Dee Kaminski's Tips On Imitating Mullet | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
Dee Kaminiski holding a snook. Photo by Dee Kaminski

Match the hatch with these expert mullet tips.

Dee Kaminski fishes Florida’s east coast for snook, trout, reds and tarpon. Her fortunes rise and fall with annual mullet migration. Kaminski’s story starts in the fall. As the water temperature cools, silver mullet from all along the Atlantic Coast head south to spawn off South Florida. “This is the mullet run,” she explains, “fishing is on fire.”

Huge schools of mullet congregate in hopes of escaping predators. “To find feeding fish look for mullet raining out of the water” she says. Kaminski continues, “Most people think the run only happens along the coast, but the fish enter the inlets and backwaters, too.”

Current and tide have a huge effect on mullet. “Bigger mullet will escape into deep holes and cuts around islands and river bends,” she says. Juvenile mullet hide in the mangrove roots. “A high tide will push the bait up creeks and canals. During colder months, the mullet escape to the same canals and creeks to find warmth. “When it gets cold, mullet and mud minnows are the only game in town,” she says.

So, how do you match the mullet? “Size and color vary greatly,” Kaminski says, she often finds mullet gathered by age. “Matching the size is critical,” she says, often carrying several sizes of the same color pattern. “The tackle shop walls are covered with mullet imitations,” she says.

Kaminski chooses colors and patterns that don’t exactly match the color of the bait. “My favorite is a bone-colored surface walker,” she says. Red head with white body or dark back and light belly are other favorite colors. She chooses light colors on sunny days with clear water and dark colors when the sky is overcast or the water is stained.

More important than color, Kaminski strives to imitate the mullet’s behavior with her lure. “Mullet spend most of their time swimming just below the surface,” she says. “Topwater walkers are always popular.” Kaminski casts past a school of mullet and walks the lure back to the kayak.

“Sound is a big part of the attraction,” she says. “The plop when the lure hits the water and internal rattles draw the fish away from the real bait.” She also uses a surface walker to prospect for fish. If the fish are feeding deep, she works a weighted, weedless hook slowly along the bottom or over grass. “I’ll cast into the middle of a mullet school and let the lure sink to the bottom,” she says. If nothing happens, retrieve the lure slowly interrupted with a few long pauses.

“I often hook a fish while I’m distracted by something else or talking on the phone,” she laughs. When Kaminski

spots a trout, snook or red swimming the shallows, she lands the lure four feet ahead of the predator and lets it drop. “Move the lure slowly into the strike zone so the fish can see it.”


Edje Joe weighted, weedless hook and paddle tail. The flat weight on the weedless hook gives the paddletail a seductive side-to-side movement.

Tactical Anglers Crossover: Internal rattles add sound that attracts surface-feeding fish. Reversed gill rakers disturb the water for more vibration.


A loop knot reduces line twist and increases the lure’s action. 

Pinch a split shot to the hook for a more pronounced wounded fish action.

Add Pro Cure gel mullet scent to the lure. Why not smell like a mullet, too?

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