4 Ways to Hook the Shrimp

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4 Ways to Hook the Shrimp
4 Ways to Hook the Shrimp

Dead or alive, fresh or frozen, shrimp is one of the best baits for inshore saltwater fishing. Miraguaia, bone fish, sole, grouper, jackhammer, pompano, goldfish, sea bass, sea trout, tooth bream, pirapema and whiting are among the species you can catch with this crustacean. There are also a number of ways to hook a shrimp, depending on whether you are fishing with it alive or dead and how you are presenting it.


Method 1 of 4: Ways to Hook Live Shrimp

Hook to Shrimp Step 1

Step 1. Hook the shrimp through the head while fishing for a throw or troll

Many anglers like to hold their shrimp through their heads. There are two ways to do this.

  • Insert the hook under the shrimp's head and push the tip out over the top, avoiding vital organs. This method is preferred when catching fish from the bottom.

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  • Insert the hook through the top of the shrimp's head, passing the tip under the vitals before pushing it out elsewhere on the top of the head. This method is preferred for bottom fishing.

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  • There is a downside to catching a shrimp through the head: it is more likely to fall off the hook.

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Hook to Shrimp Step 2

Step 2. Clip the shrimp crosswise through its shell for drift or float fishing

Run the hook just below the tip of its shell, avoiding the stomach and pancreas (they are like dark spots on the shrimp's body). This takes advantage of the shrimp swim.

  • You can also hook the hook into the shrimp below your head and run it through the shrimp so that the end comes out in the center of the carapace between your vitals. This allows you to throw it farther and pick it up more easily, but it will die sooner than if you hooked it across the shell.

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Hook to Shrimp Step 3

Step 3. Attach the shrimp through the tail for the throw fishing

This method allows you to cast even farther, as the shrimp's head, where most of its weight is, will propel the bait without tearing the shrimp's body off the hook. Break off the tip of the shrimp's tail, then run the hook through the center of the tail to hide it and pull it out through the bottom of the tail, far enough away for the shrimp's body to cover the hook.

  • You may want to use a barbed hook on your rod to better hold the shrimp's tail in place.

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  • Breaking off the tip of the shrimp's tail releases a fish-attracting smell.

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  • You can also hook the shrimp crosswise through the tip of its tail. This method is preferable when there are heavy obstacles other than weeds.

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Hook to Shrimp Step 4

Step 4. Bury the hook into the shrimp's body when fishing in a pile of weeds

This method of catching shrimp is similar to that used by competitive anglers when fishing with plastic worms. Break the tip of the tail, then hook the hook completely through the tip of the tail. Pull the rod and rotate the hook so that its tip is at the bottom of the shrimp, then bury the tip in the fleshy part of the tail.

  • This weed-free mod can be used with a Carolina Rig system. Pass a 7g weight on your line, then tie a spinner. At the other end, tie a 6 to 30 cm leader and its hook, then add a shrimp as bait. The weight will drive the hook to the bottom, while the spinner will keep you from slipping onto the hook, and the leader will allow your bait to emerge from the bottom.
  • You can also use this arrangement with a triple spinner. Attach your line to one end of the spinner, your bait and leader to a second end, and a 7-57g weight to the third end.

Method 2 of 4: Ways to Hook Dead or Frozen Shrimp

Hook to Shrimp Step 5

Step 1. Dismember the body

While live shrimp make fishing successful by how well they swim, dead shrimp attract fish by their smell. For this reason, you can break your head, feet, and the tip of your tail before hooking the rest of your body on the hook - and some anglers don't even bother to take this step.

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Step 2. Pass the hook from the tip of the head or the tip of the tail

Any method is valid; you just have to make sure the entire hook shank is covered.

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Step 3. Sweeten your jig bait with dead shrimp

Dead shrimp is great for giving the jig a real crustacean look, whether it has a skirt or a soft plastic body. If you decide to cover the end of your jig, cut the shrimp with a knife into pieces the length of the hook shank. This will ensure the bait is the right length and, cutting rather than breaking, keeps the meat firmer and longer on the hook.

  • For particularly meaty pieces of dead shrimp, you may want to add a trailer (two hooks together) to ensure the fish doesn't bite into the bait and get caught.
  • Some anglers prefer to take the end of the tail and the joint above it, then run the tail of the shrimp over the jig head first, making sure the shrimp's body stays straight when the hook is pushed through it.

Method 3 of 4: Storing Live Shrimp

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Step 1. Choose your bucket wisely

You can keep the shrimp alive in either a one-tier or a two-tier fish bucket. A two-tier bucket makes it easy to change water as needed.

Some guides use 20 to 60 liter buckets

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Step 2. Know what your bucket can hold - and don't overfill it

Too many shrimp in the water means that some of them will start to die - and when some die, so will others soon.

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Step 3. Keep the water cold

Check the temperature regularly and add ice as needed to keep it that way. Change the water from time to time to keep the shrimp in cool, clean water.

Hook to Shrimp Step 11

Step 4. Oxygen

Like any other marine creature, shrimp need a supply of oxygen to stay alive. There are two ways you can provide it:

  • Use an aerator.

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  • Use an oxygen release tablet. Both items are available for use in fish buckets and will work just as well with shrimp.

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Method 4 of 4: Storing Dead or Frozen Shrimp

Hook to Shrimp Step 12

Step 1. Preserve the dead shrimp as the pururuca

Dead shrimp can be preserved in brine and transported in small jars, as freshwater fishermen carry their pururucas in their fishing crates. Follow this procedure:

  • Take 225 to 455 g of fresh shrimp.

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  • Remove the shell, head and tail.

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  • Cut them into pieces twice the size of what you would use to fish them alive.
  • Place a layer of salt in the bottom of a small jar.

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  • Place a piece of cut shrimp on top of the salt.

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  • Put a layer of salt on top of the piece of shrimp.
  • Place another piece of shrimp on top of the previous one.
  • Repeat alternating between layers of salt and shrimp until the jar is full. The salt will preserve and harden the shrimp, allowing it to stay longer on the hook.
Hook to Shrimp Step 13

Step 2. Refreeze unused frozen shrimp

Unused frozen shrimp can be packed and refrozen for use on another fishing trip, as long as they have not gone bad. It's best to check with your partner on how to do this and carefully separate the frozen shrimp packets from the frozen foods and label them as frozen shrimp bait.


  • When fishing with live shrimp, use the smallest and lightest hook you can use with the species of fish you are looking for, to allow the shrimp to swim as freely as possible for as long as possible. Generally, the harder the fish's mouth, the bigger and stronger the hook needs to be, and you may also prefer a triple hook in such cases. Normally, you won't need to use a hook bigger than 3/0 or 4/0.
  • Check the area you plan to fish to find out if there are any bait stores that sell shrimp bait. Also check any regulations regarding the use of shrimp as bait.

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