Visitors and new residents alike are often perplexed and wondering what type of fish that is jumping through the gulf access canals of Cape Coral.

Any seasoned  Floridian will immediately identify them as mullet, our impressive aquatic jumpers. Observing them, I liken their jumps to very large skipping stones, as oftentimes mullet will jump three or four times in quick succession. They leap up to three feet into the air then slap back down into the water on their sides, creating quite a smack and a splash.

The usual question on everybody's mind is "why are they doing that?", when it seems like the more natural behavior would be to continue swimming merrily along. We've all heard various explanations such as they're leaping to flee larger predators or they're attempting to dislodge sea lice or other parasites.

Scientific research has deduced when you see a single mullet jumping out of the water, as we see in the canals, they are in search of more oxygen. Since jumping activity in our canals is much higher during summer months when oxygen in the water is at lower levels than in winter months, this makes a lot of sense. Further evidence to back this conclusion is larger numbers of leaping mullet in any body of water with less oxygen than those with superior water quality.

Since mullet are vegetarians, the only way to catch them is with a net. Mullet make a tasty treat when smoked, but I take the easy route and order the smoked mullet dip at one of my favorite local restaurants, Blue Dog Bar & Grill in Matlacha.

Enjoy fishing? Or want to start? Cape Coral , and all of Southwest Florida, is well known for its fishing! Thinking about making the move to Cape Coral or another town in Southwest Florida? Let us help you! Both Tom and I are dedicated to helping you find your waterfront dream home in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Bonita Spring, Fort Myers Beach, or Naples. Click here to start your search or call us at 239-357-6118.