Fresh shrimp are unquestionably one of the most effective saltwater fish baits. Artificial shrimp lures are also effective for catching saltwater game fish. When using shrimp bait or lures select a shrimp size that is appropriate for your target game fish. Different-size fish will bit different-size shrimp bait or lures. Use larger shrimp to target larger game fish, and smaller shrimp to target smaller game fish.
There are three methods for hooking live shrimp bait.
- Pass the hook beneath the shrimp’s head so that the barb protrudes from the top. Make sure to avoid puncturing the black spot as this will immediately kill the shrimp. As action is important for attracting fish, you want to make sure your shrimp remains as healthy and active as possible.
- An alternative method for hooking a live shrimp is to pass the hook barb beneath the black spot and back out again from the top. This is one of the most effective methods for hooking a shrimp if you’re going to be bottom fishing.
- A third method for preparing live shrimp bait is to insert the hook from the shrimp’s tail and thread the body onto the hook, pass the barb under the black spot. This is the preferred method to stop bait-stealing fish.
While shrimp fishing lures don’t provide the same action as live shrimp bait, they’re still very effective for catching a wide variety of fish including Red drum, spotted seatrout, mangrove snapper, flounder, grouper, striped bass, and snook, to name just a few.
How to Select Shrimp Fishing Lures
Shrimp lures are all around one of the most reliable and easy to use saltwater fishing lures—especially for novice anglers who are just learning how to fish with artificial baits. So how do you select the best shrimp lure? Two of the most important factors that determine the effectiveness of a shrimp lure are size and weight.
If you’re trying to catch a mangrove snapper or sheephead, it’s not going to happen with an overly large shrimp lure. Alternatively, a small shrimp lure probably isn’t going to be very enticing to a snook or red drum. Selecting the correct size shrimp lure for your target game fish is key. With respect to lure weight, heavier shrimp lures are better for fishing deeper holes or pockets, and for getting your lure closer to the bottom.
Regardless of your target fish, we recommend maintaining a variety of shrimp lure sizes and weights in your tackle box. This way you’ll be prepared if you decide to change target fish species or need to change fishing spots.