The Gulp serves its purpose

June 18, 2011

Fishing is fair in most locations and very good in the canyons. The yellowfin tuna bite has been great with boats returning with up to 10 fish per trip. Dolphin and the occasional wahoo have been mixed in the catch. A few white and blue marlin were released.

Closer to the beach, bluefin tuna are available at the Tea Cup and Massey’s Canyon. Big bluefish, false albacore and a few mako sharks have been taken from the same general area.

Sea bass fishing has been hampered by the strong current created by the full moon. The same is true of flounder fishing at B Buoy and the Old Grounds. Thresher sharks were caught along the Buoy Line.

Delaware Bay is seeing some improvement in flounder fishing, but it still has a long way to go.

The Lewes and Rehoboth Canal and the Broadkill River gave up a few flounder with most under 18 inches.

Rockfish and blues were caught out of Indian River Inlet on bucktails and Tsunami shads. The current was ripping through there on Tuesday night and I did see several blues and one keeper rock caught from shore. Flounder fishing here has been slow with one 9-pounder caught last Sunday.

I seldom write about any one product, but the success of Berkley Gulp! is so great that I have had several questions about it over the past few weeks. Most want to know if it really works as well as fresh bait, and the answer is, on most occasions it works better.

On more than one trip I have done better using Gulp! than others on the boat have done with the real thing. In the spirit of full disclosure there was one day when I could not buy a bite on the Gulp! while folks in another boat caught fish on fresh clam.

I suppose that is the exception that proves the rule.

Gulp! is the result of years of research by Berkley to find a product that would draw fish in and make them bite. Gulp! is a result of this process and combines the feel and taste of natural bait. The body contains scent as well as the liquid the product is packed in. The combination of the two produces a very strong attractant.

I have caught croaker, bluefish, trout, triggerfish, tog, black sea bass, rockfish, kings and flounder on various forms of Gulp! Skates and dog sharks also love it.

I use it from boats in deep and shallow water and from the surf. The only time I use fresh bait is when I am soaking big globs of clam or chunks of bunker. I do use live eels for rockfish in the fall. If you are new to Gulp! I would suggest buying a tub of 4-inch shads. This will set you back about $20, but that is cheap compared to the amount of bait you will save.

Plano does make a tackle box just for Gulp! Called the Liqua-Bait Locker, the box contains two smaller boxes that hold many Gulp! baits in their liquid. This refreshing liquid will work with any type of Gulp! I have squid, shrimp, shads and crab all in the same container.

One benefit of Gulp! is its reusability. When the fishing day is over, just keep the unused Gulp! in the container and it is ready for the next trip. I also change baits every half hour and put the old one back in for later use.

Tog can be difficult to hook and will steal a crab bait in a heartbeat. I use Gulp! crab, and tog have a lot more trouble removing it from the hook, giving old people with slow reflexes several shots at hooking them.

Get in on a real croaker blitz and you will spend more time rebaiting than fishing. Use Gulp! shrimp, crab or squid and you will catch several croaker before needing to replace the bait. In most cases you can cut the Gulp! in half when fishing for croaker because you don’t want him to have too much to chew on before reaching the hook.

Last week I fished the canal with a friend. We were after flounder and I caught seven or eight on Gulp! while my friend failed to attract a single bite until he borrowed a Gulp! shad from me.  That same week an angler landed an 8-pound flounder from the canal on Gulp!

There is one downside to Gulp! If you let it dry on the hook, it will take time and a sharp knife to remove the residue.

If you have not tried Gulp! I highly recommend you do so. If you don’t want to invest in the tub, buy a pack or two of shrimp or crab and go croaker fishing. If that does not convince you to buy more, I don’t know what will.

  • Eric Burnley is a Delaware native who has fished and hunted the state from an early age.  Since 1978 he has written countless articles about hunting and fishing in Delaware and elsewhere along the Atlantic Coast.  He has been the regional editor for Salt Water Sportsman, Field and Stream, Outdoor Life and the Fisherman Magazine.  He was the founding editor of the Mid-Atlantic Fisherman magazine.  Eric is the author of three books; Surf Fishing the Atlantic Coast, The Ultimate Guide to Striped Bass Fishing and Fishing Saltwater Baits.  He and his wife Barbara live near Milton, Delaware. Eric can be reached at

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