Live Shrimp vs. Frozen Shrimp vs. Fiddler Crab (Bait Durability Test)

live bait durability test

Have you ever wondered what happens to your bait when you drop it down to the bottom?

Or how frozen shrimp actually compare to live shrimp?

In this new video experiment, we’ve got those answers and much more.

In order to better understand how fish react underwater, and, therefore, how to get better at catching them, I’ve been doing a lot of underwater filming recently.

I’ve been testing out different baits, such as live shrimp, frozen shrimp, and fiddler crabs, and one thing I’ve been amazed at is how varied their durabilities are.

Some of them last just a few seconds, while others last several minutes.

Check out the video below to see which bait is most durable, which is least durable, and how different species react underwater.

Live Shrimp vs. Frozen Shrimp vs. Fiddler Crab [VIDEO]

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One big thing I noticed while recording these videos is how much longer live shrimp last than frozen shrimp.

For one, live shrimp can evade predators for a little bit by fleeing backward.

Another thing is that live shrimp are much more durable than frozen shrimp.

Even if they cannot totally evade pinfish or snapper, they’re much harder for them to rip and tear apart.

On the other hand, frozen shrimp cannot evade predators at all, and they’re much softer.

So if you’re using shrimp, I definitely recommend using live ones, especially if there are pinfish in the area.

But what about fiddler crabs?

Well, as we found out in the video, they’re super durable!

The fiddler crab lasted for several minutes while constantly getting attacked by hungry pinfish.

And since it lasted so long, it was able to attract a sheepshead, although it was so camera shy that it wouldn’t bite.

How Fish React Underwater

In addition to noting how some baits are more durable than others, I also found it fascinating how the fish react underwater.

One thing I’m impressed at is how intelligent sheepshead are.

They first looked at the crab, then at the camera, then they decided to take off.

Pinfish and snapper, on the other hand, don’t care if the camera is around — they just want to eat!

Another thing I thought was fascinating is how the pinfish scattered right before the bigger sheepshead came into view.

If you have a durable bait that can last through the pinfish attacks, if a bigger fish comes around, it seems like the pinfish will move to give it space to eat.

Conclusion

underwater snapper footage

If a bait gets torn apart in just a few seconds, it’s unlikely that you’ll catch your target species (although you will make a lot of little pinfish very happy).

Live shrimp last much longer than frozen shrimp, and fiddler crabs last the longest because of their tough shell, so remember that when you’re deciding on which bait to use.

What did you think about this video?

Have any questions or further experiments you’d like me to film?

Let me know in the comments below!

And click here to see the previous video about how snapper really feed.

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Ronald Lollis
Ronald Lollis
3 days ago

Several years ago my two sons and I rented a 22’ Carolina Skiff at Sanibel Island Marina while on vacation. We bought two dozen live shrimp, pretty good sized, and also had frozen shrimp, squid and cut fish. We anchored about half length across the causeway and rigged separate rods for each type of bait. It was as much an experiment and learning experience as a fishing trip. Underwater cameras would have been awesome to record with. Hands down when we threw live shrimp, it wouldn’t make it to the bottom before the red snapper tore them up, most about 14”-20” range, a couple pounds up to about 4 lbs. The other offerings barely got a nibble, caught a couple smaller reds and a couple sw cats, go back to a live prawn, Boom! It was on! We could have filled the boat had we another two or three dozen live prawns. It was an interesting experience. Those little pin fish are definitely bait thieves, I call them saltwater bream.

Guy Markham
Guy Markham
1 month ago

Oyster crabs are the best for sheepshead and black drum. Hands down, last way longer than any schimp and more desirable to the fish.

G Stenger
G Stenger
1 month ago

camo your camera and pole?

Last edited 1 month ago by G Stenger
James Rahn
James Rahn
1 month ago

Cool footage!

Brett Landon
Brett Landon
1 month ago

Looks like some camouflage is needed on your GoPro and pole. I’d love to see some sheepshead taking the bait to learn just how they bite.

Gail Jonas
Gail Jonas
1 month ago

Do y’all have a lure that will not get caught in or on anything I live in fla about 2 miles before sabastion inlet .ive been lure fishing for a long time

A. Rollins
A. Rollins
1 month ago

More of these underwater behavior videos. PLEASE!

David Dishongh
David Dishongh
1 month ago

Well watched this a couple of days too late for my last trip. I used fresh dead shrimp because it is about a third of the cost. I went out for several hours and my bait never sat for more than 1-2 minutes before a croaker snatched it up. I probably caught 30-35, which is better than nothing. With that being said, my rookie questions is this: if there were that many croaker in the area, what is the likely hood that the fish I was looking for, red fish, black drum, sheepheads, etc., were in the area too that could have been caught with live shrimp? Great stuff Luke. I really enjoy the underwater footage videos.

David

Last edited 1 month ago by David Dishongh
Nick Nemeth
Nick Nemeth
1 month ago

This underwater footage is amazing. I don’t know of anyone else that has gone to this extent. SaltStrong is always ahead of the curve when it comes to next gen information. Thanks Luke!

MD Hayward
MD Hayward
1 month ago

Greets.
 
Live bait, as long as it is lively.
 
Dead bait, no more than 15 mins.
Ideally, set an alarm for 12 or 13 mins, depending on the time to retrieve from the depths.
In the boat or on the shore, switch to a pre-baited rig and get it straight out.
Re-set you’re timer.
“Double Patting”
Essential if you want to consistantly win the club or boat “Pool”.
All baits wash out in the tide. Fish will be attracted to the strongest scent 1st.
Needs to be yours.
Not saying 20 minute unwashed squid won’t catch.
Am saying, you won’t be top rod.
Shorter could be better but you have to have points in the water.
 
