How to set a shrimp as bait on your hook

Written by dakota wright
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How to set a shrimp as bait on your hook
Bait a fishing hook with live shrimp on your next fishing trip. (Yasuhide Fumoto/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

An angler can use shrimp as bait during fresh or saltwater fishing trips. In fact, shrimp are the ideal bait to use when fishing for sport or "game" fish.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Put a fresh hook on the fishing line. Fresh hooks will make it easier to pierce the hard shell of fresh shrimp. Fresh hooks also cause less harm to the shrimp keeping them alive longer. Size the fishing hooks according to the size of the shrimp so the hook is disguised.

  2. 2

    Hold the shrimp with the head facing up. Pierce the shrimp under the neck and pass the hook out through the hard vertebra behind the black spot. Never put a hook through the black spot behind a shrimp's head, doing so will kill it instantly. This method of baiting a hook is called the casting or trolling method. When done properly you can cast farther without losing the bait and the shrimp can move under the water.

  3. 3

    Pass the hook into the shrimp from the top entering the shell behind the head. Insert the hook deep enough to nearly touch the shell on the stomach and bring the hook back up exiting the shrimp closer to the tail. This method is used for bottom fishing as it allows the shrimp to walk around on the sea floor and a deep set hook doesn't come out when you reel in your catch.

  4. 4

    Break off the head and legs of the dead shrimp. Thread the hook from the tail toward the opening for the head. Dead fish obviously aren't going to move so you will be required to jig the line a bit when using them. The advantage to using dead shrimp is the smell.

  5. 5

    Insert a barbed hook into the underside of the shrimps tail. Thread the hook toward the head taking care to miss the black spot on the back of the neck. Curve the hook back toward the stomach and stop before exiting the shrimp. Leaving the hook embedded in the shrimp will keep bait stealing fish from making off with it. The shrimp isn't able to move when the hook is baited in this fashion.

Tips and warnings

  • Cut dead shrimp with a knife to fit it to smaller hooks.
  • Make a thin bed of ice and place wet newspaper on the top to store live shrimp on hot days. The shrimp will go into a sleep state but wake up when casted back into the water.
  • Place small or ghost shrimp inside pantyhose and place them in the water for a makeshift live well.

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