The striped mullet is a vital fish in our ecosystem. Not only are they considered excellent to eat, but they are a schooling fish that is a food source for larger predators, including birds, fish, and mammals. It is rare to see a loan mullet cruising in the water. Mullet are most often found in groups and form a tight ball-like appearance.
Striped mullet are found all around the world in warm temperate waters. The habitat for a stripped mullet can be either fresh or saltwater. What is interesting about the mullet is that they only feed during the daylight hours. The food source is meat, insects, plants, and detritus.
When you’re on the shoreline or boat where striped mullet are present, you will see them jump frequently. The primary reason for the jumping is to clear the gills, thus increasing oxygen intake.
What type of fish is striped mullet?
The striped mullet is part of the mugil family. This family of fish has over 70 different species.
Because striped mullet are commonly used for both bait and food, commercial fisherman harvests them.
How do you catch striped mullet?
They are most often caught by throwing a cast net over a large school of fish for the recreational fisherman.
Commercial fishers harvest them much differently. Depending on the local laws, they are captured by seines, trammel net, or gill net.
Can you eat striped mullet?
Yes, you can. Striped mullet is an excellent source of nourishment. The fillets are light in color, have a moderate flavor, are firm and lean. Some of the health benefits include omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins.
One of the most popular ways to prepare mullet is to smoke them. The natural flavor of the fish and the combination with its oily texture makes it perfect for smoking. You don’t need fancy equipment, a charcoal grill with a top will do the trick.
Like almost any other fish fillet, they are delicious when fried. Pick your favorite coating to bathe them in and drop them in a pan filled with oil or deep frier. Have some tartar sauce on the side for the dipping.
Considered a delicacy by some, striped mullet roe is in high demand. The roe from the fish is removed and goes through a curing process in either a dehydrator or simply placing it in the sun for days. Once the roe is fully cured, it is cut into slices and served. If you’re buying cured roe, be prepared to shell out the big bucks. Five to six ounces can go for over forty dollars.
Striped mullet are so popular they are shipped around the world to be served in countries that prepare them in unique ways.
How big do stripped mullet grow?
These fish grow big. While it’s not common to see them up to 47 inches, they do grow that large. Most fishermen prefer a two to four-inch mullet, while if you’re planning to eat them, the larger, the better to yield the most meat. For the most part, they are generally between twelve and thirty inches and weigh two to three pounds.
The striped mullet serves many purposes, and because of this, its value at the fish market is high. Mullet are plentiful in waters off of the United States, thus supporting a robust commercial fishing industry. Besides being a food source, bait stores rely on this type of fish as a means of income equally as much as the fisherman who use mullet to catch larger fish. Mullet is fished in chunks and live. A dozen live mullet can cost over ten dollars. The next time you’re looking to try out a new fish, give mullet a try.