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rainylakefisher

Gulp Alive - My Opinion

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I was anxious to try the Gulp Alive product as a subsitute for live bait as I really like the idea of having it always there, not having to stop at the bait shop, and the fact it lasts more than one fish. From my experience with Crane Lake walleyes this past weekend, I'll still be stopping at the bait store!

As background, the fishing was steady and I only switched to Gulp Alive after noticing the real minnows probably wouldn't last. I switched to a 2-1/2" Gulp in the black and silver on a 1/8 oz jig in the same color on which I had been catching many 10-15" walleyes.

It quickly became obvious the fish would strike the Gulp, but would not hold it like the real minnows. Using real minnows, you would feel the fish grab hold, release the line for a second or two, and then real up slack and set the hook. They almost always still had the bait. With Gulp, the fish would strike, but not be there after giving them slack and a few seconds to munch on it. The fish I did catch on Gulp were quick hook sets before they could drop it.

To me, and this is certainly only my opinion based on pretty strong evidence, the Gulp is not as good as live bait and the fish could tell something was different. I think it can produce some fish, especially on spinner rigs or other more aggresive presentations, but for jig fishing I'm not convinced. I haven't tried the leeches yet, but have heard better reports on that product. Anybody else notice similar results?

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I have only been using Gulp Alive off the dook catching Blue Gills. I have noticed that I do not catch quite as many as the neighbors, but I do catch consitantly larger fish. for what I am using them for (relaxing on the dock in the evening). I think that they work just fine, but I would not say they are as good as live bait.

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No I haven't noticed similar results, maybe the aren't a replacement for live bait, (it's a marketing ploy) but they are a good replacement when live bait isn't readily avalible.

Usually when I jig I don't feed any line or pause though...that may have been your problem.

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Up to this point, I'm not sold on Gulp Alive because I haven't caught a lot. But what I have noticed that you mentioned they weren't hitting it hard enough, I noticed the exact opposite. When I did get bites, those fish were NOT letting go. Wasn't fishing walters though. I'd think if that was your issue, go with Riverrat and don't pause at all.

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I'm not going to claim they work as well as live bait but the fish I have caught with them so far by no means hesitated. Riverrat can back me up here they will put fish in your boat. But like has been said when using a jig and minnow I don't feed line. And the fish I am talking about are Walleye's.

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I just posted a full report on my Lac Seul trip from last week in the Canada forum, and as I said in that, I caught maybe a dozen fish on live leaches, and 90% of my other fish came on various designs and colors of Gulp. Fish eat it. I am not going to get into the debate of if it works in specific situations, all I can say is that I won't go out without it on my fishing trip ever.

I will agree with a post I saw saying that thier packaging still needs improvement. The new buckets are better than last years, but still not a real treat to use. Regardless, for me the product works and works well. I caught quality fish of all sizes using swimming mullets, pogey's , leaches, both the 3 inch and 5 inch. minnows, and even the worms.

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I have had pretty good luck with them river fishing for eyes and smallies. The fish I catch in the river tend to hit the jig pretty hard so I haven't had a problem with hook sets.

They are pretty convenient to have around instead of stopping to get live bait all of the time. Once I run out of the 3in. minnows I probably will try a bucket of leeches. I am currently into my second season of the minnows and will be able to make it through this season with my current stash.

DT10

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I've used Gulp grubtails for river fishing for Walleyes and they don't do much better than the Berkley Power Grubs. BUT, the Berkley baits are much better than any other grubtails I've used. When using jigs, the Berkley baits seem to make fish hang on a bit longer so you can set the hook on them. Fish don't spit them out as quickly.

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I have caught many quality 'eyes on the Gulp Alive products this year. I really like them fished on a jig pretty aggressively where live bait would either rip off the jig or die instantly anyway. I usually have some sort of live bait on hand but will also not be without some of my favorites of the Gulp Alive as well. They work great in and around the weeds. My experience is that the fish are just inhaling the Gulp unlike that of livebait.

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For the first 3 weeks of the season, all i used was the 4" gulp minnows on a 1/4 oz. jig after my first outing. Couldn't catch an eye on a minnow or anything else but the gulp. They would hit it hard and if I didnt set the hook right away I would miss a lot of them. It's like using any other artificial. Its not alive, and the fish is going to spit it eventually. But I did catch many more fish on those than any other artifical I threw out.

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I've had good luck with the gulp products as well as live bait so far this year. Gulp has its advantages without a doubt but fishing conditions sometimes change and we have to be aware of that. Sometimes Walleyes and even Bass become less agressive for no apparent reason and simply don't take the bait for more than a split second. Whether that bait is a Gulp product, some other soft plastic, crank, or live bait may not matter. Finding the fish matters and like previously stated by Riverrat, I'd never give line while fishing a jig... a lindy or spinner set up yes but not a jig. I'd feel the initial bump-bump, ease the rod tip back toward the source of the bump while keeping tention then when the presence of the fish is felt; set the hook.

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I have had great success on the rivers and some lakes. The smallies and eyes love to hit it. I have gotten some crappies in the oxbow lakes up north off the mississippi. Some days they just want that real minnow.

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I've had mixed results & would probably like them better if they weren't $20 bucket.I'm sure it makes a big difference what pace you're fishing at as in swimming a spinner rig or hopping a jig as to the type of reaction bite the fish is giving at the time. If you are slowly Lindy rigging or dragging a jig they have a bit more time to scrutinize things. I will say though that fish do eat them, as I caught a lmit of crappies & I never lost my minnow, but there were two in with the fish in the livewell when I got home that they must have puked up, cause they weren't mine. L2f

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I've had good results with gulp 4" minnow with a 3/8 or 1/3 jig. Smallmouth love it can't keep them off. It has produced a few eye's and crappies. Caught more eye's on live bait than with gulp.

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Given the move towards requiring that all bait be disposed of at the end of each trip the Gulp products are going to become even more popular. There are new restrictions on live bait dealers on where they can get the bait from. Put these two together and live bait prices are going to surge like it was OPEC providing them. Gulp may seem like a bargain soon.

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I've been very happy with Gulp minnows and crawlers on LOTW. I don't have the confidence with it in clear water yet.

One thing I've heard from a bait store - Berkely/Pure Fishing, through Ducks Unlimited, is buying up wetland space. This supposedly will reduce the amount of live bait harvesting, and will in turn, drive up live bait prices. Now, this was from a bait store, but it makes sense. $5 a dozen (not scoop) of fatheads at LOTW.

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