Letting mulloway take the bait

 Hello guys,

question for the mulloway veterans,

my bait is being played with, I have my bail arm flipped so to minimise line resistance and therefore spooking, it moves a bit then stops, sometimes will move again and stop and that's it, no more love.

this has happened a few times now in my quest for swan river mulloway,

I normally wait for around five mins and check my bait, baits either dead or gone, 

i run either a circle hook through the back if using live or I'll double snell two circles if using dead.

how long do you Vets let allow te bait to be played with, and if it stops, how long do you wait for a bait check, how long do you allow the fish to run with the bait before applying some pressure to set hooks, 

hope my question can be ansewed, thanx 



The art of fishing consists of casting, winding, trolling and jigging

while freezing, sweating, swatting and swearing.

Posts: 908

Date Joined: 06/05/12

I strike when the fish moves

Sat, 2013-12-07 14:15

I strike when the fish moves off with the bait, I try very hard to keep no weight on the bait until it does, by free spoolling on an overhead or bail arm open on a Eggbeater.
If it stops before I strike, I would usually stop and wait until it moves again to strike. If it is moving on a fast run I will strike. Same for northern Mulloway and Barra as well.
Everyone will have different techniques but mine is to strike early rather than later. My reasoning is water pressure will give some weight to the line (especially mono lines)and maybe the sinker will be wrapped and dragging as well, so the fish will feel this and potentially drop the bait if I don't strike.

cudbfishn's picture

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Date Joined: 06/04/09


Sat, 2013-12-07 15:12


Fuzz's picture

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Date Joined: 06/11/13

 I fish a fair bit for

Sat, 2013-12-07 15:10

 I fish a fair bit for mulloway south off the busso jetty. I have had most luck wen i feed free line on the initial run, they will often stop i gently take up the slack and you will be able to feel them pecking/mushing the bait up, i never strike at this stage as have only ever pulled the bait from its lips, when it runs again i will strike. In saying that this applies when im fishing livies and slabs. If im using fresh squid heads i will often strike straight up and this works also. I fish 80 lb handlines with a size 1 bean sinker to the hook.


    "you can catch all sorts in bed, BUT you can't catch FISH !"

MandurahMatt's picture

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Date Joined: 18/09/13

 I'm no expert but maybe try

Sat, 2013-12-07 16:36

 I'm no expert but maybe try a snaper / suiside hook, if your useing circle hooks the idea is for the fish to swallow the hook and it catches the comer of the mouth on the way back out, if you strike with a circle hook it usually pulls it strait out. Anyone who knows better please corect me?


 Bewdey Fellaz

Posts: 311

Date Joined: 18/10/10

Circle hooks

Sat, 2013-12-07 19:31

 Circles work better when you have a bit of pressure on the drag, they will hook themselves. If you fish with no resistance then switch to a suicide style and set when the bait moves. If the bait is moving the hooks will be in the mouth and will every chance of catching when you set. With your livies hook them in the shoulder as Mulloway will majority of the time hit head first. 

Super peg's picture

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Date Joined: 02/09/12

 I've been using circles

Sat, 2013-12-07 23:52

 I've been using circles behind the head , with a thought process of let it swim, then run and then apply pressure on drag for the circle to take effect.

maybe I'll adjust to the octopus/suicide hooks

Maybe I just haven't had a mulla run yet.... Coz circle has worked on eagle rays easy enough, run then add drag pressure and away we go.


The art of fishing consists of casting, winding, trolling and jigging

while freezing, sweating, swatting and swearing.

godders's picture

Posts: 116

Date Joined: 05/08/09

 I agree with night

Fri, 2014-01-31 16:19

 I agree with night fish. 


Use the best chemically sharpened hook you can find on the market. ( I believe the secret is what hook you use.)


I don't use circle hooks I expose the hook through my bait being fillets Mullies live baits squid whatever. Set your drag pressure to reasonable tight but enough so the fish can run when they smash it cause they will hook themselves. Remember they r strong fish so they will pull even if you think it's to tight. 


If they wanna play with bait and drop it, as long as you haven't striked and tried to set the hook they will come back if your Bait is good quality and fresh to the environment your in. 


