Easy Way To Rig LIVE SHRIMP For Monster Black Drum
Black drum don’t get the attention they deserve.
They can get huge, put up a mean fight, and are pretty common inshore.
So in this video, you’re going to learn how to catch them on live shrimp.
Yes, this is an “elephants eat peanuts” scenario as you’ll see some fun footage of a 30-pounder getting caught on a 3-inch shrimp.
But it works!
I’ve used these tips to catch dozens of huge black drum, and I’ll know they’ll work for you too.
Check it out below!
Rigging Live Shrimp For Black Drum [VIDEO]
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- Rod: 7′ 6″ Century Weapon Jr. Medium Power Fast Action
- Reel: Shimano Stradic FL 3000
- Main line: 10 lb. Power Pro
- Leader: 20 lb. Ande mono
When rigging live shrimp for black drum (or any other species, for that matter) you want to keep it simple.
Many people go to the tackle store and get these expensive, complicated rigs with all sorts of wires, beads, and swivels.
That’s a big mistake that’s wasting your money and costing you fish.
All you need is:
I’ll use a 20 lb. leader if I’m fishing the open flats, and 30 or 40 lbs. if I’m fishing docks or bridges.
The weight of the split shot depends on the current and depth.
The reason I prefer a split shot over an egg sinker here is because it’s easier to change weights.
Sometimes the drum are holding at the bottom of the water column, other times they’re a little higher.
It’ll take some experimenting to find them, but it’s easy to experiment when you’re using split shots.
For the hook, I like to use a 2/0 circle hook (in particular, this 2/0 Owner Mutu Light circle hook).
Another mistake people make is using too big of a circle hook.
Your hook needs to match the size of the bait, not the size of the fish, and a 2/0 circle hook is plenty strong enough to handle big fish.
As far as rigging the shrimp goes, I like to pinch off the tail, put the hook through the hole where the tail was, then thread it out of the top of the shell.
This releases some extra scent in the water and black drum rely heavily on their sense of smell to find food.
Live shrimp is one of the best baits to catch black drum.
Just rig them on a simple split shot rig and drop them down around bridges, dock pilings, or flats where you see them tailing.
You can get the materials I use for rigging shrimp for black drum here:
Have any questions about using shrimp to catch black drum?
Let me know down in the comments.
And if you know someone who wants to catch black drum like this, please TAG or SHARE this with them!
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Watched several videos on similar topics. This is the only once answering all questions
Thank you for the great feedback!
Thanks Tony. I hope this will get me in, “The zone.” “Slot size.”
You’re welcome David!
Great Information! What knot do you tie on the hook?
I use the trilene knot.
Tony did you see the post “How to rig frozen shrimp for reef fishing”?
I would like your opinion on the way the hook is put into the shrimp in that video. The hook appears to pass through the hard part of the tail twice.
Yep! I was there with them on the trip and it worked well! Those reef species can be really good at picking a shrimp off the hook. When you rig it how it’s shown in that video it helps hide the hook better, but you still want to make sure the hook point is exposed. For bigger fish, I prefer to keep it simple because they take in the whole bait.
Great video. Tony- so you’ll modify where that bait is in the water column by adding heavier (or more split shots) on that location of your leader line? Or do you ever go higher up the leader line with the split shot? I’ve been wondering how far up my leader line I should be placing split shots… many thanks!
Thanks Max! I don’t put the split shot more than about 4 inches above the hook. If you put it up too high your bait will spin and can tangle itself up on the line as it falls (since the weight will lead the fall and the bait will drag behind and spin). I’ll adjust the size or number of weights to control the descent. Ideally a slower fall is best so that it stays in front of the fish’s face longer rather than crashing straight down to the bottom.
Much appreciated… tight lines👍
Great tip, also catch. They remind me of the giant fresh water drum (sheepshead) I used to catch on Lake Erie. Anglers up there try to avoid them because they are considered a trash fish. I once caught one that was 30 pounds during a bass tournament. It was just shy of the state record. It gave a very good fight. My partner in the tournament kept telling me to break it off because I was wasting time some fish we knew wasn’t a bass. I knew I had to land it and I did to get a great picture.
Thanks Tom! Those freshwater drum are definitely fun to catch. Much more of a fight than a bass! (unless you compare it to striped bass)
Here in the galveston area , we use crab on a 3/0 circle hook, carolina rig, or single drop rig around the jetties or deep hole’s , just bait it and hang on, current is usually strong, so you will need some weight!
For sure! I also fish a canal that can have some swift current in the area for reds and drum, which requires some different rigging in order to keep the bait down and in place.
Keeping it simple yet effective. Nice work Tony. Great video of the drum !!
Tony, Great information. Particularly the match your hook to your bait rather than the size fish you are targeting. Thank you, Tom Watts, Naples
Thanks Tom! Yes, you want to match the hook to the size of the bait. If I was using big chunks of blue crab I would have went up in size to a 5/0 or 6/0 hook.
Nice Job Tony! I like using smaller wire hooks as well for Black Drum and actually most fish as it is easier to set the hook. That said what size gear did you have there as that fish was 12-15 lbs? Curious as you were close to structure and seemingly a 3000 and maybe a 10-20 rod?
Thanks Mike! I actually only had 10lb braid and 20lb leader on a 7’6 medium power fast action rod and 3000 size reel. It was a gamble but paid off! That was about a 20lb fish and I also caught another that was about double the size which you can see in the full report for Insiders: