Gulp Bait: Artificial Bait Vs Real, Which is Better?

A fairly new product developed by Berkley, is artificial bait called Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½Saltwater Gulp‘. When it was first introduced and sold in local department stores or your favorite bait shop it had but one flavor for saltwater fishing; Cut Bait. Now, a few months later we have 17 scents out to enhance the pallet of many a saltwater species, ranging from Bloodworm to Sand Crab/Flea. This new recipe for success in fishing is so potent it can actually OUTFISH real baits. At 400 times more scent than plastic baits and a whole lot tougher, this means more bites per capita, per cast than anything out there on the market today!

That is a bold statement; so I decided to put it to a test. A couple of us Island Anglers met at our local meeting place, Venice City Pier Florida and formulated a game plan that one of us would use Gulp and the other cut bait, while fishing one of the three sand bars for what ever was feeding at the time; though we were targeting Whiting (Southern Kingfish) or the local Venice Sail kitties, the Gaff Top Sail Catfish. Barry Garmen Sr. elected to use the Gulp and I real bait. We decided to both use the same rigging, weight and line class but different baits. Rigged with a one ounce, free running egg weight above a ball bearing barrel swivel, a twenty pound monofilament leader was attached at eighteen inches in length to a number one short shank hook. We both were using ten pound test line but with different rods and reels.

Barry, being a hardware (lures) fisherman wasn’t real keen on bait fishing but for this test he reluctantly agreed. We started in the mid-morning hours, the fish here in south Florida are laid back and usually go on a bite after the water warms with the sun, with Barry cutting a small strip of about Ã?¼ of an inch wide by 1 inch long and placing it on his hook cast out to the cut on the beach side of the sand bar. I, using a similar size of cut mullet; though slightly thicker, cast out next to his bait. The water that day was nearly perfect for Whiting or Sail Cats. From the beach out to just past the drop off of the third bar we had muddy water; that chalky green mixed with sand and foam from a good sized swell. Beyond the last sand bar the water was an emerald green and as clear as a bell, with white foamy wave tops glistening in the sun light; perfect for Spanish and other migratory type fish.

Barry’s Gulp hadn’t been in the water more than five minutes and bam, “Fish On!” He had a small but nice Southern Kingfish (Whiting). I meanwhile was still on a wait. The gulp was still intact; it didn’t even look like it was touched, so Barry recast back out and before he could put his rod on the deck of the pier, Bam, another fish was on. I then rechecked my bait to find that the crabs were having a field day on my expense. I placed new bait on my hook and cast back out. As the water changed to a murky chalk to a muddied tan, from the waves beating on the shoreline, I got my first sail kitty. “Apparently cats like cut bait and Whiting like Gulp” I exclaimed, just as Mr. Garmen brought in a nice five pound cat. “Yeah, that’s right” he said. This performance repeated itself all morning until I could stand no more, “I gonna buy me some shrimp this cut bait sâÂ?¦” you get the picture!

By switching to shrimp I managed to catch some 13 Whiting and two sail kitties. Unfortunately, Barry caught some 19 Whiting and five or â�¦ Who cares, I switched to the Gulp and boy did we have a bunch of fish by the evening. After an entire day of fishing with Gulp we had only used four pieces of �¼ x I inch and still had a four by six inch or so left. Barry was even pulling strips behind a spoon and landing some nice Spanish, compared to others who were using only the spoons and getting the occasional taps.

Barry suggested we take the remainder of the Gulp left in the packet and try it as a whole piece on a shark rig; a stainless forged 10/0 hook attached to 8 ft of 270 lb wire attached to a barrel swivel attached to 20 ft of 80 lb mono attached to 50lb
mono on a Peen 6/0, with a Aqua Gem- Snap Float attached to keep the bait at 10-12 ft below the surface with current drifting it out away from the pier, when the sun went down; “who knows what you could get” he said laughing!

That is exactly what I did and though it is an expensive shark bait, it had but floated out only fifteen minutes or about one hundred yards and before I had released it to the bottomâÂ?¦”FISH ON!” Though it was a small shark, about four an a half or five long, it “Gulped the Gulp in one swift bite! I battled this beauty for around twenty minutes or so; we landed her on the pier, tagged her and released the shark back to the waters below but not before a remembrance by photograph.

They say it’s all about presentation when fishing, unless your using Gulp, then all you need to do is flip it out and hang on!

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