Shrimp which are also referred to as a decapod crustacean is “one of the best” live baits for saltwater fishing. Shrimp are widespread and very abundant; they can be found feeding near the sea floor on most coast and estuaries. Their prey are endless, not only are they constantly pursued by most fish species, they are also delectable table fair for humans. They make up an industry worth approximately 50 billion dollars each year. Often times, when game fish such as snook and redfish prefer not to give chase to larger baitfish during the warmer and cooler months, I throw out a succulent, slow moving shrimp to entice a bite. A question that I frequently receive: “What is the best way to rig a shrimp?” I always say, the best way is the way that works for you. Never be afraid to switch up your rigging techniques. The key factor is to make sure you always present the bait in the most natural way possible.
There are two primary ways to do this. Tail Hooked Shrimp[/caption] 1. The first way is to hook the shrimp in the underside of the hard part in the tail. When shrimp are in distress they will flick backwards. Rigging your bait in this manner will often times influence the shrimp to instantly start flicking in an erratic manner which quickly triggers a strike. I also like hooking the shrimp this way because they are more arrow dynamic, making for super accurate cast.
2. Secondly, I prefer to hook the shrimp in the horn to give a natural forward swimming motion. It also, allows the shrimp to flick backwards when being chased. This is probably the best way to keep your shrimp in its healthiest state. When hooking the shrimp through the horn, it’s important that you don’t hit any vital organs. Another words, don’t run the hook through the “black spot” that you see below the horn. There are a few other ways that you can rig a shrimp but typically I have the most success rigging them as described above. Everything consumes shrimp; I don’t normally leave the boat ramp without a couple dozen. Next time you are out, experiment. Try new techniques and see what works for you. Also, we would love to hear what works for you, please share in the comment field below. Thank you and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Cya on the water!