How To Texas Rig A Live Shrimp (Weedless Shrimp)

By: Luke Simonds on January 20, 2020
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texas rig shrimp weedless

In this video, I’m going to show you how to rig shrimp weedless.

Yes, you heard that right… a weedless live shrimp.

Here’s why having a weedless shrimp is so critical to catching more fish.

Some of the best places to use shrimp are near structures like jetties, docks, and bridges, but fishing shrimp on the bottom near these areas will often get you snagged or broken off.

And after losing tons of rigs over the years, I’ve recently been Texas Rigging live shrimp and it’s helped me catch more fish while getting snagged less.

Here’s what the shrimp will look like when it is rigged correctly.

how to rig a shrimp weedless

Watch the video and read the post below to see:

  • How to Texas Rig shrimp
  • The exact equipment I’m using for these rigs
  • Why I use j hooks instead of circle hooks (even though I usually love circle hooks when using live bait)
  • The mistake most people make when using shrimp near structure (I used to make it too, but now that I don’t I catch way more fish)

See how to rig shrimp this way below!

How To Texas Rig Shrimp (Weedless) [VIDEO]

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The good news about fishing structure is that there are usually lots of predator fish around.

The bad news is that you often get broken off while fishing in these areas.

Here’s the step-by-step breakdown of how I’ve been Texas Rigging shrimp to get snagged less and catch more fish.

Step 1: Put a bullet weight on the leader.

Step 2: Tear the shrimp tail off. This allows me to rig the shrimp this way, plus it releases extra scent in the water.

Step 3: Stick the hook through the meat where the tail was

Step 4: Bring the point out of the shrimp about 1/4 inch down the body (on the underside)

Step 4: Pull the hook through until the eye hits the meat where the tail was

Step 5: Put the hook point back in through the side of the body (through the shell) without sticking through the back of the shell

weedless shrimp

Equipment I’ve been using:

  • 3/16 oz bullet weights
  • #1 Eagle Claw Plain Shank J Hooks

I’ve liked the 3/16 oz weight for 3-10 feet of water, but if the water was deeper, or there was current I’d use a heavier weight.

On the other hand, if I was finesse fishing, I’d use a lighter weight.

As for the hooks, it mostly depends on the size of the shrimp (not the size of the fish you’re targeting).

For shrimp about 4 inches, I’ve been using a #1 size hook.

If I were using bigger shrimp, I’d go up a size to probably a 1/0, and if I were using smaller shrimp I’d go down a size, probably to a #2.

And one more note about hooks, I recommend j hooks over circle hooks in this case.

This is for active fishing where you’re feeling bites and setting the hook.

If you set the hook with a circle hook, you’ll pull the hook out a lot.

Now if I was letting shrimp just soak on the bottom and wait for the rod to double over, I’d use a circle hook.

How To Use Texas Rigged Shrimp

sheepshead on texas rig shrimp

When you’re fishing this rig near structure, you’re probably going to get a lot of little taps.

The mistake most people make (and the one I used to make) is that they try to set the hook too early.

You need to wait for a heavier hit to set the hook.

If you don’t, you’ll just go through tons of shrimp with nothing to show for it.


To catch more fish (and get snagged less) while fishing around structure, try to Texas Rig shrimp.

It’s a weedless rig and a great way to catch sheepshead, snook, redfish, and many other species.

Have any questions about this rig?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who is sick of getting snagged while fishing shrimp near structure, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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John D HallLuke SimondsJames WoodmanseeGary FriedmanRichard Fiorentino Recent comment authors
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James Woodmansee

Thanks Luke. I used your weedless shrimp today and caught 31 spotted sea trout. Only one would have been a keeper if the ban wasn’t in place here in Lee County but it was still fun catching. I think it may still be too warm down here in Cape Coral for sheepshead. Anyone else finding them here?

John D Hall
John D Hall

Sheepshead are THICK right now in the coastal bend of TX. We got a good mess of them last weekend with the rigging described below.

Using 1/0 bait hook With a 12” mono leader to an inline weight like a shaker weight or chatter weight. The hook enters the underside of the shrimp at the junction of head and body exiting mid torso/middle of the legs. Crush the tail to release scent. Live shrimp that are available at bait shops are small, so this works good. If you get larger shrimp, break them in half to keep these convict fish from stealing them like they do.

We target the rock piles and pilings and drop the bait to the bottom and bring it up, jigging it along the way. You have to let them feed on it and not try to set hook too quick. Let them take it down or away a bit before Gradually putting more and more tension.

We also use the same in snaggy areas but under a cigar float or popping cork. Let the cork go under with bail open and once it’s under a good foot or two, or starts going sideways put gradually increasing tension until you feel good weight or the fish shaking the line.

Once you get the technique down and are in the correct area you can easily get a limit on a pint of shrimp in only a few hours. We put 40+ in the kayak last weekend with 7 nice keepers.

Gary Friedman

Great video Luke, always had issues fishing the bridges.

Gary Friedman

nice job luke.

Richard Fiorentino

Thanks Luke. Tony has a new video on Sheepshead. He uses a dropper rig . Sometimes all the videos with competing tactics causes some confusion. There are Sheepshead videos that strongly recommend a circle hook , and now this video says ‘J’ hook. When in doubt, I ALWAYS follow the Luke suggestions!

