What Does Mullet Eat And The Best Strategies To Use

Mullets are probably one of the most challenging catches an angler could catch, also they are pretty aggressive in the water. This fish – also one of the most expensive out there – is very quick and cunning enough to avoid most of traps and tricks anglers throw out on them. It requires strategies and good techniques to have a firm catch on them. But just like any others techniques and strategies in angling, the catch of getting a specific fish is to know how exactly they live and operate in the water. And more importantly, you have to know What Does Mullet Eat to adapt quickly.

What Does Mullet Eat

The first thing you should know if you hadn’t known already, is what exactly a mullet is?

Mullets is obviously a fish that being used widely for human’s consumption and is quite an integral part of the coastal cuisine. There are two main types of mullets, and they can be discerned quite easily through the color of their scales.

Red mullet

One type is the ‘Red mullet,’ or even ‘Red surmullet’. They are, of course, mullets that sport a white – red paint. The next type is the atypical mullets sporting a gray color, and you might’ve guessed it, they’re called the ‘Gray mullet.’

Both are the same, although they don’t to belong to the same family. There are no differences between the two of them beside their scale colors.

Red mullet

Image source: BearCaster


Mullets grow and live extensively in tropical and temperate waters; they breed quite fast, and thus, their population is quite dense in the waters. One of the characteristics of mullets is that they often hop over the surface of the water and into the air for a short distance.

An average mullet is 1-3 feet long. And a biological detail you could notice to differentiate a mullet from other fishes is their unique, dual dorsal fins. They often swim in the upper and shallow layer of the water. Hence, it’s pretty simple to spot them, but it’s certainly a challenge to catch them. They also don’t respond as well to chatter bait.


But back to the point of the article, the simple answer to the question is that mullets can eat … everything.

Things from algae to plankton to human’s trash, mullet can eat everything as long as it can chew on it. Pollution takes quite a toll on actual consumption safety of mullets. But mullet’s digestion tracts allow them this way of life and technically make them nearly impossible to be starved to death.

But naturally, mullets eat hydrophytes such as algae, detritus, and sea lettuce, … So, obtaining the necessary baits for them is not hard at all, you can just walk out to the beach with a stick, and you can have a bucket full of them for free in less than an hour.

The easiest to obtain and ubiquitous is algae. Everyone living in the seasides is so familiar with the sight of this spongy, green goo. By sticking them onto the end of your fishing rod, you’re ready for the mullets to come.

Every species of often-found algae such as filamentous green algae are what you could find easily growing on rocks and in ponds, floating in large clumps, films or green colored ropes in ponds or rocks.


The next is diatoms. Diatoms are also algae, and also the most common at that. They can be found virtually anywhere from the beach, to rivers, to lakes, and ponds, … You will have no problems filling a bucket of them.

Detritus are considerably harder to find and a bit more rare than algae. You can find instantly with a pleasant walk on the beach. However, they can also be a pretty attractive bait for mullets.


Image source: Badman’s Tropical Fish


Detritus is the remnants of dead organisms washing up onto the sand. They’re probably not very fun to pick or find. But they are not only a good bait for mullets, but also for several other species you could fish in the meantime of waiting for them.

The last are planktons. Those are almost microscopic creatures that swim around in the water. It is the main diet of mullets.

And planktons are also the reason mullets prefer to live in the shallow parts of the water. It’s for planktons concentrate heavily there at the depth and mullets love to feast on them.


You probably would need some preparations to get planktons. Or you just have to go to your local shops and get them in bulk, for their size. And if you’re trying to look for them in moving water, it’s not easy for sure.

But before you set out to get them, you must know that nowadays the waters are not particularly clean. You probably would find them in not so healthy water.

If you think it’s too dirty, don’t risk it. Instead, try to find alternatives or just go to the local stores. They often sell those at an extremely cheap price tag so you can buy more than you can carry with only $10.

Baits for mullets are very easy to find. You don’t have to be particularly picky about it, actually, you can obtain them for free.

But that also depends on your geography. As most of them could only be found in undisturbed places, public beaches are often void of algae. The reason is that they’re extensively cleaned to ensure the most scenic and pleasant experience for swimmers.

Strong flowing rivers can easily push algae away down the currents faster than you could get them. Of course, stagnant waters are often filled with filth and germs. You shouldn’t bother to risk your health with just for a good dinner.


My point is that even if it’s free, it’s not necessarily worth the follow-up risks. Thus, take care while doing it!

Mullets are great dinner, especially the ones you caught yourself. There’s no denying that it’s very satisfying to enjoy the same catch that you’ve struggled in the seas and the brackish water over on a silver platter in front of you.

Now that you’ve had your answer: “What does mullet eat ?”, it’s time to go and get them!