How To Rig A Shrimp Under A Popping Cork Like A Pro


You know that feeling…

When you’re fishing with a popping cork…

And all of a sudden it disappears!

Then you’ve got about half a second before your rod doubles over and your reel starts screaming.

The thrill of seeing a strike happen before feeling it makes fishing with popping corks an exciting way to fish.

Plus, it can be a simple way to fish for children, less experienced anglers, or people who just don’t want to cast a lot.

In the video below I’m going to show you the best way to rig a shrimp under a popping cork to catch more fish while saving time and money.

If you have any questions about rigging shrimp under a popping cork let me know down in the comments!

How To Rig A Shrimp Under A Popping Cork [VIDEO]

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Rigging The Popping Cork

popping cork

I prefer the standard, weighted styrofoam corks without the wire or beads.

The reasons I like these are because:

  • They are easily adjustable, so if you go from fishing in four feet to two feet of water, you can adjust the placement of the cork accordingly without having to re-tie or change the leader (unlike the corks with the wires, beads, and weights)
  • The weight allows for more casting distance

When rigging popping corks, remember these tips:

  • Rig the cork on the fluoro or mono leader, avoid rigging it on braided line
  • Don’t rig the cork too close to the knot (it may slide up and put pressure on the knot, causing it to pop off)
  • When corks are worn out and don’t hold their position very well anymore, double up the line in the cork

Live Shrimp Rigging

I like to rig shrimp on 2/0 Owner light wire circle hooks.

This is because the small size and light wire doesn’t weigh down the shrimp, but allows the shrimp to move around freely.

Also because these hooks are plenty strong enough to handle a large fish.

Now, when it comes to actually hooking the shrimp, I like to hook them in one of two places:

1. In the head between their eyes and the organs. When you pop the cork, the shrimp will twitch forward in a natural swimming motion.

rigging shrimp in the head

2. Up through the bottom of the tail. When you pop the cork, the shrimp will dart backward, as if in a fleeing motion.

rig shrimp through tail

Bonus Shrimp Rigging Tip: when using shrimp, pinch off the tail before you cast it out.

That will release extra scent to attract predators.


If you’re looking for a thrilling, yet easy way to catch fish, consider using a popping cork.

Standard, weighted styrofoam popping corks work best because they are easily adjustable and allow for maximum casting distance.

And when using shrimp on the popping cork, hook it through the head or the tail

For extra scent release, pinch off the tail before you cast it out.

Have any questions about fishing with shrimp under a popping cork?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Eric Black
11 months ago

Good tips. Thanks!

Richard Fiorentino
1 year ago

Tony – Many times , the pin is too tight to fit in the cork. What should i Do ? Thanks

Richard Fiorentino
1 year ago

Tony- To be sure your bait is at or near the bottom without moving the cork, what do you think of this?:

Rig your cork at the high end of the expected depth. Bait with a weighted hook or jig. Have a bullet or barrel weight between the bait and the cork, with beads if desired.

1 year ago

20 lb leader? Or stronger?

1 year ago
Reply to  J W S

It all depends on what species you’re targeting… 20 lb is great for redfish, trout, flounder, sheepshead, and small snapper. But a stronger leader is often needed for snook, tarpon, sharks, spanish mackerel, etc.

roy l noblin
1 year ago

good tip tony–i have been placing cork on braid and now see why they don’t last as long. putting on longer leader is a great tip to stop this wear and make adjustments as water depth changes. i love the 2/0 but depending on bait i use and it’s size i’ll use 1/0 or 3/0 also. the way you hook the shrimp works for me on both live shrimp and gulp.

Dennis Wheelus
1 year ago

Do you use a split shot.

roy l noblin
1 year ago
Reply to  Dennis Wheelus

i will if current strong as it will not get down where needed and stay on the top of the water. i add next to circle hook and size as needed. jig head will do the same but i prefer circle hook as i seem to get more hits and hook ups.

Richard Doane
2 years ago

The only popping cork I use now is a “Coastal Cork”. I have tried all different kinds and brands. This one works the best for me day in and day out.

Albert Orozco
2 years ago

Can I use the pooping Corp with shrimp for pier fishing at night ? Or just use a bottom rig with the shrimp.

roy l noblin
1 year ago
Reply to  Albert Orozco

depends on current. if strong free line and is not use cork.

Joshua Peterson
2 years ago

What brand of soft plastic shrimp is that?

2 years ago

Super video Tony. Well done. Your input is spot on. Loved the concept of doubling the line when it starts to slip. Popping corks have been a “go to” for me for many years. Here are a few comments/ideas:
1: I love it when the shrimp starts to jump OVER the cork! Something bad/good is gonna happen!
2: When drifting a flat and working a jig, I will often throw a cork way out and just let it trail the yak. Pick up some nice bonus fish.
3: Another application I have used them for is flood tides. When the snook and reds are up in the mangroves, sometimes putting a cork on and working it can “call them out”. I think they think another fish is feeding?
4: Similarly, along a channel edge or mangroves, I to toss a cork way up along the edge and I can watch it come back – tightening or freeing line – to keep it on the edge.
5: Speaking of noise – you are spot on again. Sometimes in clear water or calm conditions I think they may spook bigger fish. Kind of pick your spots, or pop it less frequently. Kind of like picking the right topwater plug.
6: Hooks – if shrimp are “shrimpy” I will sometimes even go down to a #1 wire light hook. Let it work. Won’t hold up for big fish.

Haven’t seen it in years, but we used to get big schools of reds fired up and they would actually hit the corks! That was cool.

Lastly, don’t real men always BITE the tail off the shrimp? LOL!

Thanks so much! Tight lines!


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