With shrimp, freeze in garlic powder. Especially attracts flatties of all sizes.
Keeps the Vampires out of the boat as well. LOL.
 
Most scent baits benefit from a flash of white as an aiming point.
Traditionally, a prepared strip of Calamari does this.
A small wriggler would do the job as well. Hybrid bait.
 
For larger, bottom stuff.
Mackie flapper.
 
Mackerel, about 14″ long. Very carefully remove the backbone and tail fin only.
Ideally, head, two fillets and as much guts left as possible.
7/0 to 12/0 through the mouth and coming out the top of the head.
Traditionally, O’sheans or Sea Masters.
Serious oily attraction but again, washes out quickly.
 
Blood capsules in the rig, really work. Not desperately messy either.
Still open on adding rattles.
 
Keep re-learning and win the money.
 
Best Rgds.
 
Malcolm Hayward.

Peter C
Peter C
1 month ago

As for Sand Crabs, Sand Flees and Fiddlers – Please explain the difference – I thought they were all the same just different names based on where you live?
Excellent video – very informative.
Thank you.
Peter C

Stan Mitchell
Stan Mitchell
1 month ago

Amazing footage Luke thanks for sharing.

Capt. Ray Markham
Capt. Ray Markham
1 month ago

Very cool footage, Luke. Question, I know a lot of offshore guys will brine their frozen baits with salt. Have you tried that with your shrimp experiment to see if it toughen’s the shrimp up, making it more difficult for fish to chew it off? Thanks.
 
I used to have a snowbird neighbor who came down to his house on Terra Ceia in the winter. He went sheepshead fishing every day and swore by fiddler crabs as bait for sheepies. Your video corroborates his thoughts. He caught limits of fish every day.

DAVID KNORR
DAVID KNORR
13 days ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Luke, I would really like to see you do a video of comparing brined shrimp vs fresh dead shrimp. I know brinded shrimp stays on the hook longer. However, I am curious if the fish prefer the fresh dead over brined shrimp.

Martin Cavazos
Martin Cavazos
1 month ago

That was so cool to see that sheepshead think about the risk of taking the bait. They are the brainiacs of the fish world. Great job. Keep the videos coming.

John Frymier
John Frymier
1 month ago

Absolutely amazing stuff. And the bit with the sheepshead – how many animals have you seen do that? Look back and forth at the food, look at the “strange thing” – which might be you – and then decide to go for it or book? I have shore birds do it all the time with fish that fall out of the cast net – but would not have expected it from a fish.
 
Makes me wonder how these scenarios would play out when the visibility is only 6 inches or less? With current technology, I suppose we’ll never know.

Martin Picciano
Martin Picciano
1 month ago

Very interesting video! Luke, what are your thoughts about using live shrimp left in your well or bait bucket at the end of the day, freezing them and using it in a chum bat on a future outing?

Michael Lynes
Michael Lynes
1 month ago

You need to camouflage your camera and pole with shell.

Tony Acevedo
Admin
Tony Acevedo
1 month ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

I’m thinking the blinking light while recording may have got his attention. Maybe put some tape over the light

Robbie Johnson
Robbie Johnson
1 month ago

My biggest Snook came on frozen shrimp 18 lbs 36 in

Mike Lynch
Mike Lynch
1 month ago

Been a member for a couple months looking at sheepshead post can’t believe nobody using sea urchins. Killer bait for big sheepshead. Personal best 8# wife had over 9#

Ryan Murphy
Ryan Murphy
1 month ago

Neat video! Sheepshead are pretty smart fish, not only do they know when not to eat but when they do they are so good at dodging the hook (with me at least)

Jacinda Rose
Jacinda Rose
1 month ago

Great video! You shoulda done it in the crystal clear water up here in the nature coast! ????
A few pointers with using frozen & live shrimp, since I have quite the experience with it, lol…

Frozen shrimp is great as chum. Period. As your video shows, it clearly doesn’t last long enough for anything else! Although, if you let it dry out a bit, it’ll work great on the tip of a small hook to catch pinfish! ????

When using live shrimp, whether on a hook with a split shot, freelined completely, or on a jighead, once you start to feel the baitfish picking at it, give it a second or two, then give it a small pop. It’ll startle the baitfish and they’ll leave it alone, even if only momentarily, but the cluster of feeding baitfish will also attract larger, hungrier fish! The baitfish will only start off eating the legs of a live shrimp, so it’ll be ok to let them pick at it a little. Also, the small pop of the bait is a fish attractant in its own.
Just my 2 cents!????????

Btw, that monster sheepshead doing a double take was hilarious!!????

Last edited 1 month ago by Jacinda Rose
Garrett Black
Garrett Black
1 month ago

Fiddler crabs have become one of my favorite baits to use lately. They stay alive for days and I have caught some of the biggest fish of my life on tiny crabs. Black drum and sheepshead along with reds love them. I try to throw them next to a branch or next to something one might fall off of. Also caught a 30″in tarpon recently and hooked into multiple big fish who broke me off in the structure.

Ed Mascellino
Ed Mascellino
1 month ago

How do you prefer to hook your live shrimp , thru the tail or behind the head? Thanks

Steven Rackas
Steven Rackas
1 month ago

Interesting. I would be curious to see the difference between live shrimp and artificial shrimp.

Keith Donald
Keith Donald
1 month ago
Reply to  Steven Rackas

I’m also curious to see how Sheepshead respond to artificial crabs rigged on a jig like a bottom sweeper or trout eye finesse. Is scent necessary, etc.

STOP WASTING TIME ON THE WATER!

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