How To Texas Rig A Live Shrimp (Weedless Shrimp)


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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Bertha Perez
1 month ago

Luke, for sheepheads…what should we use for line and leader?

Stephen Rothman
6 months ago

Isn’t it illegal now in SW Florida to use J hooks with live bait? I don’t know how old the video is. I thought you were required to use circle hooks with any live bait here.

Steve Miller
2 months ago

I am new to the area and to saltwater fishing.Curious about this and would like to know the rules in this situation.

Brian Kessler
8 months ago

Going to Sanibel in June. I’m really hoping I can learn enough to actually catch some fish this year. We keep doing the same things…and surprise, they don’t work any better one year than the other years.

Kevin Woodcock
9 months ago

Great video i will definitely try this

Timothy Leahy
11 months ago

Tried this weedless rig this weekend, shrimp was getting pulled off the hook, and not getting a good hook set, used a 1-0 j hook.
Would this be better withan actual weedless wormhook that’s vent at the top and a sharper hook??
Have you tried using that luke?

Robert Spence
1 year ago

Thanks for the video. Can’t wait to try the Weedless rig on El Jo Bean bridge (Charlotte Harbor), Port Charlotte.

Joe Rodriguez
1 year ago

Luke, with using a bullet weight does this change the length of your leader?

1 year ago

Great video. As I understand, shrimp are not indigenous to New Jersey. Anybody out there from the Northeast that uses shrimp, fresh or frozen, successfully as bait? Sea bass season opens this weekend. Hopefully we will be able to go out. Thanks and again for the great video. Worth the membership price.

Richard Fiorentino
1 year ago

Have you ever tried this rig for other fish?

Richard Fiorentino
1 year ago

I assume you use a loop knot on hook?


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