Bait & Lure Selection
The beauty of the mullet run is there are many different ways to catch fish. A no-brainer is to fish a live finger mullet that you cast net right from the surf, or catch on your way to the beach. These can be fished on a classic fish finder rig made with a couple of feet of fifty to sixty pound test monofilament or fluorocarbon leader and a 2/0 to 5/0 circle hook like the Daiichi D85Z. If I’m fishing the first trough off the beach for snook and reds, I like a ½ to 2 ounce egg sinker. This rig will roll around and move a lot so it I think it increases the chance of your bait getting in front of a snook or red, but it requires a diligent angler to keep slack out of the line and make frequent re-casts. If you want a more relaxed approach where you can kick back and set the rod in a rod holder then swap out the egg sinker with a 2 to 6 ounce pyramid or sputnik sinker on a sinker slide like the Boss Kat BKSS6. If you want to try bigger baits for tarpon then a 7/0 Daiichi D84Z hook on an eighty pound test leader is a good choice. Blacktip, spinner and other sharks will require a wire leader. I prefer #10 stainless steel, single strand leader wire and a 10/0 heavy duty circle hook like the Daiichi D94VP.
Despite the effectiveness of bait, I mostly use lures during the mullet run because it’s just so much fun, especially on topwater. Just about any lure that remotely resembles a mullet will work. Keep in mind there are a lot of toothy predators that will shred soft plastics and skirted baits. I mostly use more durable baits like plugs and spoons. For plugs, choose tougher models designed for saltwater. For safety reasons I use lures with no more than two treble hooks and I often remove the forward treble or replace it with a single hook. Free swinging treble hooks are extremely dangerous when you are trying to unhook an unruly, toothy fish. I use the same leaders for lures as I use for bait. Fifty to sixty pound test mono or fluoro works for general applications, eighty pound test for bigger tarpon and wire (like #10 stainless) for sharks.
By the way, if you want experience epic blow-ups on top, try throwing topwater plugs for blacktip and spinner sharks. Sharks are particularly active early morning and late evening. If you want to have a shot at landing one, make sure you use heavy duty, through wired plugs like the Savage Gear Panic Popper and Panic Pencil Popper, or the many fine plugs in the Ocean Born line by A Band of Anglers.