How To Rig Shrimp On A Jig-Head Like A PRO (VIDEO)
It’s Shrimp Rigging Time!
To begin, let’s start off with two facts about shrimp (in regards to using shrimp as bait):
Fact: Shrimp are one of the best overall saltwater fishing baits in America…
Fact: Shrimp are one of the most incorrectly rigged baits in America… (which means countless fish are missed due to bad rigging jobs)
And it’s not just newbies making the rigging mistakes!
We’ve seen anglers of all levels make these common mistakes.
That’s why we brought along our friend Capt. Mark “Hollywood” Johnson of Florida Keys Fun Fishing to show us how to rig shrimp like a pro.
So before we get into the video, let’s start by showing how NOT to rig it first.
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Two Ways To NEVER Rig Shrimp On A Hook
Let’s cover two of the most popular ways to incorrectly rig a shrimp on a jighead (or any hook for that matter).
Avoid these two mistakes and your bite ratio will improve immediately!
1. Never rig a shrimp on a jighead with the hook point coming through the shrimp’s leg region.
Here’s why: live shrimp have a natural tendency to curl up, so when they get rigged on a hook that exits out of their bottom leg region, the shrimp will end up sliding down the shank of the hook and won’t look natural anymore.
2. Never rig a shrimp through the middle.
Here’s why: not only will the shrimp helicopter around and look completely unnatural, but it makes it super-easy for junk fish to steal your shrimp). Plus, it won’t cast as well (and it’s more likely to get caught on grass, structure, etc).
Now that you know the wrong ways to rig a shrimp, let’s focus on the best way to rig shrimp on a jighead.
Enjoy the video below.
How To Rig Shrimp The CORRECT Way (VIDEO)
In conclusion, remember these steps when rigging shrimp on a jighead…
- Pinch off the tail
- Insert the hook starting in the area where the tail was
- Thread the hook through the shrimp’s body with the legs out (so the hook point comes out of the top of the shrimp – not the bottom with the legs)
- Cast and get ready to set the hook!
Remember… Legs facing out!
If you recall just one thing from this video with Capt. Mark Johnson, always have the legs facing away from the hook point and you’ll skyrocket your chances of hooking up with a nice fish.
And even though there are some instances where you might rig a shrimp in the head (like fishing in really heavy current), 9 times out of 10 this method proves to be the best.
Do you have any other tips for rigging shrimp that have worked for you?
Let us know by leaving a comment below!
And if you know someone who wants to learn more about rigging shrimp on a jighead, please TAG or SHARE this with them!
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Why would you need wire leader for this, seems like that goes against everthing I have
redfish and snook wont bite and that leaves bait for pins and mangos, or trash
I used to guide in Hudson Fl and was asked to talk a a fishing club and tell them that shrimp on a 2/0 circle hook was great but if you put 18 inches of fluorocarbon leader the bite ratio goes up times ten and the shrimp can act real and move looking more natural , this method your saying is going on sent not live action , and sent has always attracted trash more than live
Wire leader should only be used when targeting fish with sharp teeth like sharks, mackerel, etc. This video was filmed when we were fishing with Capt. Hollywood going after spanish mackerel which is why the wire was on the jig head. Here’s a link to see a fun lesson on how to catch a bunch of mackerel in case interested: https://www.saltstrong.com/articles/how-to-catch-spanish-mackerel/
have you ever seen an xxlshank hook,best hook in the world for spanish and kings and most toothy still use flurocarbon and they see less and bite more
I have a question for you. In Alabama and most of the Gulf of Mexico we are forced to use a circle hook when using live or dead bait for reef fish( who’s is about everything we fish for) where can I find a circle hook to use in a jig . I make my own jigs and can no longer get the Mustad 39994D circle hook for jigs. Any ideas?
Clint, I would say you don’t need the circle hook for this application because at least when I fish this way I have a constant tension on the line and set the hook. I have never really had issues with bad sets. If you are just leaving it on the bottom or under a cork and waiting for a fish to pick it up, that is a different story though as you could have slack in the line.
Yea while I dont use live shrimp anymore but used to when I first started fishing inshore saltwater I find it kind of funny and unusual that shrimp primarily when crawling on the bottom move forward and only move backward by a flip of there tail when scared to trying fo escape a predatory fish but most lures that imitate shrimp the line tie is usually in front so it’s hard to mimick a shrimp trying to escape with most lures i say most because there are a few lures on the market that are rigged with the tail being where the lure is tied to like the live target fleeing shrimp and most plastics that resemble shrimp that are not pre rigged but most that are pre rigged are made to move forward but I have caught many fish on my chasebaits flick prawn and it is a typical forward prerigged plastic shrimp lure just goes to show you that I believe fish dont really study the movements of shrimp whether rigged forward or backward they all catch fish but I do agree in rigging for a more natural appearance the jig rigging technique described here would definatly be best great tip and thanks for all you do for saltstrong😉👍
I have spent hundred of hrs in my back yard watching snook in lights and have seen live shrimp come through and they have always been moving forward when snook come from under them and pop them never have I seen a shrimp start flicking back wards to try to get away it might seem like they are doing that by the feel but they are probably trying to stay up swimming cuz they have a hook that weighs a quarter of there body weight and if they fall when a fish is under them they will get eaten easier I’ve seen them get destroyed but don’t ever flick to go backwards the flick to get out of the water or to the top when fish come from underneath which was always the case in my observations they prefer to be moving forward in straight lines unless close to the top to get out of water when the fish pops
What type of jighead is used in this video?
Those were some cheap ones made for a fleet of guides who go through a ton of jig heads with their clients. The best ones I’ve found so far for this type of fishing are the Mission Fishin jig heads because they have better keepers and a wider gap hook which makes for easier rigging: https://fishstrong.com/products/mission-fishin-double-barbed-jig-heads
I am rigging the correct way you are showing but the problem I am having is when I get a hit half of the shrimp is bitten off. Is it just my bad luck?
No, that is usually caused by crabs or trash fish.
Great tip! Thank you
Great tip I’m going to use this tonight at the skyway. But I have one question. With current what kind of rig do I use? I normally use a knocker rig will this work if I just put a jighead on or are you just free lining with a jighead? Thanks
I generally start with a knocker rig so that I can feel the bottom for structure with less odds of getting snagged. But jig heads can work too (just may lose a lot of them if there’s a lot of structure in the area you’re fishing).
I just Received my Amazon order of the weighted popping floats. How can I determine the depth Also .of the surf when I cast so as to know where to place the floats on my leader? Also I will I need to have a sinker on my line?
Thank you Peter C
I always hook the shrimp under the horn, taking care not to hit the heart. This gives them freedom of movement.
What kind of jig head is Capt Johnson using in the video
It was some small brand that is sold down in the Keys in bulk.