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Tackle Tips by Berkley®

WHY BERKLEY GULP! OUT FISHES LIVE AND PLASTIC BAITS

Capt. Greg Watts

Not All Soft Fishing Baits are Plastic

When I’m fishing for redfish, trout and the other saltwater inshore fish I find live shrimp or frozen pogies are typical “one fish” baits. That is, the fish strikes and the bait is lost. Doesn’t matter if there is a hookup, the strike alone ruins the bait. Anglers were quickly discovering that a single Berkley Gulp! Shrimp was just as good after the first bite as it was on the fourth or fifth.

So just imagine, in the early days of Gulp!, the excitement of inshore anglers as they were catching more fish and not having to mess with keeping their baits alive nor having to toss out unused bait.

Just what is it about Gulp! that separates it so much from live and plastic baits? Well, first of all, Gulp! is water based. Water based also means the scent and flavors contained within are water soluble. Scent dispersion is 400 times that of plastic baits. Gulp! baits literally breathe water. As water enters and leaves the bait it takes with it the strong scent, leaving a virtual Gulp! scent trail in the water.

When Berkley Gulp! was first introduced 15 years ago the general inshore angler was relying heavily on live and frozen baits. Shrimp, pogies and crabs, the mainstay inshore baits, were purchased daily with leftovers discarded and the practice repeated the next day.

To the amazement, and delight, of inshore anglers Gulp! not only was out fishing the tried and true but the unused baits were good the next day, and the day after that and the month after that.

Additionally, Gulp! is almost entirely biodegradable and does not litter the water like other baits.

There is no other bait like Gulp!. Since its introduction, anglers made up their mind not to trust anything else. A look at IFA (Inshore Fishing Association) tournament results proves that professional anglers rely heavily on Gulp! and the top finishers at just about every event are using the bait.

The next generation of Gulp! formula is more potent than ever. Through thousands of field tests over the past 20 years, Berkley scientists have learned a thing or two about what triggers fish into striking. Recent developments have lead the Berkley team to create a new and enhanced Gulp! formula that is now 35-percent more effective than the original.

Gulp! is available in newly, designed resealable packages to protect the integrity of the baits’ shape and Gulp! Alive! in resealable tubs. It offers the most popular saltwater shapes and colors. Shrimp, crabs, eels, mullet, grubs, pogies, sandworms, bloodworms, croakers….the list of shapes goes on and on.

Durable Gulp! is now a mainstay in most tackle boxes and professional and recreational anglers alike have discovered just how great this bait works.

“There hasn’t been a live shrimp or pogie in my boat in years.”

Learn more about Berkley Gulp! Here

About the Author

Captain Greg Watts, fished on the Redfish Tour, and finished in the top 20 in many events. He, along with brother and partner Bryan Watts, was the IFA Team of the Year Winner in 2001, as well as 2001 Championship Winner. Other Career Highlights include:

  • Fished ESPN Redfish Cup from 2003-2009

  • 2001 IFA Championship Winners and Team of the Year

  • 2003 ESPN Redfish Cup Winner

  • 2003 ESPN Championship Winner

  • 2005 FLW Team of the Year

  • 2007 ESPN O’Boy ‘Berto All-Star Champions

Editor Notes: Big R Stores carries the Berkley brand, check with your local Big R Stores for product selection and availability.

July’s Outdoor Column

 

Once July arrives the temperatures tend to get very warm and so does the water. This keeps a lot of people off the water as far as fishing is concerned. Sometimes during these hot periods, the fish slow down and bass, bluegill, crappie and walleye really shut down for a while.

I find this is a good time to fish for something else or to change my bass fishing tactics to something else. A good change of pace sends me after carp and catfish and many times I head for the rivers to get a little action. I have long been a fan of good fights with fish whether or not I land them doesn’t bother me. I encourage anglers to practice Catch & Release and not worry about how many you can put in your frying pan. Taking a big carp or catfish is just as exciting as landing a big bass or walleye and July is generally the month when the big river catfish can be caught, especially the flathead. Catfish have been known to tilt the scales at over fifty pounds in several of the rivers near where I live in east central Illinois.

Many of the big flatheads come during the month of July and you had better have some heavy-duty equipment if you want to land one of these big ones.
Shrimp, chicken liver, shad entrails, along with blood and cheese baits are all used for catfish but, the flathead has a different type of diet. The flathead feeds on clean live bait such as small bluegills and cut bait (fish that have been cut up and pieces put on the hook).

Of course, many big catfish are taken with bank lines, trot lines, nets and jugs but, to me, that doesn’t give me the thrill of the actual battle one can have with a rod and reel.
The same goes for carp; hang a big carp on a rod and reel and the fun begins. Catch that same carp on a light fishing outfit and you have won a battle lost by many.

Carp are generally caught on live night-crawlers in the early spring but in the hot summer, dough ball is considered the best bait. I make a great dough ball out of ½ cup of yellow corn meal, ½ cup of flour. Add enough water in a bowl to knead the two ingredients together to make a ball. Bring a pan of water to a boil and drop the ball in and let it boil for about twenty minutes. Be careful the pan doesn’t boil over. Find an old rag or towel and lift the ball from the water to the towel and let it cool. Wrap up the dough ball and head for the lake.

Of course you can add things like vanilla, licorice, or other ingredients to the boiling water if you wish but I prefer that dough ball just the way it is!

Your local Big R Stores have all the fishing equipment needed to land these big fish as well as pre-packaged baits so check out their selection and have fun trying to tame one of these big fish.