Flathead Grey Mullet - Mugil Cephalus
Latin: Mugil Cephalus
English: Flathead Grey Mullet, Flathead Mullet, Common Grey Mullet, Black Mullet
French: Mulet Cabot
Spanish: El Mújol
Croatian: Cipal Bataš, Babaš, Žuc
About: Flathead Gray Mullet is fish from Mugilidae family. It is one of the most common mullet species spread worldwide.
It has stubby body, but very elegant appearance dominated with meaty lips and big and strong tail. It is very fast and strong swimmer.
Back is bluish with transition to blue-silver on sides and white-silver color on stomach. It has numerous black dots on sides that forms several horizontal stripes running from head to tail.
It's maximum length is around 75 cm (2.5 feet) and maximum weight up to 6 kg (13 pounds). There are some reports of even larger specimens - 120cm in length (4 feet) and 12 kg (26 pounds), but these are not confirmed.
On average, it has around 0.25 kg (0.55 pounds). Depending on location, spawning occurs mostly during summer. It forms schools, which during summer can be really large. It feeds on zoo-plankton as larvae, detritus, micro-algae and benthic organisms like juvenile and, very rarely, adult fish.
Habitat: Flathead Grey Mullet can be found in coastal tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. It can acclimate to different levels of salinity - can be found in saltwater, brackish water and freshwater areas - sea, river estuaries, lakes etc.
Mostly roams from 0 to 15m, but it can be found up to 120m over sand or mud bottom - very often in ports and harbors.
Fishing period: Mostly during summer and autumn, but it is active all year long.
Fishing rigs and tackle: It can be often found in fish traps and special nets - when faced with obstacles, nets and predators, it simply jumps over them.
Due to it's strength and speed, larger specimens are hard to catch with speargun - it takes some time to follow them, stalk the entire school and wait for them to become little bit careless - then there might be a good chance for good shoot around lateral fin. Beware of larger specimens if shot is not right - remember, this is very strong fish.
It can be hooked using handlines or rods and reels using rigs with floats - lines and hooks must be sized according to fish size. Baits are bread, various pastes, fish guts, locally found small worms etc.
Before fishing for mullets, throw few bread slices into the sea and observe.
Note: small mullets are excellent bait for trolling.
Cuisine: Flesh is tender and soft with relatively large fat content (compared with other fish species - around 3.5 - 4% by weight) - very tasty. It can be prepared in many ways - barbequed, fish stew, fish soup, smoked, baked, pan fried etc. Fish caught in muddy waters can have flesh of some lower quality due to taste on - mud :) Feel free to barbeque such fish with some lemon and olive oil - it will mask the smell of mud and give it a great taste and fragrance of barbequed fish.
In many areas of the world, roe is also considered a delicacy - dried on sun and smoked.