This Is The Trick To Avoid Berkley Gulp SHRINKAGE [VIDEO]

By: Luke Simonds on April 16, 2015
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berkley gulp shrinkage


As George Costanza from Seinfeld learned the hard way, no one is impressed with shrinkage…

Same goes for expensive fishing lures… no one enjoys a shriveled up soft plastic.

As an artificial only angler (well, at least 95% of the time), I am a huge fan of Berkley Gulp lures… in particular, I love the Gulp Shrimp and Gulp Saltwater Jerk Shads.

The only issue with these soft plastic baits is that they are expensive (and they can SHRINK).

In fact, I spent many years bashing Berkley Gulps because I thought they were way too costly, and I had seen a few of them shriveled up on docks over the years.

However, any negative thoughts and comments about Berkley Gulp Baits quickly changed once I started making some minor adjustments when using them. These small, but critical adjustments allowed me to catch more fish per bait than any of the others artificial lures I was using… bringing the cost per fish caught way down.

These small, but critical adjustments allowed me to catch more fish per bait than any of the others artificial lures I was using… bringing the cost per fish caught way down.

salt strong pop quiz

Berkley Gulp Bait Killers…

This video below explains the two biggest killers of Gulp baits (and it shows you how to keep your baits from an early demise).

First, I show what happens when a Gulp bait is left out of the super secret Berkley Gulp liquid for too long…

Ultimate Bait Shrinkage!

It reminded my brother of the movie “Beetlejuice” when everyone’s heads were shrinking.

Fortunately, this issue is easily dodged with simple maintenance that is fully explained in the video.

Next, you’ll need to be mindful of rinsing the hooks or jig heads that you rig the Gulp baits on with fresh water in order to prevent them from rusting… I’m not sure what exactly is in the “Gulp juice,” but it seems to cause hooks to rust if it’s not washed off after use.

Here’s the video.

How to Maintain Your Berkley Gulp Baits for Maximum Fish Catching

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Berkely Gulp soft plastic baits can be a great addition to your arsenal when pursuing snook, redfish, seatrout, and any other predator fish that call the inshore waters home. Just be sure to use these simple tips to help you save money on tackle.

Just be sure to use these simple tips to help you save money on tackle.

And avoid shrinkage at all costs…

What do you think?

Do you have any other tips on making sure your soft plastics last longer?

Let me know in the comments.

Bonus Gulp Tip (Live Bait Gulp Trick)

For Gulp baits that are too damaged to properly use on a hook or jig due to catching tons of fish is to save them for cutting up into really small chunks for catching pinfish if you are ever in need of them or if you want to let some kids have a blast catching lots of fish… click here to see how to use Gulp chunks for pinfish.

Related Post: 10 Fishing Tips That Will Make You A Better Inshore Fisherman

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Luke SimondsJim BourlandCapt. JackFRED ESTES JRAngela Sheppard Recent comment authors
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Jim Bourland

For those of you, like me who occasionally forget and leave a Gulp bait on a jig head overnight (or a few days?)…I have actually had very good luck removing them without any damage to the jig head. Soak them in very hot tap water for a couple of hours and grab them with pliers and they slide right off.

Capt. Jack
Capt. Jack

I always wondered what is the shelf life of opened Gulp shrimp and are they harmful to the fish that eat them?


Great advice.

Angela Sheppard
Angela Sheppard

Good to know. I wonder if the same thing would be for freshwster panfish .

Steven Free

Sorry I missed spelled your jighead its by a company called Cotee I need to text slower anyways thanks again

Steven Free

Luke I know this is an older video because it’s without your telltail beard but anyways I have used gulps pretty much ever since they came out but can’t really recall them ever destroying any of my jigheads I did notice though that the jighead you were using on the video looked like one made by a company called Corte and I have used them before but they seemed to be of a little bit less quality then say the slayer or strike king flats series that I normally use maybe if you only use the voters maybe that’s why they rust so bad because like I say mine never have although yes the gulps do dry out fast if not in the water or kept all the time in there juice anyways thanks for the tip

Lloyd Doerflinger

Luke, I use the Gulp shad jerk bait on the 1/16 oz. Owner weighted hook. I get a lot of strikes but not many good hook ups with this rig. Any recommendations?

Lloyd Doerflinger

Luke, to answer your question. I use 20 pound test braid line. My rod is a 7′ 6″ Shamino . I catch plenty of reds, snook and trout with this gear using live bait or a jig and Gulp shrimp.

John Carter

How offten should you change the juice. I have noticed it turns brown. I ended up throwing everything out. I wasn’t sure if I would catch anything after that.

Gary Lowe

Nice. I have one of those plastic containers and it works well. But it does need to be cleaned occasionally. I tied a string on mine to make it easier to locate in the storage compartment of my yak.

terry reed
terry reed

I USE GULP MINNOWS ALL YEAR LONG THE ONES IN A JAR I PUT ABOUT A TEA SPOON OF GARLIC JUICE IN THE JAR. THE BLUEGILLS AND CRAPPIES PERCH AND BASS JUST LOVE IT. FISH LOVE GARLIC…… they seem to last longer and i always put them back in the little jar when i;m done fishing. and i always use ice fishing jigs all year

William Eastburn

I thought you couldn’t replace a used gulp back into the container with the Unused gulp?

Charles Wynn II

Luke, I had the same question as Claude…is the juice all the same or specific to the bait profile (shrimp juice, shad juice, pogy juice….)? Dick’s is running a phenomenal sale on the small gulp packs and I figured I could buy a bunch and put them in a bigger tub together. Just wanted to make sure they are OK to mix. Thank you!


Great advice. I use gulp in freshwater and all they do is catch fish.

Butch White

Hey Luke can you put multiple types of Gulp alive baits into one container of juice you know like jerk baits and shrimps together or are they in different juices?

breck lewis

These are some really good advice on different techniques and baits that we can use when fishing. Fishing is such a big industry and so many different products to try from. For years I have always gone to the stores and just bought things to experiment with to see what works and what doesn’t. Sometime I have good luck and others not so much depending where I fish. Thanks for taking the time of posting this to help us fishermen out.


Good into however, my biggest issue with Berkley scented plastics is the shoddy packaging. I’ve LITERALLY never bought one of their resealable bags of plastics and not had it leak EVERYWHERE and/or just quietly evaporate and leave me with a 6 dollar baggie of shoe leather, while it sat in the shed for a couple weeks or months..

The larger jars are an improvement (they are also great because you can reconstitute dried-out and shrunken bait by throwing it into a jar of the juice and leaving it soak for a few hours,) however I mainly fish salt with them, so sand and such gets into the threading and again, ruins the seal – ensuring that my $20+ jar of bait will be dead in a season or two regardless of how heavily it’s used.

They need to figure out how to store their plastics in a better container (I’m sure they like the baggies because of the on-the-shelf eye candy appearance, instead of using a jar or something,) because I’m getting to the point of not wanting to use their products any more – I’d rather buy 10 bucks of real bait and throw it away at the end of the weekend, instead of arriving at the shore to find out that a single grain of sand compromised the seal of my huuuuge jar of sandworms, so I actually don’t have anything to fish with but lures..!

I’m tired of trying to cobble together canning jars and shit just to keep my precious Berkley plastics from turning into garbage… Do they maybe sell their scented bait juice that reconstitutes their plastics? If I could buy a fresh jar and pour it in, that would be way cooler than buying a whole new 20 buck jar of sandworms or shrimp.