How To Keep Shrimp Alive Longer


This video is all about how to keep shrimp alive longer so you catch more fish and save money!

All too often, the live shrimp you either just caught or bought dies on you.

Then you’re forced to fish with dead shrimp.

Here’s how to avoid that and keep your shrimp alive longer!!

How To Keep Shrimp Alive Longer [VIDEO]

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These tips apply if you’re holding the shrimp in either a live well, a bucket, or even a cooler.

#1 – Keep The Water Cool

Keeping the water cool and regulated is important.

If you don’t have a live well, then a cooler will have the necessary insulation to maintain stable temperatures.

You don’t want the water to get too hot or to get too cold.

If you are using the live well on your boat, the best thing you can do is repeatedly put new water in the well and make sure the water is properly circulating.

Another idea is to have additional ice packs or frozen water bottles that you can put along the sides to keep it cool as well.

You DO NOT want to add ice directly to the water.

That will dilute the water and is another way the shrimp can die.

#2 – Aerator

For my own purposes, I’m using the Engel Live Bait Cooler with the Rechargeable Aerator Pump.

Having some type of aerator with you can only work in your favor.

Anything that can keep the water oxygenated, especially on those warmer days, is critical to keeping shrimp alive longer.

#3 – Avoid Putting Your Hands In The Water

Try and avoid putting your hands directly in the water with the shrimp.

You may have oils or other substances on your hands that can contaminate the water.

If you can, have a small net handy to take shrimp out of the cooler.

It’s also beneficial to have a mesh net like the one in this Engel cooler because it gives the shrimp something to hold onto when the boat moves with the waves.

You may have noticed in the past that after you get your bait and race over to the spot to start fishing, you’re shrimp are all dead.

That’s probably because they were bouncing around in the live well without anything to grab hold of.

#4 – Additives

Furthermore, you can also mix in some additives and other solutions to regulate the water.

The additives actually remove harmful things like ammonia and the shrimp waste that build up in the cooler.

This really helps keep the shrimp alive and more lively.

Just make sure you are using a saltwater additive if you choose to do so.


engel live bait cooler and aerator

You definitely want to have the liveliest, most animated shrimp in your bucket to catch the most fish.

Follow the guidelines above and be sure to have your live bait in an insulated container!

That will help make them stay alive longer!!

What other questions do you have about keeping your shrimp alive for longer?

Are there any other techniques you use to keep shrimp alive that we didn’t mention?

Let me know and please share in the comments section below this article!

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Joseph Koziol
1 year ago

Solid tips. Very useful.

John Burg
1 year ago

Tony, can’t find the Engel Cooler in the Tackle store. Is it sold out?

Jim Strickland
1 year ago

good tip, thanks Salt Strong tight lines to all

William Hobson
1 year ago

According to the top guides in Texas, having a mesh lining gives the shrimp something to hold onto, otherwise they swim all the time and kill themselves due to exhaustion. As for ice, carry a sealed frozen bottle of water to keep it cool and not dilute the water. Old Gatorade bottles work great for that.

James McKinney
1 year ago

I kayak fish so space is limited. I use flip top style bait buckets with a bubbler aerator. I freeze small 6 oz water bottles and drop one into the bucket to keep the shrimp cool. Changing the water at least once during the day also insures better survival. I generally get home with live shrimp and freeze them for use as fresh dead on a future trip.

Kenneth Ardanowski
1 year ago

Great article Tony!

Rob S
1 year ago

Solid tips, Tony. You’re showing the *NEW* Engel Rechargeable Live Bait Aerator Pump that came out in 2022, and a link to it for those only wanting to upgrade their old aerator …

Much quieter than the battery one. If using a noisy aerator with a hard bottom container like a bucket, consider adding something that will dampen sound underneath it to avoid alerting the fish you’re trying to catch.

Steven Free
1 year ago

Believe it or not you can also keep shrimp alive without any water at all take some ice and put it into ziplock bags and cover the ice with paper towels and put the shrimp on the cloth the bags keep the ice from getting in the shrimp as well as tge cloth as long as the shrimp doesn’t come into direct contact with the chilled water from the ice melting or the ice itself the shrimp seem to look dead but they are not it slows there metabolism way down and they remain alive then once placed on the hook and put into the water you are fishing they become active again long time ago when I did use live shrimp I read about doing this in a fl sports mag and tried it and it works thanks for the info and all you do👍😉

Bernardo Melendez
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven Free

I was in Florida once on vacation and stopped at a fishing pier just for the heck of it. I saw a customer ask for some live shrimp and the worker there put some wet sawdust (wetted with salt water, I presume) and add the shrimp to the bag, no water. He explained that the shrimp would stay live all day as long as they were kept cool. Same principle, I guess, and I was quite impressed.

Pat Ogletree
1 year ago

Great tips Tony. Looks like you can accomplish this in a kayak fairly easily too.

Andy Hong
1 year ago

Great tips, Tony!

Some additional tricks:

The best ice packs to use are stainless-steel ones. They’ll sit flat on the bottom of the Engel, which means (a) they’ll stay out of the way when you lift the shrimp out of the water, and (b) they don’t bounce around and crush the shrimp when you’re boating in rough water.

An alternative to stainless packs are the flat plastic packs. These packs float, but if you stick industrial velcro (the kind that’s all plastic nubs) to both the pack and the cooler, you can lock the packs down.

If you have leftover shrimp when you get home, use Instant Ocean to make a fresh batch of brackish water. In the fall, I can keep shrimp alive at home in my Engel for a whole week as long as I swap out the water.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andy Hong


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