September can be one of the best months of the year for inshore and beach fishing as the “mullet run” kicks off! Big schools of mullet are migrating down the coast and trigger feeding frenzies of snook, tarpon, big jacks, and sharks. Simply cruising the coastline early in the morning by boat is the best way to find birds diving on the mullet. Cast-netting mullet along the way can be tricky when it’s still dark. But just look for diving birds at the “Crossroads” or pretty much any shoreline that’s not rocky. I use a 8 to 10 foot cast net with 3/8 inch mesh. For artificials, we cast DOA Bait Busters, DOA 4” CAL jigs, Live Target and Vudu Mullet, and YoZuri Crystal Minnows. The mullet run is also a great opportunity for anglers fishing from land as they can walk the beach or drive to different public beaches looking for diving birds. The challenge of the mullet run can be there is too much bait. To make your bait stand out, try adding some weight by using a fish-finder rig or knocker rig. This will get your bait underneath the school of mullet as an “injured” bait to get picked off. For artificials, a topwater plug help stand out.
Another approach for catching monster snook during the mullet run is pitching mullet heads. This old technique is great for catching big momma snook that are sniffing the bottom for scraps during the mullet run. Simply catch 8-12 inch mullet and cut their head off behind the gills 4-5 inches from the nose. Use a 5/0 circle hook to hook your mullet head through the back cut area and out the top. We use 2-3 oz weights above the swivel with a 4 foot 50 lb. leader. We usually start fishing with mullet heads around sunset in somewhat shallow water where fish have been feeding throughout the day and leaving scraps behind.