Best Jersey Shore Mullet Run Lures

Best Jersey Shore Mullet Run Lures

On the Jersey Shore summer winds down, tourists leave and the days get shorter. Tropical ground swells hit the beaches with the peak of Hurricane Season. The Bermuda High gives way to lower pressure, Nor’easters and westerlies. The weather and water cool and the Fall Season tees off!

This is the September/October transition on the Jersey Shore and smack-dab in the middle… The Mullet Run!

Jersey Shore Mullet Run

The Mullet Run is a very special time on the Central Jersey Shore because it marks the real transition from summer fishing to fall fishing. It jump starts the fall season and brings life to the waters.

The best Jersey Shore Mullet Run Lures vary on conditions and location but these five are a sure bet.
Here’s Vinny Rossi with a health striped bass that was caught on the backside of the bar, plugging the surf via boat.

During this time the bays, inlet and surf are all productive.  Casting distance isn’t of the utmost importance because mullet hang in tight to the beach. When mullet make the move out they are commonly found close to the beach lip, in the wash, in the waves and also tight to jetties and pockets. Look for their subtle v-wave signs to help reveal their presence.

While some could debate until blue in the face, these are the Fish Head Top Five Picks for all weather conditions…

5 Best Jersey Shore Mullet Run Lures

1) Little Neck aka Polaris Popper from Super Strike Little Neck Popper and Gibbs Polaris Popper are some of the most popular top water surf fishing lures ever made. Well known for their productivity in a variety of conditions from calm to windy, chop to big water swell. These lures can be fished with a slow crawl and an intermittent twitch, pop retrieve. The Nomad Chug Norris PopperStillwater Smack-It Popper , the Storm Chug Bug Poppers can also be grouped into this category. All three have unique rattles (Chug Norris medium pitch / Smack-It low pitch / Chug Bug high pitch) that attract striped bass from long distances. Another awesome popper is the Yo-Zuri Hydro Popper.

2) Rubber Swim Shad – Whether fishing Tsunami’s Holographic Swim Baits or Storm’s Wild Eye Swim Shad you’ll catch if game fish are present. These life-like baits are about as close to live bait as a lure angler can get. Fish them slow and low and be ready for a strike.  The No Live Bait Needed 5″ Swimbaits is a somewhat newer bait that is the real deal producer. Also the classic Gotcha Rubber Sassy Shad rigged on a Kalin’s Swim Bait Jig Head is also a great option. We suggest 4 and 5″swim baits. Pro Tip: When fishing softbaits always carry a bottle of Zap-A-Gap (Green/Medium) to make emergency repairs if and when a bait gets ripped.

3) Bucktails – The most productive and widely used fishing lure in the world doesn’t need an introduction or a suggestion. If you are fishing the surf and not carrying a bucktail you are no question missing out. We love to fish the Magic Tail Bucktail because they are with top quality Mustad hooks and tied right with the perfect amount of hair. The right weight depends on the conditions, usually 3/4-2oz covers most bases. Don’t forget to tip the jig off with a trailer like a Gotcha Curly Tail, Fat Cow Jig Strip or Otter Tail.

Striped bass love bucktails. This striper went for a white bucktail tipped off with a chartreuse Jig Strip.

4) Top Water Spook/Pencil – The Heddon Super Spook, Tsunami’s Talking Popper and Yo-Zuri’s Hydro Pencil are all floating top water lures that come alive with a little action from the rod tip. With a walk the dog approach fish pile on with exhilarating top water strikes!

Tsunami Talking Poppers raise fish and are especially good on the surf!
Tsunami Talking Poppers raise fish!

5) Floating Swimmer – Last on the list but definitely not least in terms of significance. From plastic to wood there are so many options in the swimmer category. The classic Cordell Redfin is a floating plastic swimming plugs that shines in the Jersey Shore surf during the mullet run. It’s ability to slow swim on the surface with a picturesque mullet like v-wake is unmatched. The Bomber Windcheater is another one that works wonders on the surf and jetty for their ability to swim down deep with a tight actions.   A Gibbs Danny Metal Lip Surface Swimmer’s slow craw sass is irresistible to game fish in the surf hanging right on the edge of a jetty, rip line or the lip of the beach.

Other Honorable Mentions:
The Daiwa SP Minnow (a must have in any and all lure boxes/bags) and the Yozuri Mag Darter… super universal all condition killers.


Author: FishHead.Greg

A Long Beach Island native with life long experience fishing and navigating the local waters, Greg is a distinguished Master Captain (the highest qualified operator license), holding a US Coast Guard Masters 50T Near Coastal License with Towing Endorsement. Raised in and now managing his family's bait and tackle business, Fishermans Headquarters (Since 1962, The Saltwater Fishing Bait & Tackle Experts) Greg is daily immersed in fishing. He is the Chief Contributor of FishingLBI.com (Long Beach Island's best fishing report blog) as well as the Admin for the shop's social media pages (on Instagram and Facebook). Be sure to follow!

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