When it comes to fishing in the coastal waters of South Carolina, mullet fish are commonly found. Mullet are a unique species of fish that have an appearance different from many other fish species. In South Carolina, three different varieties of mullet roam its inland and offshore waters. The mullet is valuable to anglers for a multitude of reasons. Just what are finger mullet?

What Are The Three Varieties of Mullet That are Found In South Carolina

The three varieties of mullet found in South Carolina include the striped mullet, white mullet, and mountain mullet.

Striped Mullet

The striped mullet is the most common mullet to be found and the largest. Striped mullet tend to be in the 1-3 pound range and have longitudinal stripes, a silver belly, and dark upper half.

White Mullet

Most often, the white mullet is smaller in size than the striped mullet. Most are around one pound or less but can reach up to three pounds. The tail of a white mullet is far less forked than a striped mullet. Most white mullets do not have stripes, and they silver entirely in color.

Mountain Mullet

It is unlikely you will find a mountain mullet because they are rare. The mountain mullet grows up to around 12 inches in length. They have a sharply pointed head, yellow-colored tail, and silver body.

What Are Mullet Used For

The mullet is both excellent table fare and an ideal bait for fisherman. If you plan to eat mullet, the fillets are oily and have a distinct flavor. Most prefer to smoke the flesh of a mullet. However, the red mullet is the best tasting of them, but they do not call the South Carolina waters home.

How Do You Catch Mullet

Anglers who plan to catch mullet either for food or bait often use a cast net because it is rare for mullet to bite a bait. Mullet prefer to dine on algae. These fish gather in school, so a single throw can yield an abundance of fish.

What Is A Finger Mullet

When it comes to bait, anglers prefer finger mullet. The term finger mullet refers to small-sized mullet, the length of an adult’s finger. Finger mullet is the ideal bait for inshore and offshore fish because of not only their size but because predator fish frequently dine on mullet.

How Do You Find Finger Mullet

When it comes to searching for mullet, look for commotion at the top of the water. These fish swim along the surface in large groups, and they often leap out of the water, ferociously eating algae. Keep an eye out in calm waters in sheltered areas.

To avoid spooking them, keep a distance of at least five feet between you and the mullet. The same goes for approaching the school by boat. Once the mullet disperse, they will take time to join as a group again. Toss the net over the mullet and let the net sink to avoid mullet from escaping the bottom.

Should Finger Mullet Be Used As Live Bait

Yes, finger mullet should be used live. The commotion of any live bait draws more strikes than cut but or any other dead bait. To keep the mullet alive, place them in a bucket with an aerator or an onboard live well. At the end of the day, the mullet can be bagged, frozen, and used for cut bait on another fishing trip.

What Kind Of Fish Will Eat Mullet

Nearly every inshore fish will eat mullet. Some of the species include sea trout, redfish, flounder, and shark. Offshore, drop a mullet down on a reef for sea bass or float one on the surface for mackerel.

Use Finger Mullet On Your Next Fishing Trip

The next time you head out saltwater fishing, throw a cast net for finger mullet.  Should you not have a net, visit a local live bait store and pick up a dozen or two. Keep them alive and fish them under a float or along the bottom with a weight.