Marina mullet madness

It’s almost exactly 20 years since trip-hop pioneers, Portishead, released their sparse, paranoid masterpiece Dummy. It’s a great album and one that’s aged well. The Bristol scene of that era is etched into UK music folklore, when Portishead, Massive Attack, Tricky, Roni Size and co offered a properly exciting and distinctly British take on US hip-hop.

Anyway, with that tenuous link out of the way, I spent a few interesting hours fishing over at Portishead Marina with a family friend last week on what was a lovely, mild Sunday afternoon.

Portishead Marina
Portishead Marina

No sign of Beth Gibbons and co. But the shoals of marina mullet were evident and after I lobbed in some groundbait of bread mash with tuna, they attacked the cloud with such glee that I thought it was going to be easy…

I’ve never known anything quite like it! They weren’t big fish at all – in fact I doubt any of them would have made a pound – but despite ending up with a mere fleck of bread on a size 18 hook and three pound line, I just couldn’t get one to take the bait properly. Unbelievably frustrating fishing.

I gave up on those awkward little fish and set up a quiver rod with a light lead, a size 8 hook baited with half a rag worm.

We soon got some steady plucks and pulls and it wasn’t long until I managed a little flounder. Such charming and suitably surreal fish, flatties.

Marina flounder
Marina flounder

Jason soon had a long, mottled goby that was as equally as strange. They’re prehistoric looking fish that look like a sort of bullhead/catfish hybrid.


Soon it was time to rejoin the family, but not after another couple of gobies and a really interesting chat with a local who gave me some top class info on finding the better mullet and bass that reside there…


Author: tescovalue79

Age: 37. Work: Marketing & communications. Like: fishing, art, ITFC, good music, bad pubs.

10 thoughts on “Marina mullet madness”

    1. Nice one Yessling, both cracking LP’s. I had Dummy on too. I think Blue Lines may just edge them both though… What an era.

  1. Nice spot that marina, I had a walk around there last month (supposed to be working) a couple of local older chaps were filling their boots with all sorts, Pollock, bass, mullet and flatties, nothing massive but plenty of action, mostly on waggler fished rag with the better ones on the drop and the flats when settled,
    Those pesky harbour (tenby) mullet have driven me crazy in the past, till someone put me onto smokey bacon cut up into little bits, really huge difference, no tentative bites just sucked right in,
    You might be missing a bite or two on the other mentioned perch pool, that’s all I am saying for now !
    You might just get that kingfisher photo there as well

    1. Hi Mark. Funnily enough I have a day planned in search of perch soon and had a totally different venue in mind. But are you saying it’s worth trying the regular perch pool at the moment? Usual tactics?

  2. Portishead has a marina? When did that happen? Last time I was there it was just another crapy little seaside town. Oh well, where does the time go?

    Nice mixed bag though, real bran tub fishing.

    1. Hi Dave. It does indeed. It’s nice down there, plenty of decent bars and restaurants if you’re into that type of thing… They also encourage fishing on the marina, unlike many of these types of places. I’m a total sea fishing novice, so literally any fish is really exciting!

  3. Hi again, gave that place three evenings with only carp to show, the last session totally ruined by a foursome of scumbags, shouting and doing the ice bucket challenge with pond water !!!! Takes some believing but true, might not go back for a while, the other place I said about is the one, still had some bloody carp but some big perch as well, prawn and worms, but tried a little deadbait and hooked a real plodder, before the hook pulled out, don’t ask me the size, I am still trying to fathom how after half a minute that can happen, only been doing three hours either after work or weekend, reports off match guys of fours caught on pellet.

    1. Shame about the lost one, Mark. Yeah, I tend to prefer those places in the middle of winter, less active carp and less anglers! I went to the Wye in the end and had a few perch, no biggies though. In terms of the ‘other’ water, is that the small match pool or the more mature lake in town, if you get my drift!

  4. The commercial fishing near the channel, I had a couple of hours in the week, a brace of good twos, again not the best looking place but during the evening’s (that are drawing in to fast) it’s a lot quieter than most and it’s importantly doing big fish, not last year or the one previous to that, as you know big fish don’t go on forever and it’s good for confidence knowing the quarry is actually there and not on a photo on the club house wall!! Congrats on the river perch and always good to hear of new fish coming through, last year I mentioned about a couple of swims on the river producing big stripeys, well apparently an otter took up residence and did very well, cleaned it out, can’t see a perch out running one off those,

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