Don’t throw away those chewed up pieces of Gulp!
Over the years, the Berkley Gulp lineup has expanded with many different colors, shapes, and sizes. Many of their models are effective for a number of different species of fish. Whether you’re bouncing a Swimming Mullet for summer flounder, jigging a 4-inch Saltwater Grub for sea bass or using a newer model in the Gulp line—the Paddleshad—for striped bass or weakfish, you will quickly notice the effectiveness of the product. But of course, most good things do come to an end, and in fishing terms, tails get chopped off, baits get shredded or they just won’t stay on the hook anymore after catching fish after fish.
For a long time, once the product looked unfishable or wouldn’t stay on the hook, I would end up throwing it away, thinking it was useless. One day while fishing the bay in August, I kept coming up with chewed-up tails on my Gulp pieces. These bites were too small and couldn’t have been from a fluke. After drifting into the shallows where I could see the bottom of the bay, I saw swarms of blowfish trailing behind my offering, nipping away at what was left of my curly tail grub. Eventually, I was left with no tail, and the blowfish continued to pick away at the body. This was when I realized that these small critters weren’t attracted to the profile of the Gulp but the scent was the main attraction to them.
Fast forward a few days, and I went down to my local dock armed with small hooks, sinkers, and a bag of gulp bits. The bits were made up of white, pink, and chartreuse colored remnants from my previous trip. I started out by cutting these bits into even smaller pieces, comparable to a kernel of corn. Blowfish have tiny mouths so using anything bigger might cause them to just pull the entire bait off. After a short cast and an even shorter amount of time, I started to get a nibble on my bait. At the right opportunity, I struck with a subtle hookset and was greeted by an average dock-sized blowfish. After some time doing this, I had several more blowfish to show for it and a bonus species—a couple of kingfish. It was confirmed that Gulp tidbits made an effective alternative bait for these bottom dwellers.
My next target in the proceeding weeks was porgies. I used a small porgy jig on one rod and a hi-lo rig on the other. As I predicted, the porgies were fond of my tidbits as well a short time after I sent my rigs to the bottom. I even landed a keeper sea bass on the little nugget of Gulp as well! Also, I want to note that for larger species such as porgies and sea bass, I was using a larger bit of Gulp to fit a larger hook.
Since we’re on the topic of reusing, it should be known that old Gulp packages and containers are great ways to store the chewed-up parts. The old packages still contain a bit of Gulp juice in them, which is all that’s needed to keep the used parts from drying out. As soon as a piece seems unusable to a fish like a fluke, I seal it up in an older bag for down the road. One thing I like to do is before I head out on a fishing trip intending to use old Gulp bits is cut the bits up to the appropriate size for the fish that I am targeting. Doing this makes the fishing much easier. I’m a big believer in the thought that preparedness while fishing will make an angler much more successful.
We live in a world where recycling is promoted all over in our everyday lives. Why not carry these concepts over into the world of fishing by recycling the Gulp pieces that, at one time, we may have thought were no good after they became chewed up. Instead of throwing those used tidbits away, seal them up and reuse them for another day of fishing.