Gulp! packageOh, I’m sure I’ll get some official protest to the contrary, but that shouldn’t affect yours or my opinion on the matter. When it comes to largemouth bass fishing, it doesn’t matter what it says on the package, Gulp! is over-rated as a fish catcher, and those of us in Santee the other evening heard testimony.

When asked about the product, former World Champion and FLW champion Jay Yelas said publicly what other Berkley pros have told me privately for years: that Gulp! has limited value.

Specifically, he noted that smallmouth bass react well to the bait (maybe because “they’re curious,” he said) and even recommended drop-shotting the little 3-inch Gulp! Minnow over at Lake Havasu.

But for the largemouth, Yelas’ tour experience seemed to match that of virtually every other western bass fisherman I’ve ever interviewed. “A largemouth sees something fall over there,” said Yelas, pointing a few feet away, “and they’ll either sit there or go over there and bite it, and they don’t care what it smells like.”

Of course, what Gulp! smells like are those dead nightcrawlers we pulled out of formaldehyde and dissected back in high school, and yet Berkley insists on saying the stuff  “Outfishes All Other Bait!” (Would any hand-pour worm or shad fisherman like to chime in here?)

Nothing could be more incongruent with my time on the water. In fact, I’m almost certain in five years of trying, I’ve caught just one 12-inch largemouth on a 4-inch watermelon Gulp! worm in California. And only on a trip to Jimmy Houston’s private lake in Oklahoma, did I catch but a couple on the Gulp! version of a Senko. (Compare that to hundreds and hundreds I’ve taken on Power Worm products–including a career best 11-12.)

Several years back, one of the most revered Berkley pros told me of his frustration over contending with the company’s promotional science approach. The shapes were inconsistent, the colors two shades off from the norm and the packaging often left baits deformed and unusable. Perhaps that’s why Berkley finally came up with a more cleanly molded lure in a rigid, package-in-a-package system as shown above with the new Gulp! Super Worm.

Now I’m certain Dr. Keith Jones and Berkley science staff can provide reams of data on the laboratory effectiveness of Gulp! Unfortunately, neither FLW or BASS have any events scheduled in aquariums.

So what’s your take on the stuff?


6 Responses to “Pros agree: Gulp! doesn’t get it done”

by Robert Schneider

Great for Saltwater bass and smallmouths.

Largemouths….. stick to the other stuff.

I agree 100%. For freshwater fishing, absolutley a pain in the rear.
I do use their sandworm line for taking the kids surf fishing though….They work really well for perch and croaker.

I have to say that I agree pretty much with what Jay says as he has been a friend of mine for a while, but in the Potomac River I have caught numerous BIG bass on Berkley Gulp on several occassions when i didn’t catch them on other baits. I also caught two really HUGE largemouth on purple Gulp sinking minnows from two Delaware lakes that are notoriously hard to catch big bass from. ??

Jay Yelas seems to be a true class act. His candid observation of the deficiencies(de-fish-encies) of one of the products of his sponsor lends support to my opinion of him and his credibility and integrity.This is a refreshing contrast to hucksters that will hype and put their name on anything.

Even if you like and have faith in Gulp!, it is not user friendly. You can’t put your Gulp! rigged rod down and make a few casts with an other rod like a reaction bait. Or some other more situational rig and then return to the Gulp! rig. It turns to hardened shrunken junk that may require a carving knife to remove.

I’ve caught a 6 lb spot with a gulp turtle back worm at Skinner before but nothing on a sinking minnow.