Info > Striped Mullet
Mullet, Jumping Jack, Popeye Mullet, Mullet, Lisa, Black Mullet
Gulfwide in estuaries and shallow offshore waters. They will
enter 400-600 feet of water offshore to spawn in November
and December, and will penetrate rivers for many miles during
the summer months. They can be found at all levels in the
water column, from the surface to the bottom.
body is cylindrical and torpedo-shaped, the dorsal fins are
widely separated and the eye is large. Striped mullet are
silvery-green on the back and silver on the sides and belly.
On fish 6 inches or so long and longer, prominent black stripes
extend the length of the fish. Smaller fish, without the stripes,
closely resemble the white mullet. The two may be differentiated
by striped mullet that having 8 soft rays in the anal fin
compared to 9 in the white mullet.
When striped mullet spawning season nears in the fall, large
schools of mature fish stage in lower estuaries before making
the 40-50 mile spawning run offshore. In the Gulf of Mexico,
spawning begins in October and extends into January, with
a peak in November and December. During these spawning runs,
offshore predator fish gorge on the fat, egg-laden fish. The
eggs and larvae are carried by currents and tides, with many
ending up in estuaries, where they spend their first year.
Both juvenile and adult striped mullet feed on algae, microscopic
organisms, and detritus that is extracted from the large amounts
of sand and mud that they consume. Striped mullet of all sizes
are schooling fish and are individually prone to make multiple
leaps clear of the water.
striped mullets are under 3 pounds although larger fish are
often found. The largest on record is a 14-pound fish taken
from a landlocked freshwater pond in Texas.
overall, but the flesh is very oily, which makes it a poor
candidate for some preparation styles, such as frying. Fish
taken from freshwater are generally considered poorer table
fare than fish from saline waters. Striped mullet are excellent
when smoked; their roe is also considered to be very good
by some. Striped mullet are excellent bait fish. Small finger-size
mullets are good live bait for spotted seatrout, small to
medium red drum and southern flounder. Anglers often use cast
nets to target small striped mullets for use as live bait.
Larger fish, either used whole or as cut bait are effective
bait for large red drum and offshore predator fish.
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