Each year about this time a number of fish species return to Tampa Bay to spawn. Among them are the Mullet. Among their spawning places is the St. Pete Municipal Marina.
Every year a group of local fishermen congregate at the St. Pete Municipal Marina, launch their boats and wait for the signal that the Mullet are coming. This event occurs for several days.
There are boats, trucks, trailers and people all jockeying to use the two launch ramps and find a place to park the truck/trailer after launch. It's like a ballet with big boats as the actors.
By the way, if you want a lesson in how to back a boat trailer and launch a boat, this is your chance to see the pros up close and personal.
Mullet are somewhat predictable, but the actual time of their arrival can vary greatly depending on wind, tide, water temperature and I guess to some degree fish temperament. So the fishermen gather and have a chance to renew old acquaintances, rivalries and tell a few well ... fish tales.
I happened to be at the Marina Wednesday and had a chance to once again view this annual gathering of fish and fishermen. It is fascinating to say the least.
Everybody launches their rig, and then rafts up along the seawall or just inside the breakwater and waits for the call "THE MULLET ARE COMING." Then there is a mad scramble to the boat and a race to most desirable spot.
Making a living from the sea is older than recorded history. About the only thing that changes are the tools. As you will see in the photo gallery, these are working boats.
These are hardworking, fun loving people who enjoy what they do. If you show up expect a little good-natured kidding.
Never had smoked Mullet? A good place to go is Ted Peters in South Pasadena. Start out with some fish spread or jump in and have a smoked mullet dinner.... Really good.
Attached is a photo gallery of the men, boats and rigs that help put the "local" fish on your able.
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