How To Rig A WEEDLESS Gulp Shrimp [VIDEO]

By: Luke Simonds on June 19, 2015
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weedless gulp shrimp

If you’re an inshore angler, chances are very high that you’ve heard of Gulp Shrimp soft plastic baits made by Berkley.

I certainly remember hearing about them for the first time… it was about 15 years ago, and their claim was that their Berkley Gulp Baits could catch more fish than live bait.

A claim like that seemed so far-fetched that I dismissed its popularity as a fad that will soon pass once anglers realized that their results don’t match up to the promise.

I never even bothered to try them then because a pack of them was more than I could justify to myself for 5 soft plastic tails… that was when all my income involved me having to mow lawns and pick weeds around the neighborhood, and a half dozen tails didn’t seem to be enough to equal a full hour of weed pulling.

Fast-forward 15 years to today, the Gulp Shrimp baits still have a very large and loyal base, so I guess my prior “fad” theory was wrong.

In fact, the only thing that changed was me… because I’m now one of their loyal supporters.

Yep, about 10 years ago I finally was convinced to give a Gulp shrimp a try after my dad caught more fish than me a few times in a row while I was using my most trusted jig.

Once I began using Gulp shrimp tails to pursue redfish, snook, and trout, I was completely surprised about how many strikes I was getting.

how to rig a berkley gulp shrimp

Here’s a snook I just caught today using a Berkley Gulp

And I had never before seen a lure that even the small baitfish would peck at it constantly, so whatever kind of proprietary fish-attracting scent that Berkley puts in those Gulp packages certainly does work (click here to see how to catch pinfish with them).

And once I began getting better at finding the feeding grounds of my target fish (snook/reds/trout), I began leaving my cast net home more and more often since live bait was no longer needed in order to have a great day of fish catching.

However, please know that Gulp shrimp are NOT some magical bait that immediately catches fish once put on any hook or jig head.

The true results are based on these three factors that ALL must be in place for consistent fish catching with Gulp shrimp:

  1. Properly rigging the shrimp
  2. Properly presenting the shrimp
  3. Finding active feeding grounds for your target fish

Again… all 3 of these factors have to accounted for in order to catch fish with Gulp shrimp.

And the #3 item above doesn’t have anything to do with the shrimp… it applies to any lure or live bait that you could possible use, and it’s the most significant factor that determines who can consistently catch quality fish (more about that towards the bottom).

How to Rig a Weedless Gulp Shrimp

Now that I have spent years testing different rigging techniques in a variety of situations, there are a few rigging methods that have proved to be incredibly effective.

And my favorite trick that I learned for catching lots of snook, redfish, and big troup from under mangrove overhangs was to rig a Gulp shrimp so that it’s incredibly weedless.

This allows me to have the confidence to skip the lure as far as possible under the mangrove overhangs without the fear of getting stuck way up under the bushes on a root, oyster, or an underwater limb.

More importantly, this rigging method will allow you to present a highly effective bait to many fish that you otherwise could not reach… especially compared to fishing with live bait which prevents you from efficiently covering every single nook and cranny of a mangrove line because the baitfish will die if you cast them too much and they’ll get hung up in the structure if you get them too close.

So without further ado, here’s a video that shows my absolute favorite way to rig Gulp Shrimp so that it’s incredibly weedless:

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Click here to see a review of the weighted hook used in this video.

Weedless Gulp Shrimp Results

In case you’re curious to see this rigging tip in action, here’s a video that shows me getting a snook to bite after skipping the weedless Gulp shrimp into a mangrove nook…

You can skip to the 35-second mark to see me rig the bait and then skip it under the bushes.

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Gulp shrimp baits are worth their high price given their fish attracting ability… but only if you rig them properly and on the right hook or jig head for maximum fish catching on every bait.

For fishing heavy cover in shallow water, this simple rigging style shown above has helped me consistently catch more fish per hour than ever before… even compared to live bait fishing.

However, please know that these Gulps are not magically going to fill your boat with trophy fish all by themselves… you’ll have to learn how to properly present them to your target species and how to rig them for other conditions.

Most importantly, you’ll need to learn how to consistently find optimal feeding grounds of your target species so you’ll have quality fish to present your properly rigged Gulp shrimp to.

Join our Insider Fishing Club to learn how to consistently find feeding fish throughout all seasons.

P.S. – If you’re feeling that the missing link in your fishing results is consistently finding optimal fishing grounds throughout the year, then you should take out private online course…

Related Video: The Secret To Never Getting Your Lure Stuck In The Mangroves (watch it here now)

Having trouble CONSISTENTLY catching quality Redfish, snook, and/or Trout?

If you’re not happy with the amount of quality redfish, snook, and trout that you’re catching per trip, then be sure to read our Inshore Fishing Manifesto report because you’ll see how I went from frustration while transitioning from a bass angler to consistently catching inshore slams throughout the year… even without using any live bait.

CLICK HERE to get direct access to the Inshore Fishing Manifesto.

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Donald Breton

What knot is used to tie the rig to the leader?


Nice shirt Joe 🙂

Justin Brown

Have you tried any of the other weighted Owner hooks?


This is a great article. I had always just put 3″ New Penny Gulp Shrimp on a jig head and got mixed results…fought grass and all sorts things to hang up on. Then I switched to a 4/0 1/8oz Twistlock hook and it made all the difference. It was easier to keep the bait straight on the hook, and of course it being rigged weedless helped me get into grass beds I wouldn’t have been able to fish otherwise. I went out in my kayak in St Joseph Bay and caught two 9-10b reds the first day, and three 6-8 lbs reds the second day. Thanks for the tips!


Thanks for the article.  Would you mind telling me what size Swim Bait Hook you are using.  i just moved to the Gulf and I’m trying to learn what the best techniques and fishing gear I’ll need to catch redfish and trout since the Bay is 1 block away! 

Erik Johansson

Luke, since shrimp move backwards at times, do you ever rig them to mimic this action?

Mark Kramer

 When you sent out your video on rigging the Gulp Jerk Shad weedless I switched to the Owner 3/0 TwistLock 1/16 oz hook for my Gulp Shrimp also and now I fish both weedless. Thank you.