rig. No matter what the success of hookups during this great run seems to increase exponentially. So get out there and use live bait for your next big red, snook or monster tarpon.

David Sanchez with a massive tarpon

David Sanchez photo with massive tarpon


No matter if you love fishing with live bait or not, you need to be fishing when the mullet start running. The mullet run yields some of the biggest fish caught during the year. Why not be the angler who hooks and lands these fish during this time.  Any anglers with questions or tips, please leave them below in the comment section, or you can email us at We look forward to hearing all your mullet run stories from this year.


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Rico Velez - August 28, 2019

Has the mullet run start yet I am in Ponce inlet Florida

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