Bait Wars

With countless natural and artificial offerings available to Florida anglers, and numerous different baits effective for various species across a wide array of venues, we wanted to take a closer look at the options and share the benefits of each offering in a head-to-head competition. As Bait Wars progresses, readers may be surprised to learn there are scenarios when an artificial lure is favored over natural bait for its versatility and availability, while on other occasions nothing seals the deal like the real thing.


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Bait Wars: Fishbites Xtreme Scent Release Jerk Bait VS GULP! Saltwater Jerk Shad

GULP! Jerk Shad

Length: 5 in.
Weight: 5 grams
MSRP: $6.99 (5),

Best Rigging Method
– Wide gap worm hook for finesse presentation and soft landings
– A pocket in the belly enables a variety of altered rigging techniques to accommodate prevalent conditions

Standout Features
– Three-layer flavor formula
– Produced using water-based resins, which greatly enhance scent distribution compared to oil-based resins
– Split tail produces irresistible wake and vibration upon all retrieval speeds
– GULP! baits soak up liquid scent like a sponge

– While the GULP! Jerk Shad is durable enough to catch a couple of fish on the same lure, they do not keep well from one day to the next and will dry out if the resealable bag is left open and exposed to the elements

– The GULP! Saltwater Jerk Shad is available in 25 proven color combinations, and the more potent GULP! Alive! Jerk Shad is available in 8 patterns
– Berkely Gulp! products are sold at major retailers, local tackle shops, online and mail order catalogs
– GULP! products are available in a vast array of forage species including mullet, squid, shrimp, croaker, crab and more

– Combination of attractant and action make for a perfect stained-water offering
– Fishing GULP! Jerk Shad with a slow retrieve enables maximum scent dispersion
– Highly effective across a wide variety of venues targeting a diverse array of species

Fishbites Jerk Bait

Length: 5 in.
Weight: 5 grams
MSRP: $6.29 (5),

Best Rigging Method
– 1/8 oz. jighead for enhanced castability and reaching depth along bridge pilings, docks, jetties and deeper flats
– Weighted wide gap worm hook for weedless presentation

Standout Features
– Biodegradable lures are infused with water-soluble Hydrogel attractant
– Xtreme scent doesn’t release on your hands and there’s no juice to leak out of the bag
– Scent disperses through the water column horizontally instead of floating on the surface
– Lure scents are barely perceptible to human senses

– Anglers report catching multiple fish on a single bait
– Resilient to damaging strikes from pesky pinfish and juvenile snapper
– Resealable bag keeps baits fresh for extended periods of time

– Nine color patterns including ghost, rootbeer-gold, watermelon-black, new penny, chartreuse-pepper, electric candy and melonhead
– Available at West Marine, Gander Mountain, Bass Pro Shops and select tackle shops and online tackle retailers

– Seasoned inshore anglers tell us the key to working these baits is to be erratic. Don’t make the same move twice!
– Chartreuse-pepper pattern is absolutely deadly in stained water
– Scent technology provides noticeable advantage when the bite is slow
– Anglers report that Fishbites are most effective when fished with a slow retrieve

The Winner:

Fishbites Xtreme Scent Release Jerk Bait
The evolution of scent technology continues to produce incredibly effective offerings and it’s always best to fish with what you’re most confident with. While most lure manufacturers are developing and incorporating scent technology to their exisiting products, Fishbites has been focused on scents and stimulants since their inception. Therefore, the winner of this scented soft plastic showdown is the Fishbites Xtreme Scent Release Jerk Bait.