Rigging Mullet for a Natural Dredge: Your Go-To Guide

Oct 11th 2023

Rigging Mullet for a Natural Dredge: Your Go-To Guide

Rigging live mullet or dead mullet can work wonders in targeting saltwater trophy fish, like sailfish and marlin. How to rig mullet depends on which offshore angler you ask. There are many different approaches and styles, so feel free to experiment with your setup to find the method that works best for your natural dredge rig.

In this guide, we’re not going to dive too deeply into the equipment, as the ideal rig will vary widely depending on where you’re fishing, what species you’re targeting, and your fishing style, among many other variables. Rather than talk gear, we’re simply going to explain the most popular methods for rigging mullet, so you have a solid starting point. From there, you can adapt the techniques to your preferred dredge.

Rigging Dead Mullet on a Pin Rig

Rigging live mullet and dead mullet require different methods. Here’s a simple and effective method for rigging dead mullet on a pin rig.

  1. Begin with around 4 feet of your preferred line (waxed rigging floss is a popular choice).
  2. Make a loose loop by doubling the line and tying a single overhand knot.
  3. Entering through the bottom of the mullet’s chin, insert your pin rig with a weight attached to the line. The wire loop should be exposed from the mullet’s nose so you can attach a snap swivel when rigging mullet to the dredge.
  4. Loop your line over the front of the pin. 
  5. Pull the loop down so it tightens on the mullet’s head.
  6. Secure the pin rig to the mullet’s head by wrapping the line in front of the mullet’s eyes and behind the weight.
  7. Hold the mullet behind the gills and wrap one leg of the line towards the tail. There should be roughly half an inch between wraps.
  8. Wrap the line 5-6 times, and then hold it in place against the mullet’s body.
  9. Wrap the other leg of the line in the opposite direction until both ends meet in the middle.
  10. Tie both legs of the line on the mullet’s underside using an overhand loop knot.
  11. Trim any excess line, and you’re done rigging mullet.

Rigging Live Mullet With a Hook: 4 Methods

An offshore angler fishing

The variances in live rigging methods are based mainly on the hook’s location. Here’s how to rig mullet with hooks with four different configurations.

1. Through the Upper Jaw

  1. Match the size of your line and hook to the size of the mullet.
  2. Push the hook through the indent on the inside of the mullet’s upper jaw.

2. Through the Upper Jaw and Back

  1. Prepare a main hook and trailer hook with wire (#7 to #9 is ideal).
  2. Insert the main hook through the upper jaw, just like the previous method.
  3. Insert the trailer hook through the top of the mullet’s back so it’s barely under the skin.

3. The “Ha Ha Rig”

This method for rigging mullet may not be permitted in some tournaments, such as those hosted by the IGFA (International Game Fish Association). Be sure to check the rules.

  1. Insert the lead hook through the mullet’s upper jaw, collar, or nostrils.
  2. Attach a short, dangling stinger wire with an extra-strength treble to the lead hook.

4. Behind and Above the Ventral Fin

  1. Insert the hook through the hard cartilage behind and above the mullet’s ventral fin, making sure not to push it in too deep.
  2. Attach a sinker.

Use Tournament-Quality Equipment

a variety of saltwater fishing rods

Whether you’re rigging live mullet or dead mullet, Fish Razr has the top-quality tackle you need to do it right. If you’re planning on rigging mullet, we highly recommend using our natural bait kits to simplify the process. They come with everything you need except the bait.

Our collapsible dredge bars are another solid option, as you can pre-rig the arms with mullet and switch them out quickly and easily as needed. We also stock a wide variety of other styles of dredge bars so you can create your ideal custom rig. You can also improve the performance of your natural dredge by using dredge accessories, such as bait salt or bait brine.

Now that you know how to rig mullet, order your pro-quality natural dredge equipment and give it a shot. Rigging mullet is the easy part—fighting saltwater predators is the fun part! Check our offshore angling blog for more expert tips and techniques, and make Fish Razr your go-to shop for the industry’s best tournament-ready tackle.

About Author

Les Orr is a co-owner of Fish Razr and a native of the Gulf Coast of Texas. He grew up fishing the inshore waters of the Galveston Bay system and occasionally offshore. He moved to South Carolina for a job opportunity in 1994, and his love of the offshore grew in the Charleston area. He currently lives and works in Mt. Pleasant, SC, with a wife and two young kids, 12 and 13 years old. His son is becoming quite the angler and loves going offshore to catch dolphin, tuna, wahoo, and the occasional marlin or sailfish.