How to fish with shrimp bait

Updated February 21, 2017

Shrimp often attract fish when other baits fail. This crustacean is a natural food for many game fish in the ocean, and for some in fresh water. Dead shrimp are available from many sources, including most supermarkets. Live shrimp are less easy to locate, and might be difficult to keep alive until use. Your chances of catching fish improve when you present shrimp baits properly.

Pierce the shrimp so the tip of the hook and barb protrude between its mouth and eyes. Hooking small shrimp in this way presents a realistic swimming action.

Hook large, live shrimp through the back, between the second and third abdominal segments. This causes the shrimp to move in a crippled, spastic motion. Hook the shrimp through the tail for a similar effect.

Bury the barb of the hook within the live shrimp. Hold the hook in one hand, with the tip up and pointed toward you. Hold the shrimp in your other hand, with the head aimed toward you. Pass the hook through the bottom of the head, using a curving motion. Do not allow the tip of the hook to penetrate the top of the head.

Thread dead shrimp onto your hook. Any method of hooking is acceptable.

Cut large shrimp into small pieces, and thread them on the hooks of your favourite lures. The scent sometimes attracts fish.


Try dying the shrimp bright colours with food colouring. This may visually stimulate fish, and draw them closer.

Things You'll Need

  • Fishing gear
  • Live or dead shrimp
  • Artificial lures
  • Insulated container
  • Bucket
  • Aquarium pump
  • Plastic measuring cup
  • Live bait bucket
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About the Author

Tom Wagner began writing for newspapers and magazines in the L.A. area in 2001. With articles appearing in "California Examiner," "World Reporter," the "Philippine Nurses Monitor" and "Famegate Global News," he currently writes for all three Philippine Media publications in Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas. His articles focus on food, social issues, travel, sight-seeing, humor, general information, politics and medical matters.