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Yelloweye Mullet (Aldrichetta forsteri) Photographs and Information

Yelloweye mullet are greenish-brown along the back with brown fins, silver or yellow on the belly, and a distinctly yellow eye.

A common name for this fish is Sand Mullet

They grow to around 40cm and 1kg. The less common sea mullet grows to over 50cm in length and 5kg in weight.

Mullet are commonly caught in nets, specifically mullet nets, but they may provide good rod and line sport when caught on light fishing gear with small hooks fished under a float.

Mullet can usually be found around beaches, estuaries, jetties and from rocks adjacent to sandy areas.

The flesh of this species has one of the highest sources of the "good oil" omega three fatty acids.

Mullet are a large, plump silvery fish of excellent flavour. They are very oily, and have a high fat content, and have a very rich distinct, strong fishy flavour. They are usually sold whole or as fillets. The raw flesh is pinkish grey, dark after spawning period. After cooked the flesh flakes easily is medium to firm and always tender.

Mullet tend to school as juveniles and during spawning season as adults. They spawn at sea.

Mullet feed on detritus, diatoms, algae and microscopic invertebrates which they filter from mud and sand through their mouth and gills. A proportion of the sand ingested helps the grinding of the food in the muscular stomach.

There are two types of commercial fishery for mullet. One is an ocean beach fishery targeting spawning adults a their roe is highly prized . it is in high demand within Australia and overseas. It can be sold fresh, or smoked or dried. Beach seine nets are used for this type of fishery.

The second method of commercial fishery is the estuarine fishery. This accounts for the majority of the mullet catch. Mullet are captured all year round but the majority of the catch occurs in late summer and autumn. Coastal set gillnets and tunnel nets are the main form of gear used for this fishery.

seamulletmap1.jpg (3528 bytes)

Minimum size limits apply to commercial catches of mullet in QLD, NSW, VIC, TAS and SA.


In the early part of the twentieth century, the fishing industry in Australia began to target additional species and use of new fishing methods. Until mid-century, sea mullet was the most common commercial fishery, followed by barracouta.

Scientific Name Mugil cephalus
Location QLD, NSW, VIC
Season All year round
Size To 78 cm, 1.4 kg
Australian Species Code 37 381002
Taste, Texture Rich strong fishy taste. Medium/firm & tender


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Mullet fillet.

Kilojoules 549 (131 calories)
Cholesterol 28 mg
Sodium 131 mg
Total fat (oil) 0.4 g
Saturated fat 32% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 15% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 53% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 34 mg
Omega-3, DHA 87 mg
Omega-6, AA 26 mg


Other Mullet Links:

Fish Fillets Recipes

Recipes for Mullet from How To Cook Fish

Exporters of Sea Mullet 
Importers of Sea Mullet 
Processors of Sea Mullet 
Wholesale Suppliers of Sea Mullet
Agents for Sea Mullet

See Also:
Mullet, Grey
Mullet, Sea
Mullet, Striped Red
Mullet, Yellow Eye
Mullet, Red
Mullet Roe

Yelloweye Mullet occurs mainly around the southern coast from Kalbarri (WA) to Newcastle (NSW) including Tasmania with a Marine Stewardship Council accredited fishery in Lakes and Coorong (SA);

A very common species in our waters, it is often found near sandy areas where they feed on small animals such as sandworms and small cockles. Sometimes large schools can be seen mouthing and tailing at the surface. This feeding behaviour occurs where there is an abundance of plankton in the water.

Angling & Fishing for Mullet:

Mullet are not a common catch for recreational fisherman, although in brackish to freshwater mullet will accept baits of dough or earthworms, on small hooks under a float. Small "poddy" mullet are a good live bait for such fish as flathead and can be caught in a narrow bottle or similar container filled with bread.

Many mullet species are difficult to catch, but both the sand and yellow-eye can be taken on light tackle and small hooks baited with bread, dough, peeled prawn, cockle or pipi, worm pieces or maggots. Yellow-eye mullet are the more willing biters, and will even take flesh baits, squid strips and pieces of pilchard or whitebait. Most of the successful rigs for these species incorporate a light float, such as a quill or small bobby cork, although the fish can be taken on un-weighted or very lightly weighted lines. They respond extremely well to a berley trail of soaked bread. Sea mullet are generally harder to catch, but will bite at times.

underwater photo of mullet bottom feeding
Diving the Gold Coast - Photo by Ian Banks

Type of Tackle
Use line between 2 to 4kg. Mullet can be a problem if lighter line is used, due to the line being prone to tangles while casting, as well as while the Mullet are on the bite. Lighter lines can encourage more strikes.

