Making Homemade Shrimp Bait

What You'll Need
Shrimp (Live)

Shrimp bait is one of the most affordable fishing baits for both fresh and salt water fishing. Not only is it affordable bait, but it works great, too. The shrimp are easily kept alive and they sit well on a hook. Compared to other baits, though they are small, they attract a lot of attention. They kick and jump, causing all fish to turn their way.

Step 1 – Getting the Shrimp

Shrimp can be found almost anywhere. They are available in tackle shops, bait shops, or fresh fish stores. The shrimp may also be found in the spot where you are going fishing. In this case, you would most likely want to fish with a handheld net. Drag the net slowly down across the bottom of the water. Most shrimp are just within a net’s reach.

Step 2 – Keeping the Shrimp

There are many techniques for keeping shrimp. One is to place the shrimp into a stocking and then to place them into some water. This gives the shrimp space, but also works well as a type of net to carry. An important thing to keep in mind is that shrimp don’t need water to live. You just need to be concerned about them drying out. If on a boat, you can keep the shrimp in a box with seaweed to keep them moist. Just make sure they are not in the sun for too long. The final way is to keep them cool. First, wrap the shrimp in newspaper and then place them into a cooler filled with ice.

Step 3 – Fishing with a Current

If fishing with a current, most of the time you will need to hook your shrimp by the carapace (shell), and in front of the two black spots on its head. Do not pierce the black spots.

Step 4 – Bait Casting

If bait casting, you will need to hook differently. Pierce the hook through the shrimp’s chin, pass the head and up through the carapace.

Step 5 – Hooking through the Abdomen

You can also hook a shrimp through its abdomen. Remove its tail fin and let the fin’s scent carry through the water. Pierce the hook through the abdomen, just above the tail, and continue hooking until the curve can no longer be seen. Push the hook through the body, until the hook can be seen underneath.

Step 6 – Basic Casting

Push the hook through the center of the tail, just ahead of the fin. Then slide it through the tail until it appears through the other side.

Extra Tips

  • Be careful when you thread your hook. The main point is to keep the shrimp alive, to use their energy to attract fish. If they’re dead they won’t have the same effect.
  • Do not at any time hook the shrimp through the black spots. These black spots can be seen on the back of their bodies. They are the stomach and pancreas of the shrimp, and to pierce a hook through these will immediately kill the shrimp.