I believe in giving everything a fair chance--especially when it involves fishing strategy. I've been around long enough to sample and test various scented baits or spray applications throughout the years with varying success. Fish Formula, Chummin' Rub, Berkely Strike and of course Power Bait to name a few. Now there is Gulp!. I've messed with it for 2-3 yrs and I am (as of now) I am not convinced that is it as good as live bait--false advertising?
I have done six controlled "in the field" tests using Gulp! vs. live bait this season and it has failed to produce fish to an alarming degree. I am not saying it may not work for you, it's obvious it works at certain times, but I thought I would share my experiences with Gulp! so you can make your own decisions. Here is a summary of what I found:
1. April 2009, surface temperature 57-62 degrees, slightly over cast, stable conditions, catching crappies like crazy on minnows under a bobber and retrieving the bait. After an hour or so of catching all sizes of crappies using a variety of techniques it was a perfect time to test some Gulp!. I put a Gulp! minnow on a jig and tried various retrieves and depths--not a bite in 10 minutes. Then I tried it under a bobber and twitched it towards the boat (looked good to me) not a bite in another 10 minutes. This all being done while the others continued to catch fish on live bait.
2. May 2009, s.t. 66-69 degrees, sunny day, stable conditions, catching bluegill in the shallows on wax worms and cut up leeches. The fish were very agressive-- to the point where catching a limit of fish took just minutes for 2 anglers. Great, I figured another chance to test Gulp!. Sunfish this aggressive should eat anything--wrong, not Gulp!. I again was the volunteer to put some Gulp! on my hook. I tried the same size pieces so that it would match the live bait that I was using. I even matched the color of the chunks. When the fish approached the bait, they would simply look at it for a second then swim away--just like stubborn fish under the ice. Wow, what a shock, These sunfish even were caught using basic Power Bait grubs and generic tube jigs. I am starting to doubt the "out fishes live bait" advertisment at this point.
3. Early June 2009, s.t. 66 degrees, sunny stable day, catching 14"-17" walleye in 42-49 ft of water, a big school of fish. Three of us had been catching walleye on live bait rigs and jigs tipped with minnows, leeches, or 1/2 of a night crawler. All three presentations had the fish reacting the same--decent bite and easy to catch. So once again I figured why wouldn't a school of aggressive walleye that deep pass up a Gulp! bait that looked the same as the live bait we were using? Should be a slam dunk--wrong again. We all tried the Gulp! on a jig, live bait rig, and a bottom boucer to be safe, after 20 minutes--not one bite! The second the live bait was put back on the hooks--fish in the box.
4. Mid June 2009, s.t. 70 degrees, cloudy day, catching largemouth bass in the shallow bull rushes (2-4 ft) using artificials. The bait of choice was a 7" black Power Bait worm rigged Texas stlye. Tube jigs were also working well. Three of us had been catching fish at a rate of one every 3-4 minutes for about an hour. This is my Gulp! vs. artificial test. So once again I put on a Gulp! worm. After 15-20 minutes not one fish. I was last in line in the casting order so I gave the bait the angler fishing first water. 15 minutes later, not one fish, heck not even a bite!
5. Late June 2009 s.t. 72 degrees, partly cloudy, stable conditions. Catching walleye, largemouth, northern, crappie, perch, rockbass,--( basically everything) trolling 3/4 ounce bottom bouncers and spinners tipped with crawlers over 7-9 ft cabbage flats. Between four anglers a fish of some kind was caught every 2-3 minutes for hours--it was a hot bite! So once again I put on the appropriate Gulp! bait. I was fishing first water (back trolling) for 15 minutes. Thats all I could take. I did even get a bite from a rock bass or perch and in the mean time my clients are bring in all kinds of fish hand over fist. Are you convinced yet?
6. July 18, 2009 s.t. 68 degrees (was 72 but cooled a bite), frontal conditions, cloudy, breezy, decent bite over all. Walleye fishig in 22-38 ft of water using bottom boucers and crawlers. Fish have been going nuts all week with limits of nice walleye in 2 -3 hours for groups of 3-5 guests. Slowed a little yesterday but still had limits within 2 1/2 hours for 4 anglers. Take a guess--I tried the Gulp! on various schools of fish at different depths, speeds, colors, --all the basics and not a bite! I have Gulp! for sale at 1/2 price if you want it, LOL. Good Luck this summer, Capt. Josh www.minnesotaguideservice.com