Do you love big bluegill?
Well, I had never done it before, but today I decided to try tipping my 1/64th oz shad dart jighead with two different baits to see if it would make a difference. I fished a small public lake in Adams County, PA from 3 to 5 pm. Weather was splendid...68 degrees and partly sunny skies and calm and the fish were biting.
Last week I had to go to the drop-shot/live worm rig to catch fish that had settled near the bottom of 6-8 feet of water after a cold front. Not today, as I found fish 5 ft from the surface over a submerged creek bed. Using the jig with a small piece of garden worm, I caught fish steadily until I reached a count of 19 fish, then decided to try the Gulp! minnows as a tipping bait. Since the entire 1 inch minnow would make a bulky, oversized offering for the gills, I decided to use the back half of the minnow as a tipping option, suspended just like the jig/worm option. Here are the results...The first three fish I caught on the Gulp minnow tipped jig were the three largest of the day at 10 to 10.5 inches. I don't know why this is, maybe a small group of bigger fish just cruised in at this particular time, but the top three were on successive casts. Maybe the jig and Gulp presented a slightly larger offering that only the bigger fish would approach...just a guess.
I caught the same amount...19 apiece...on each tipping option for a total of 38 released fish. Most of the fish on the Gulp tipping were 9 inches or better, and the worm offering fish were just slightly smaller. I fished each option for one hour.
Worm fish tended to take the bobber under with more gusto, and would make the bobber dissapeer. The fish that took the Gulp tipped jig tended to 'trail off' with the jig, not always pulling the bobber below the surface. Sometimes, they would just 'tilt' the bobber and you had to be able to recognize the strike. Most fish were caught over the creek channel, which is easy casting distance from the shoreline.
So what did I find out? Probably, not much. The fish were on the feed as a warm 70 degree November day had them going and action seemed just as fast with either bait. Water was at 56 degrees and clear. The only noticable differences was the 'trailing off' bites on the Gulp and the larger fish on same. Need to experiment more...maybe this Saturday at another lake!
I hear you Jim...Every time I bait up with a Gulp Alive minnow I'm overcome with a tremendous compulsion to shake the excess "juice" off my fingers! Wow that stuff is weird!
Yep. Sometimes I tie one on and fling it out and do nothing but move it around and the fish will kill it. Do nothing retrieve.
The Gulp! "aroma" is welcome anytime for me. No pain no gain fellas. Haha
I confess that I'm guilty of wiping my hands off on the dog after handling Gulp! alive.
I'm not proud of it, but an angler does what he must.
Besides, it wasn't my dog.
I know this was an old post that i missed... but Tony...that's funny right there...
LOVE IT. Let me translate to the masses:
1. 7 different responsive proteins - coelemic fluid = worm juice. = bluegill food
2. Plastic impregnated chemicals = not bluegill food
If you were to do an experiment where people were seated and had to test hot apple pie vs. an artificial apple pie-flavored dish we could see the same results. Our test subjects wouldn't exactly devour the artificial foam pie. They may however scrape up the real apple pie and completely finish it- go back for more of the real pie. Fish act the same with real food- the food they eat and know.
In my own Gulp? test (they need to change the exclamation point from a "!" to a "?") in my opinion and here is why:
As a back-up last-resort bait I might skip fishing if I had to use it but the fishing urge is strong in me. The "?" mark is a result of the effects that the artificial baits had on my bluegills. They didn't know what it was and they didn't like it when compared to live food. Ejections. The fish didn't take the Gulp? in nearly as fast as live bait and they also didn't hang on to it as long. Hook sets needed to be slower and missed hook sets resulted in some lost fish.
This wasn't the case with the juicy live bait in maggot on maggot competition. My stats had the live bait closing in at 300% better in numbers and size vs. the Gulp? - these results were tainted by the action and commotion created by the live bait. The live bait was catching fish quickly resulting in increased splashing which I am positive drew more fish into the area. If I had fished Gulp? exclusively, my results would be a greater percentage than the 295% better.
My preliminary test of 6 - :30-minute time trials can be found here:
With profoundly conclusive results, I can only say I would use Gulp? as a last, last resort. There are hundreds of other methods I might attempt prior to giving into a jar. I would (literally) slice bologna and fish meat buttons or meat strips vs. the jarred bait or fish punched bread. Someone needs to try Gulp? vs. flies method - I think this is comparing Apples to Apples** - **see the pie experiment above and let me know if you find an artificial foam pie I might enjoy.
peace and worm grease!
I been using Gulp! shortly after it was introduced. I've used the maggots and the 6" night crawlers for bass. The maggots seem to work well if the fish are in a feeding mood already, rarely have I had them outfish live bait but I've found it to be a decent substitute or backup if you can't dig up any worms or have the time to run to the bait shop. I really like the 6" crawlers for bass. It's hard keeping the tail from being nipped off by bluegills, especially in smaller waters where all bass and bluegill are packed together a little more. I have caught a few nicer bluegills and hybrid while bass fishing on a 6" crawler rigged weedless on a 2/0 EWG bass hook.
That's how its been for me anyway. I've heard that Gulp! Alive works better than the original but I've not tried it yet.