Fishing & Boating News

Those Amazing GULP!

by: Ed Snyder, Ed Snyder Outdoors

Jill Almonds of Hempstead TX took this 21inch flounder on a Berkley Gulp.
Photo by Ed Snyder
The Godfrey family of League City TX with moms 20inch flounder caught on Berkley Gulp-.
Photo by Ed Snyder
(Dec. 25, 2011 - Rollover Pass, Bolivar Peninsula, TX.)

Massaging my jig along the bottom as it drifted with the tide I could feel every grain of sand and click of shell while thumping its way along a submerged sandbar. Then, a sudden, aggressive "TIC" triggered my hook-set into the jaw of a big fish, a strong fish. Arching my rod and resetting the drag I prepared for a long, hard fight!!

"Gulp" had paid off for me again with a nice 22inch doormat sized flounder coming to net. You can hang it in the water and fish will aggressively bite it, drag it on the bottom and fish will swim the distance to munch it, or cast and retrieve it like a swimming minnow and fish will attack to kill it!

Berkley's Gulp Out-fishes All Other Baits! So they say. Catches More Fish! They promise. Scientifically proven to catch more fish! Pray tell. Gulp imitates the natural odor and flavor of live bait! Hmmm. These claims by Berkley are used to promote their Gulp fishing products, a series of impregnated soft plastic lures that imitate just about any live bait used for catching fish. But are these claims truthful or just boastful? Read on.

Being an avid salt-legger I fish for the popular skinny water species such as speckled sea trout, redfish, and flounder with mostly soft plastic baits and spoons. Fascinated by these bold claims I decided to test them out for myself. Mostly sticking to their minnow and shrimp type lures such as their swimming minnows and shrimp-tails to fish with .

Gulp comes in re-sealable packets or plastic containers with a secret, scented fluid to maintain their soft and impregnated with the X- factor fluid that keeps them active for homing on the feeding instinct of fish. I concentrated my efforts on my favorite saltwater fishing areas of East Galveston Bay, San Luis Pass, and Rollover Pass.

Initial try outs were very impressive with the shrimp tails seemingly improving my catches of specks and redfish. My usual soft plastic baits still produced as well but the Gulp baits seemed to have an edge on the bite with the speckled trout an redfish hanging onto the bait longer. In fact they were actually trying to eat these baits as if they were real. Cutting the hook of the jig to avoid hooking the fish I found that they kept grabbing the Gulp even after wrestling it from them. ... Amazing!

But the "Coup de Gras" were the flounder. After my flounder fishing experiences this past Fall with the flounder run at Rollover Pass I can honestly say that the Berkley Gulp was, and IS the #1 lure for catching flounder. Now, I'm not saying that the Gulp was better than the live finger mullet, shrimp, or mud minnows fished by the flounder anglers, BUT, the Berkley Gulp definitely kept pace with the live bait, and at times surpassed live bait. I fished my usual twister tails, grubs, and touts, which the flounder hit, but on using Gulp flounder were more aggressive, hanging on much longer for good hook-sets.

The best thing about Berkley's Gulp is that you don't have to be an expert angler to catch fish with it. Curious, I once cut a gulp shrimp tail up into bite sized chunks during a croaker run and I'll be danged if I didn't catch croaker. So I tried those chunks on sand trout and whiting and BINGO! Skilled anglers can definitely increase their chances but the novice anglers can increase their trophy hookups by using these amazing Gulps.

The flounder runs at San Luis and Rollover Pass this year has been exceptional with the Berkley Gulp actually keeping pace, or at times out fishing live bait anglers. Myself, and a few other anglers that I know rarely use live bait much preferring artificial baits on just about all the game fish we seek including the flounder.

There is something to be said about toting your baits in your pocket, ready for action when you are. What I often do is keep an assortment of Gulp in one re-sealable packet which is easily opened and closed when needing to change colors or baits. Now try that with live minnows or shrimp!...I dare you! ...LOL.

The best rigging for using Berkley Gulp for bottom hugging flounder is to rig tandem with 1/4 oz jigs with 1/8th oz trailer jigs. I recommend fishing these with 7ft medium light bait casting rods with fast retrieve bait reels spooled with quality 10lb test line using Berkley Gulps of your choice on both jigs. Cast up current then allow the jigs to hit bottom. Hold your rod up to feel the jigs as they "massage" the bottom down current. Flounder will hit with a quick "TIC" on your line. When this happens immediately set the hook. If no bite is felt after the lure runs its course reel in and repeat the process. The reasoning here is if you get your lures within 2ft of a bottom hugging flounder they will feel the vibration and scent of the lure and will leave their nest to latch onto it. Some time the flounder will swallow the Gulp with no discernable bite feeling much like you've dragged into some weeds or bottom trash, SET THE HOOK! It'll probably be a flounder.

I personally use a 6ft-6inch Kistler Helium Light Action IM rod rigged with a Pinnacle Platinum LP-100 bait casting reel spooled with H2O 10lb test mono, and a 7ft-6inch Castaway saltwater series #3 light action rod with a Pinnacle. These are my choices as they work for me. But you'll need to make your own choice to match your fishing rigs with your style of fishing. I've been a light action sport angler for many years and can handle the lighter tackle for my way of fishing. Tools for the trade is what it's all about here folks, so I recommend that you make your own choices here.

The Berkley Gulp is a priority bait for me now, but I always stock my tackle pack with an assortment of other baits that have proven their worth to me in the past. You can make your own decision, but as for me the Berkley Gulp, they have definitely proven their worth to me.

Are Gulp Truthful or Boastful? ...For me they are BOTH! Besides, one popular Gulp color Berkley calls "Nuclear Chicken" and with a name like that it just has to be good!!!
Berkley Gulp took this 23inch doormat flounder-.jpg?????
Photo by Ed Snyder
The Calloway Brothers of Lake Palestine TX used Berkley Gulps to take limits home-.
Photo by Ed Snyder