How To:

Live Shrimp 101

Author: Bullbuster Team

Guide To Live Shrimp

Live Shrimp For Bait

Shrimp are one of the best baits for inshore fish large and small.  There is an old adage that elephants eat peanuts, and this is very true for fish that eat shrimp.  When casting a shrimp you can catch anything from a 4 inch pinfish, to a 200Lb tarpon.  

Where To Buy Live Shrimp

Most bait and tackle stores in the US South of Virginia and or in a Gulf Of Mexico state that carry live bait, carry shrimp.  In some stores you can pay extra to get “handpicked shrimp”, these are your larger shrimp. *Note* In winter months shrimp that can be bought may be smaller. 

How To Catch Live Shrimp

You don’t need a shrimp boat to catch live shrimp.  During the right time of year and tides shrimp can be caught with dip nets and cast nets in passes, inlets, and from bridges. They will be on the surface floating with the tide. 

Shrimp can also be caught by dragging a dip net along the seagrass holding the net to the bottom and dragging it along. This can also be done with a seine net. 

How To Hook A Live Shrimp

There are two ways to hook a live shrimp. The way you hook a live shrimp will give it a different swimming action.  

Head Hooking A Shrimp

If you hook a shrimp in the head you give it more ability to move and jump around. For targeting active surface feeders like tarpon and snook this is an excellent way to hook your shrimp. You want to position the hook through the top of the head between the brain and the eyes.

Hooking Live Shrimp In The Head

Tail Hooking A Shrimp

Tail hooking your shrimp will make it swim in an upwards manner with its legs.  This is a good method for site casting and for targeting fish that look through the seagrass for shrimp such as snapper, bonefish, and redfish. To tail hook remove the tail, and put the hook through the whole.  

Hooking Live Shrimp In The Tail

List Of Fish That Can Be Caught With Shrimp

  • Snapper

  • Grouper

  • Tarpon

  • Snook

  • Redfish

  • Bonefish

  • Permit

  • Pinfish

  • Hogfish

  • Jack Crevalle

  • Blue Runner

  • Ladyfish

  • MORE. 

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