John D Hall
John D Hall

We have less success with a circle, but far easier to remove the hook with them. 1/0 is the biggest circle I would use for sure

George Arndt

Great video showing the rig set up and components!

Dan Kelly

Great tip, Luke. Would you agree that a gulp shrimp would work too?

John D Hall
John D Hall

We did a side by side gulp vs live and none on Gulp and several on live. Fresh dead also works good and even frozen dead Gulf TX shrinp from local grocer H-E-B. Fishbites shrimp also doesn’t work well, but I understand fishbites Crab does.

Thomas Manley

Thanks Luke. Reminds me of my bass fishing days with a worm instead of shrimp. Have you been fishing for the sheepshead around the Little Gasperilla bridges and the trussels? enjoy the videos very much!


Thanks for another great tip!


Great info!!!


were your Eagle Claw J hooks offset? They looked like it in the video

John D Hall
John D Hall

Offset and inline work the same. Offset is a tad more difficult to rig properly IMHO

Phillip Larsen

This was great help! Thanks

Stuart Secler

I never use live bait, but will frozen or thawed shrimp work? Asking for a friend.


The best tutorial I have seen! Keep up the good work.

Richard Fiorentino

Is the hook in your video a size 1 or 1/0

Ron Pagano

What knot did you use with this set up? Great tips!


Move the bullet weight up 18”, hold it in place with a 1/32 split shot and you have an instant Carolina rig for a sandy bottom..

Steve Schmaus

I use circle hooks almost exclusively and still end up gut hooking fish quite a lot. I often feel the little nibbles, so I don’t set the hook thinking it’s just Bait fish. I don’t feel so bad when it’s a keeper and they’re going home anyway, but too often they’re Dinks and I don’t know until it’s too late. 😔 how do I tell the difference?

Edward Mlotkiewicz

What rod/reel/line and leader did you use?
Do you just drift it in the current or slowly reel it along?

Russ Lacoste

Really good information on how to tie on the weedless shrimp, also your comment on patience is really correct, you can go through a lot of shrimp. Thanks Russ Kayak Fishing Charleston.

Tyler White

Great video, I was using something similar this weekend but with and egg sinker and a circle hook. Now I have a reason to go to the tackle shop :). Looking forward to using it this weekend. With the sheepshead what made you chose that side of the bridge? Would the bite be the same on both sides of an outgoing current. Did you use the trolling motor to keep the line tight and drifty around the structure?

Also last weekend I was able to buy some little fiddler crabs and didn’t have the luck I thought I would have. Could you do a video on rigging and fishing them? Love Salt Strong!!!

Joseph Lorah

Luke, could you do the same thing using a jig or would it be too bulky? Also, I suspect the “bump” part of the jig would tear the meat.

David Atkins

I’ve been a bass fisherman for years and use this texas rig quite often, I really works great. Never rigged a shrimp like you did but going to try it out on my sheepshead up here in VA. Seems like the best way to ensure better hook up on those convicts, lol

Jeremy Nawyn

This will give me a good use for my worm hooks still on the shelf from my bass days in South Carolina!

Brett Landon

I used this technique after I heard you talk about it in last Friday’s weekend trends video. It worked great. I didn’t have a visual but knew what you were talking about. What I did a little differently was to bring the hook through the tail (cut off) but I pulled the eye all the way through, which allowed me to reinsert the top closer to the head of the shrimp (not damaging the brain, of course). Once the hook was reinserted, I pushed the tip ever so slightly through the shell, just so there was a slight prick on the surface. This aided in keeping hard hook setting to a minimum. Then I pulled on the line to get the eye back slightly into the tail, so the only part of the hook that was exposed was part of the shank. The mangrove snapper where I am are notorious for nipping at the shrimp, and only the bigger ones will actually try to swallow them, so you end up feeding the fish more than catching them. Having the hook farther up the body helped get a hook set on more fish, even a small-mouthed puffer fish. I managed to land an under slot sheepshead but the bulk of the catching was mangrove snappers. I love this rigging technique.

Gray King

This will be put to use this weekend. I’m fishing around a ton of structure like oyster beds and this may be a game changer! Great technical tip!

Nathan Jones

Great video and tips! I’d like to try try this setup the next time I use live shrimp. I’ve seen some people put a bead between the weight and the hook with the rationale being that it protects your knot from being damaged by the weight. Any thoughts on that? I’m guessing you don’t think it’s necessary based on your video. I also don’t know how you could know that damage to your knot came from the weight and not from rocks, oysters ect.

Roy Noblin

thanks Luke- that is the best tip i have seen to date for catching sheep head and i am sure other types fish. most use fiddlers for sheep head but i am to old and fat to bend over to catch and really do not want to take the time trying to catch them. i always pick up shrimp and have had little success with sheep heads. i love my circle hook so perhaps you have shown me why and i hope to get on the water soon to give this a try. a mess of sheep head for supper sounds good.


Great tutorial, be nice to not get snagged around some of these ideal fishing holes.!!!


Putting on a live shrimp Texas rig with circle hook would not be fun, alot less time fishing.

James Prescott

I like that rig!! Never tried it, but next trip to the bridge I’m going to give it a go!! Thanks Luke!

Phillip Butler



Great tip fellas! I never considered rigging a shrimp like that.