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:
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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I just saw that Scott already asked the same question!
Sorry I missed that – but I believe I have a possible better solution that I have successfully used in the past while targeting permit.
When you have the hook entering the rear of the shrimp, simply bring it forward about halfway up the shank and then out the bottom of the shrimp and then turn the hook and re-enter the body bringing the hook out the top of the shrimp and now having the barb exposed through the top of the shell and in perfect positioning with the eye of the hook for a more natural presentation. Your bait will now be “swimming” in a more normal fashion!
Thanks for all of your great tips & videos!!!
Good stuff! I haven’t tried that before but will definitely give it a shot!
While Tony overall did a very good presentation, I believe that he made a serious oversight while rigging the jig head through the rear of the shrimp!
When he ran the hook through the shrimp he brought it out the bottom of the shrimp – but the eye of the jig is pointing down in the front… consequently when it is tied to the leader, the shrimp window be upside down! I don’t believe this is what he intended!!! Just saying.,,
It can be rigged either way. I prefer rigging it that way because it’s much easier to get the hook further into the body as it follows the natural curve of the shrimp. I mainly use it this way if i’m sight fishing.
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.
Yes it will cause the shrimp to be upside down, but if I’m sight casting to fish using this method it doesn’t matter too much. It’s more to hide the jig head as much as possible.
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.
2 ought refers to 2/0. If it’s just a 2 we will refer to them as #2 or number 2.
Hope this helps!
I like those shrimp I look on your website see if I can find it
Hey Gary! Here is a link to them on our shop page:
Nice video Tony! What would be the best way to rig live shrimp on a fisher finder rig or knocker rig?
I prefer to pinch the tail off and rig through the tail. Keeps the bait more streamlined if fishing deeper with a weight and current. If no current you could rig through the head which will help keep the shrimp on the hook better.
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.
My pleasure Thomas! Thank you for the awesome feedback!
Thanks! Will definitely try these hooking locations.
You’re welcome Ed!
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)
Interesting! Definitely take some notes from her then haha
Thanks Tony. Very informative and helpful as always.
My pleasure John!