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There are companies with artificial replicas of live bait that make the claim they are better than live bait.Lets here some unpaid expereinces with these products.I realize the conveneince these products must have for the sunfish angler.But are they worth the money,and that you might be missing fish because you arent using a product of mother nature.Thanks for yalls replies!

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I have used Berkly Gulp maggots and earthworms for both ice fishing and open water venues and have found them to be good 'substitutes' for the Real McCoy, but in few instances have they outfished live bait. I have taken some big gills to 11 inches on Gulp as a tipping bait and would say that in a pinch, they are worth at least a try. I keep a coiple of small jars handy when bait is scarce or tough to get.

When the fish are really biting, Gulp is comparable to some live baits and perhaps less mesy to deal with.
Ya know Jim I think its messier than tipping with mealworms or mousies...and getting them out of the jar and seperating each morsel...pain in the Ass!
I've used the Berkley Micro Wigglers (maggots) in cream and pink - the pink just SLAYS the gills around here! I put 'em on a bare red #8 or #10 hook about 2ft under a small bobber or strike indicator. The crappie nibbles (either yellow or pink) are killers, too. Those are my go-to baits for when the gills start ignoring the dry flies.
For the most part I only fish with soft plastic or leadhead jig's with plastic, I cant remember the last time I used bait. There are time's when I've used Gulp but only when nothing else work's. It's good to have some along when these time come up.
i know from frist hand experance that i didnt have any luck with the berkley powerbait crappie nibblets i couldnt buy a bite if i wanted to. but i am glad to see someone has had some luck with the berkley gulp nightcrawlers i have 2 jars of this and havent had a chance to use it yet. i hope to go in the am or pm and give it a try . i just hope the weather changes for the good.
Hmmm. Well first, please allow me to relate my experience with live bait vs. artificials for the "Big Green Sunfish" {Largemouth Bass :-)
Out of my first 10 double digit Largemouth's, I think 8 were caught on live bait (crawdads and crawlers) but admittedly, back then, I only seemed to catch a few bass over 10 lbs each year. Finally I started shifting away from live bait, mostly throwing big trout patterned swimbaits, and small soft plastics for sight fishing.
And then, finally, I started sticking a LOT more double digit bass.
Cut forward 10 years, and now, more than 2/3rds of my 88 double digit fish have been caught on artificials...... And I'm "NOT" using more artificial lures because I think this makes me look more skillful... or cooler... but rather, because artificial lures have made it "easier" for me to catch the giant bass I'm after.
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Now, lets turn the page to the smaller, prettier, and (ounce for ounce) stronger sunfish ;-) I don't know why it is, but I can hardly buy a Bluegill, or other sunfish, on anything but live bait ??? And I've tried numerous times ! I've tried little micro jigs... sinking flies..... etc....
But for all I've my effort, I think I can count on one hand, the fish that bit something that wasn't alive.... and those were mostly male Redears, guarding beds. In other words, they were not eating because they were hungry, but just trying to remove a foreign object from the nest ?

I don't get it.

What am I doing wrong ???

Fish
Fish, try a small spoon 1/10th-1/12th....It'll buy you some fish.
:-) Take Bill's word for it! It'll work. Just tried it myself this last weekend for the first time. I'll be providing more information later, but trust me, it is a fabulous tool.
IVE USED THE PINK KIND AND CAUGHT SUNFISH AND THE YELLOWS WORK BETTER FOR CRAPPIE IN LOUISIANA
I'd say, half and half, but the half that is artificial is flies. I don't think I've caught one BG on anything but crickets, worms and flies, both wet and dry. It's obvious I must do a lot more research in this matter.
I have had great success with a 1/64 0z. feathered jig tipped with a Berkley Micro Power Wiggler below the smallest bobber I can get my hands on. It out fishes live bait not because it is better but because I don't have to rebait my hook every time. I also like it because I catch blue gills (large and small though always large ones) mixed with Crappies. It is a great shallow water presentation. If you are going to try this set up I have found that it works best on a feathered jig. I have tryed my own experiment on this but (as all us fishermen do) tinker with it, as all situations are different and require presentations to be tweeked.

Thanks...Gotta try this as it looks like a great presentation...I am not a big fan of the overhyped Berkeley Maggots and only caught fish using them when live bait has already turned the fish on. (I've only tried them through the ice though) I do have success with feathered jigs and would like to try the combo( i have a jar to finish)...of course I 'll more than likely turn the fish on first with a crawler or meal worm tip first...I do concede with what you and Jim Gronaw say.. that when fish are hitting with reckless abandon they'll hold up well with many catches.Then again an untipped lure would be as fast to present and perhaps as successful. I do wonder if homemade silicone strips treated with fish scented oils wouldnt be a more practical and cheaper way to go.Someone on this site,I believe, gave me that idea and it sounds right to me.

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