How to Hook a Finger Mullet for Bait

Finger Mullet are an effective live bait that work well for various types of large predatory fish. They are a seasonal fish that flourish in the brackish waters during the summer. These mullet feed off the bottom and fall into the area where many predatory fish wait to eat. Catching live Finger Mullet as bait works extremely well for fishermen. Understanding the correct way to hook these fish can be beneficial for keeping them alive on the hook for a longer period of time, which can lead to great results while fishing.

Using Finger Mullet as bait also works well when frozen. Using the frozen mullet bait with a bottom rig works well when bounced off of the bottom. Finger Mullet do consist of a distinct smell that lures in larger fish. When I catch a lot of live Finger Mullet, I usually use small containers or bags to freeze these fish. I have seen better results with frozen mullet compared to other types of frozen minnows and shiners.

Occasionally, you can find live or frozen mullet at your local bait and tackle store. However, my preferred method to catch them is on my own. The most common method for catching Finger Mullet is through the use of a cast net. Cast nets are an extremely useful method to catch live bait for a variety of species. Finger Mullet tend to swim towards the top of the water and can be easier identified with their swift movements, creating small splashes and wake in the water. Larger fish may sometimes chase them in shallower waters which makes their appearance that much more obvious.

Finger Mullet are fast bait fish which makes the cast net the ideal tool for catching them. Finger Mullet swim in schools. It is recommend to throw your cast toward the front of the school. We find that it is almost essential to cast the net in the direction where the Finger Mullet are swimming towards, since they will quickly move at the slightest disturbance. All it takes is for one perfect throw of your cast net to catch plenty of live bait for your next fishing trip!

How to Keep Finger Mullet Alive

If you are able to have live Finger Mullet at your disposal, it would be in your best interest to have them alive by the time they land on your fishing hook as bait. The success that we have seen from live mullet still outweighs the use of frozen bait. Finger Mullet are easier to keep alive compared to most types of bunker, but without proper aeration and fresh water, they will still not be able to stay alive.

Several fishermen have live wells aboard their boat which work perfectly for keeping Finger Mullet alive. For situations where you don’t have that luxury, a bucket or live well cooler work fine. All you would need is a bubbler, which helps aerate the water. With this method, we would still recommend for the water to be changed every couple of hours. Alternatively, when on a boat, punching holes into a bucket and throwing it in the water with a rope will also work fairly well.

How to Rig a Finger Mullet

When selecting the ideal hook to use for your Finger Mullet bait, we recommend a 2/0 hook. This hook will work well for most mullet that fall into the 3-4 inches range. Bottom rigs work best with a sinker, which is needed to help bring the bait to the bottom. Egg sinkers are best when fishing off of docks and piers. Pyramid or triangle sinkers are best when fishing off of beaches or rocks. Teardrop sinkers are best when fishing off of a boat.

How to Hook a Finger Mullet

Our recommend method for hooking Finger Mullet will ideally help keep them alive, while also being able to successfully resemble their natural swimming motion. Hook the Finger Mullet through the bottom lip and out through the top. To counter the fish that are only eating the tail of the mullet, hook the mullet towards the bottom of the tail. For this method, they should still be alive but may not be able to swim as effectively compared to hooking them through the lips.

What types of fish eat Finger Mullet

Finger Mullet have been a successfully bait for a wide variety of predatory fish. To name a few, we have seen Finger Mullet work well when trying to catch bluefish, fluke, flounder, striped bass, redfish, trout and even catfish. While live bait has worked effectively for all of these species, we have seen great success with frozen bait specifically for fluke, flounder and catfish.

Video on How to Use Finger Mullet


Finger Mullet have definitely grown in popularity as a great bait for fishermen, producing results that tops most other live bait options. The great thing about this type of mullet is that they are available in many different bodies of water. They are abundant, easy to catch and a real effective bait for fishing. From our experience fishing, we believe that Finger Mullet are the best bait for having inshore fishing success!

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