How To Hook Shrimp Like A Fishing Pro [VIDEO]
Published by Joseph Simonds under
Last updated on: June 30, 2016
FACT: Not all hooked shrimp are created equal…
And having a poorly hooked shrimp, a limp shrimp, or having a shrimp that is rigged for the wrong fishing scenario could be hurting your landing/hooked fish ratio…
But first, let’s talk about the delicious little sea bugs that we all know as “Shrimp”.
If you have ever been saltwater fishing, the chances are good that you have used shrimp as bait before.
Shrimp can catch everything from sheepshead off of the pier, to redfish on the flats, to grouper, snapper, and cobia offshore on wrecks.
Shrimp is that bait that most kids learn to catch their first saltwater fish with, yet it is the same bait that even the most seasoned anglers and fishing guides frequently turn to when they want to catch consistent (and big) fish on live bait.
And out of the countless ways to catch different species of fish in the ocean, the shrimp has remained the most overall used bait (dead or alive) in America.
Related Video: “How To Properly Hook A Live Shrimp When Fishing Current”
But did you know that how you hook a shrimp really can have an impact on how many fish you ultimately catch?
Meaning, you should be hooking your shrimp differently depending on how, what, and where you are fishing.
So in this shrimp rig tutorial, we have put together two of the very best “How to hook a shrimp” videos that go over all of the best ways to hook shrimp (dead or alive).
This first one is from our friend Sam Root (of SaltyShores.com) and Capt. George Valverde, and this particular shrimp hooking technique was a new one for me personally. I think you will see that this shrimp rig would be perfect for fishing the Florida flats.
Might be a bit tough to pull off with a circle hook, but for those of you that still use J-Hooks, this method is pretty cool. Check it out.
How To Hook Shrimp With A J-Hook
How To Hook Shrimp “Fishing Tips”
Here are a few tips from the pros on hooking shrimp.
- Never hook a live shrimp through the brain (the darker looking area below and behind the shrimp’s horn on it’s head).
- We recommend using a circle hook when fishing with shrimp (or any live bait for that matter), because by using a circle hook you don’t have to set the hook. Simply reel in. And it is better for the fish.
- An exposed circle hook can help your amount of hookups, but it can also attract extra weeds, so make sure you use the proper hook placement depending on where you are fishing.
- To go “weedless” with a shrimp, simply run the hook back into the meat of the tail.
- Remember that shrimp kick backwards when fleeing from a fish (predator), so always take this into account when fishing with a live shrimp in regards to how they will be naturally moving.
- If you are going to be drifting your shrimp in the current or suspending your shrimp using a bobber or popping cork, you will definitely want hook the shrimp through the hard shell part of its head (without hitting the shrimp’s brain). You can see what this looks like in the very first example in the video below.
- If you want more casting distance with easier retrieval as well, hook the shrimp through the bottom of his mouth area (and coming up through the top of his head) as he does in example #3 with a jig head in the video below.
- A live shrimp will last longer when hooked through the top of its head or tail compared to its mouth area.
How To Hook A Shrimp Using A Circle Hook
(big thanks to our friends over at TarponWorld.com for this tutorial)
Best Size Circle Hook For Live Shrimp
We have received this question about the best circle hook for live shrimp a few times, so we thought we would give our two cents here.
Although we are certainly not the “Shrimp Experts” as we use artificial lures here at Salt Strong more often than not, in the times that we do go fishing with shrimp we like using a Mustad Demon Perfect Circle hook in size 3/0 (or 4/0 max), but test this out and see if you can find a hook that beats it.
These Mustad 3/0 hooks are big enough to handle even the large fish (like bull reds and grouper), yet still has a small enough hook to hold your shrimp as bait.
To buy these Mustad shrimp hooks at the lowest price we have found them online, click here or the link below.
Although Shrimp is probably considered the top universal bait for saltwater anglers around the world, it is important to remember that all hooked shrimp are not created equal!
Hopefully you have learned some new techniques on hooking shrimp, along with how to hook a shrimp with both j-hooks and circle hooks.
Never hook a live shrimp in the dark areas of the shrimp’s head! Those are vital organs and you will go from having a live shrimp to a dead shrimp in seconds.
Finally, don’t hesitate to leave any comments if you have questions, or if we left anything out.
P.S. – If you think your angler friends or network would like this article and videos, please Tag them or Share it with them. You Rock! Pa-POW!