Rigging Live Shrimp Through The Head Vs. The Tail (Why, When, & How)


Bait presentation is key.

The way a live shrimp moves through the water can easily be mimicked.

But there are many ways to rig a live shrimp.

And if you don’t know when to rig a shrimp through the head versus the tail, then most likely you will not get much action.

So in this video, you’ll learn when to rig a shrimp through the head, when to rig a shrimp through the tail, and the best ways to do both.

Check it out below!

Rigging Shrimp In The Head Vs. Tail [VIDEO]

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There are some big mistakes to avoid when rigging shrimp.

Never rig a shrimp through the middle of the body.

This gives it a very unnatural presentation.

Also, you need to rig shrimp differently in certain situations.

Rigging A Shrimp Through The Head

Rigging a shrimp through the head is ideal for fishing in current or under a popping cork.

In current, your shrimp should be pulled with the current with its head presented first.

This also allows the shrimp to kick freely in a natural way.

One way to hook a shrimp in the head is to push your hook point through the side of the head underneath the horn.

Be sure to avoid the organs in the head as you don’t want to kill the shrimp.

Another way is to put the hook point through the bottom of the head and out through the top.

And hooking the shrimp through the bottom of the head instead of under the horn allows you to cast further and allows the shrimp to move more streamlined through the water.

Rigging A Shrimp Through The Tail

There are several scenarios when it’s best to rig your shrimp through the tail:

  • If you are fishing with no current or on a slack tide
  • If you are drifting with the current
  • And if you are sight casting.

A good tip is to pinch the end of its tail off to release more scent first.

To hook a shrimp through the tail, put the hook point through the center of the body where the tail used to be and out through the top of the shell.

Sometimes I use a jig head to get to the bottom faster when fishing for black drum or redfish.

Simply thread the jig head through the middle of the body meat and take the hook point through the bottom of the body.

Here’s the lure I used in this demonstration in lieu of a live shrimp:


how to rig a live shrimp

Live shrimp is such an effective bait.

But you may not get any strikes at all if it’s not rigged and presented correctly.

The conditions that you’re fishing in and how you are fishing will determine if you rig your shrimp through the head or the tail.

Do you have a preferred way to rig shrimp?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who loves fishing with live shrimp, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Scott Rispaud
4 months ago

Hi Tony. I always appreciate the shared knowledge even if it repeats what I already know. Where I was thrown off was the tail rigging with a jig head and bringing the hook out of the bottom of the shrimp. That puts the eye of the jig head facing down. Wouldn’t that cause the shrimp to turn upside down during retrieval? Thanks bud.

Richard DuBois
5 months ago


  Sometimes there is an assumption of your viewers having more knowledge than they do. To wit: When one of you says it’s a 2 ought hook! Is that 2.0 or 2/0??
 Ordering on a guess can result in a big disappointment.


Gary Gomez
5 months ago

I like those shrimp I look on your website see if I can find it

Roman Kielbowicz
5 months ago

Nice video Tony! What would be the best way to rig live shrimp on a fisher finder rig or knocker rig?

Thomas Maggio
5 months ago

Thanks Tony for covering this, which seems basic but the explanations and benefits that you present are outstanding. Really have enjoyed the style and content of your presentations.

Ed Adams
5 months ago

Thanks! Will definitely try these hooking locations.

5 months ago

when I take my wife fishing, she hooks the shrimp through the main body. It drives me nuts. The problem is, she generally gets more strikes and lands more fish than me. So I’ve stopped trying to correct her. I still hook through the head or tail as I refuse to give in to her…lol(as i keep grabbing the net for her)

John McGinty
5 months ago

Thanks Tony. Very informative and helpful as always.


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