Good luck 

tangles's picture

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Date Joined: 17/12/06

let em run

Fri, 2014-01-31 18:33

let em run! we set the drag to near on free spool. mullas wll play with the bait. They will usually come in pick the bait up bring it in, drop it then come back in and take it. If they feel resistance when they take the bait and run that is when they usually spit the hooks. We just let them have a good run we no resistance on the line and youll find they get that bait down their gobs then. Snelled hooks are very effective for this. The smaller mullas will usually just snap at the bait but the bigger ones will be a bit more tactlful with the bait. Works everytime for them up here.

thefishwrangler's picture

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Date Joined: 28/01/14

it depends on the situation

Fri, 2014-01-31 19:01

 i do alot of baiting for mullas in albany and reckon iv cracked abit of a pattern......touch wood 

time of day i find has less impact than tides or moon phases, obviously if you can get a slack in the tide and the moon on either side of the full moon at night it can only increase your chances.i find that they feed nicely just after a full moon. because they are not the most athletic fish and don't tend to like feeding on big tides. so they will be hungry after a full. that being said i have caught some nice ones in crap conditions the one in my profile pic is proof of that. i like to use circles if i am going to release the fish but if not suicides by black magic are great. using twins can work well but prefer to use just a single of about 7/0 lightly pined in the back 2/3 from the head of the bait at a 45 degree angle, that is very important as it helps to prevent the hook from burying in the bait on the strike and the single i believe makes the bait feel more natural. i use a running sinker rig with as little lead as i can get a way with. when it comes to striking, the first run that has some pace strike, but there is a technique to that to leave the reel in free spool and when the  fish has some pace get the line between your thumb and index finger and apply some pressure you should be able to feel the fish now and put the reel in gear and let the rod load up then give a firm strike and you should be on:)

as for baits yakkas, mullet, tailor, fresh mulies and squid. whole live yakkas and mullet and tailor live or fresh are best. squid and mulies fresh are good as well but fish in different places like different things so trial and error. and remember fresh is best and local is better also if they aren't taking baits try some big plastics like squidgy pro shads on a jig head to suet to conditions. the lighter the better but not so light that it take ages to get to the bottom.

unfortunately it mostly trial and error. over time you will get a feel for it and learn what works for you, if i think of anything else i will post. sorry its so long but there is only one way to give lots of info hope you find it helpful 

best of luck as they are an awesome fish and very addictive:)


Super peg's picture

Posts: 760

Date Joined: 02/09/12

 Thanks again for all ya help

Sat, 2014-02-01 00:16

 Thanks again for all ya help lads! Some good info there, let 2014 be my year, cheers again!



The art of fishing consists of casting, winding, trolling and jigging

while freezing, sweating, swatting and swearing.

thefishwrangler's picture

Posts: 83

Date Joined: 28/01/14

 hope you get a big one best

Sat, 2014-02-01 15:48

 hope you get a big one best of luck mate  

Sarge''s picture

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Date Joined: 05/02/13


Sat, 2014-02-15 07:44

 This is a wicked thread and im learning heaps! Great Question! 

My two cents is simply a quote from a Sydney calm water Jewie charter that runs out of the Hawksbury.


"we dont really bother freespooling our reels, if the Jewie likes your presentation, itll hit it like a freight train."

what i take from that is its all about presentation! Having said that ive caught jewies on a few different rigs including wire trace and gang hooks and never missed a hook up by striking early.


 This is my Rod, there are many like it but this one is mine.

FISH-ON's picture

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yess thankyou guys this post

Tue, 2014-02-18 09:21

yess thankyou guys this post has been so much help


Be patient and calm - for no one can catch fish in anger

Posts: 363

Date Joined: 27/12/09

caught my first mully at

Tue, 2014-02-18 20:35

caught my first mully at mullaloo beach on a running sinker tailor ( gangs ) rig on a mulie. when beach fishing for tailor i have caught quite a few mullys on the tailor rig after the tailor have run. also caught a 13 kg mully at claremont jetty on a 3 way swivel tailor rig using a fresh dead trumpeter years ago. never bothered freespooling, always seem to get nailed and then strike! some great info in this thread guys 

Jase123's picture

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Date Joined: 13/03/11


Wed, 2014-02-19 15:55

My old man and I had always used a loose drag setting when chasing mulloway.

Have caught a few, with the old man gettin one 20kg and my PB at 7kg (=/ - needs to go up!) 

Last time we were fishing the Murchison River mouth in Kalbarri a local came to me with some knowledge.

He reckons on the outgoing tide (first hour or so after high tide), mulloway tend to hit like a steam train. 

If you're fishing outside this time then the mulloway tend to be more picky.

The best way is to wait till they have the bait in mouth and moving and then strike! We used mainly gang hooks with mulies or fresh fillets, or suicide hooks.

It's all a patience game!


Jase - Exxy was awesome!!

Snags's picture

Posts: 558

Date Joined: 07/05/09

Caught my one and only metro

Thu, 2014-02-20 09:44

Caught my one and only metro mulla (forum/got-one) on circles hooks with the drag on really loose. As loose as it will go without it being dragged by the current.   It took a decent, fast run before i slowly tightened the drag and loaded it up.

It was on an outgoing tide too