A rod around 1.8m is ideal for both jetty, rock and boat fishing.

Hook Selection
No.8 - 10 Beak-Nickel "Holdfast" nylon snelled hooks that come pre packed are ideal. Mullet have small mouths !

Baits for Mullet
Minced steak (or kangaroo or horse meat) with added semolina and curry or garlic, Tubeworms, Tuna Flesh, Bungum Worms, Seaweed Worms.

Saltwater Fish - What bait to use for fishing - a list of saltwater baits with the main "diners" who will be tempted.

Berley Mix
A stiff mixture of soaked pellet berley squeezed into a berley spring will disperse slowly and attract mullet to your bait. Some anglers stake hessian bags containing various berley mixes at the waters edge, small particles forming a steady berley trail for mullet schools to follow and remain in.


Cooking Mullet:

mullet fillet, skin on mullet fillet, skin off mullet fillet, mullet fishMullet rate as fair to good table fish, their oily, somewhat fatty flesh being well suited to smoking, while sand mullet are arguably the tastiest of the mullet clan. All mullet should be cleaned promptly if intended for the table.

Commonly 500g-1.5kg and 30-45cm, though Sea Mullet can grow to 8kg and Goldspot rarely grows larger than 30cm and 1kg.  Mullet are a low priced fish.

To Buy
Usually sold as skinned fillets. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In fillets, look for pinkish-grey, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.

To Store
Make sure whole fish is scaled, gilled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly (remove stomach lining and any fat along the stomach wall). Wrap whole fish, or fillets in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months below -18C.

To Cook
The lining of the abdominal cavity should be removed completely and the fat along the abdominal wall should also be scraped away. Average yield is 45%. Has a strong flavour, oily, moist, soft to medium-textured flesh with few bones, which are easily removed. Remove the skin, and fatty tissue underneath, for a milder flavour.

The ocean variety mullet tend to be cleaner than the estuary fish, and you should skin the fillet. They are best eaten fresh, as they do not freeze well, and soon acquire a strong fishy smell. They are excellent to smoke

To further improve the eating qualities of this fish, it is highly recommended that the black stomach lining be removed prior to cooking as it will cause the flesh to become bitter.

Cooking Methods
Bake, grill, barbecue, smoke, pickle. Works well in fish pastes and pt.

Microwave Cooking Times for Fish
- Fish fillets 5 minutes per 500g on medium-high, +50 seconds more for thicker fillets, or until flesh flakes
- Whole fish - Large 6 minutes/750g on medium
- Whole fish Small 3-4 minutes on medium

Colour of raw fillet:

Pinkish grey, darker after spawning period.


Flakes easily.  Medium/firm, always tender.  Moist flesh

Fat content:

Low to high, Mullets have a seasonally high oil content. They have a higher oil content during their migration (April and May), leading up to spawning.


Rich, strong fishy flavour. Distinctive flavour. The flavour of the flesh varies slightly according to species. A lighter-flavoured fillet can be produced by deep skinning the mullet and discarding the fatty layer of tissue immediately under the skin.

Fish Fillets Recipes

Recipes for Mullet from How To Cook Fish

mullet fillet, fillet of mullet fish, sea mullet, diamond scale mullet
Mullet Fillet

Commercial Fishing for Mullet:

hauling in a catch of mullet on the beach

Sea mullet (Mugil cephalus) is an important species for commercial fishers in southern Queensland. The species is a major component of the ocean beach fishery, but is caught in similar numbers in bays, estuaries and near-shore coastal waters primarily south of Bundaberg.

Mullet are caught using a variety of nets and netting methods. The nets and methods used depend on the fishery. Some of the nets used include mesh nets and seine nets.

The estuarine fishery uses gill and tunnel nets to target fish for the local fresh fish market throughout the year. The ocean beach fishery uses seine and haul nets to target pre-spawning fish from April to August to supply an international export market for mullet roe.

Worldwide Trade Seafood Industry Directory of companies and contacts who are Exporters, Importers & Processors, Wholesale & Agents of Mullet:
Exporters of Mullet
Importers of Mullet
Processors of Mullet
Wholesale Suppliers of Mullet
Buyers Agents for Mullet

Trade-Seafood Directory - See Also:  Grey Mullet Red Mullet Sea Mullet Red Striped Mullet Yellow Eye Mullet


More links about Mullet & Mullet Information

Australian Government - Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (PDF file) - Australian Fisheries Statistics 2010/2011




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