Top 3 Shrimp Rigging Mistakes (You’re Probably Making)


When you’re rigging a shrimp, you want it to look natural and lively.

(Especially if you’re using dead shrimp!)

But the way most anglers rig their shrimp, it looks unnatural, dead, and unappetizing to fish.

So in this video, you’ll learn the top three mistakes that most anglers make when rigging shrimp, as well as how to rig them correctly.

If you’ve ever hooked your shrimp through the middle of the body, this video is for you!

3 Shrimp Rigging Mistakes [VIDEO]

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Below are the top three shrimp mistakes, then we’ll talk about how to fix them.

Mistake #1: Hooking the shrimp in the middle of the body

Hooking a shrimp through the middle will cause it to spin in the water, which will make it look unnatural and twist your line.

Mistake #2: Using too big of a hook

Most people want to match the size of the hook they use to the size of the fish they want to catch.

But that’s a big mistake.

You want to match the hook size to the size of your bait.

A hook that’s too big will weigh down your bait and cause it to look unnatural.

You should also use a light wire hook, like this Owner Mutu Light circle hook, because thick, heavy hooks will make it hard for your shrimp to swim naturally.

You can catch huge inshore fish on 1/0 or 2/0 hooks, so you don’t need to go any bigger than that.

Mistake #3: Putting the hook through the shrimp’s organs

Avoid putting your hook through the dark spots in a shrimp’s head — those are the organs.

If you pierce them, you’ll kill the shrimp much faster.

2 Ways To Hook A Shrimp

When you’re hooking a shrimp, you should hook it in the tail or the head.

If you hook it in the head, hook it through the clear area, avoiding the organs, to make it live longer.

If you hook it in the tail, you can pinch off the tail to release extra scent, then either put the hook through where the tail was, or put it through the side of the tail.

Hooking it at the head or tail will make it more streamlined, so it won’t spin as much in the water.


bridge fishing shrimp

Avoiding these mistakes will help your shrimp live longer and look more natural in the water, which will help you catch more fish.

Have any questions about how to rig shrimp?

Let me know down in the comments.

You can get my favorite hook for rigging shrimp from our shop here:

And if you know someone who hooks their shrimp in the middle of the body, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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William Travers
5 months ago

Interesting ideas. I do hook the tail most of the time. I’m going to try removing the tail end…

5 months ago

The end of the video shows a shrimp hooked in the head swimming naturally… but never shows anything about how to hook it in the head. There are at least 3 ways to hook a shrimp in the head area: insert the hook sideways just under the head “horn”, insert the hook sideways between and missing the dark spots (“brain”), and insert the hook from bottom to top, again missing the dark spots. If you think you are expert enough to post videos like this…why did you fail to include these basics? You appear to be much less of an expert (in many of your videos) than you claim you are!

Brian Kelly
2 years ago

Hey Tony,

Under what conditions would you hook through the head vs the tail?

Steve Rackas
2 years ago

Tony, I know this is off subject but I believe you did a video on how to repair bucktail jigs with super glue. Can you forward the link for this video? I tried to find it myself and couldn’t locate it.

Mark Yurchisin
2 years ago

What are the pros and cons of this Mutu circle hook compared to a previously recommended set up with an Eagle Claw Plain Shank – Size 1 ?

Capt. Bill Bennett
2 years ago

Just curious, this method looks good but how does that prevent short hits? Many wary fish will grab the shrimp just short of the hook.

Capt. Bill Bennett
2 years ago

I find by threading the hook in the body prevents short hit problems

Mark Brock
2 years ago

About how small is too small when it comes to live shrimp. The shrimp in your video are nice size and the few times I have bought live bait the shrimp were fairly small (1.5 – 2 inches). I might just need to go even smaller on the hook size. Thanks.

JimMattSean Fishing
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark Brock

Those are worth letting die, and / or using for a different presentation.

For instance, black drum. If you aren’t in a catfish heavy area, I’ll take two of those small guys and head hook them both. Usually looks like a larger mass.

I almost always pinch off the tail. Head or tail hooked, take the shrimps shoes off, it makes for a better scent, and it also makes it harder to flee.


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