Best Ways to Rig & Fish
Artificial shrimp-imitating lures such as the DOA Shrimp, GULP! Shrimp and other artificial shrimp have become more and more popular among coastal fishermen. However, a number of questions always arise as to the best way to rig and fish artificial shrimp. Here are a few of the more popular and productive methods.
Factory Rigged – Some artificial shrimp come pre-rigged with a hook and an internal weight. The placement of this weight mid-body results in a natural, horizontal fall. These baits can be fished right out of the package under a popping cork or free-lined.
Head Hooked - Anglers who want their artificial shrimp to fall just like a live shrimp when hooked have resorted to head hooking their artificial. Place a single hook through the head of the artificial shrimp just as you would with a live one. Be sure to leave the body weight in place so the horizontal falling motion remains unaffected. Head hooked baits can be freelined or fished beneath a cork.
Tail Hooked - Tail hooking is useful in two situations: 1. after catching numerous fish, the pre-rigged hook usually begins to slip from its head position; 2. if a more aggressive retrieve is necessary, but the horizontal falling motion is still desired. In each of these instances, anglers can chop off the tail fan and thread the artificial shrimp onto the hook tail first with the hook point protruding upward. Baits rigged in this fashion can be freelined, fished beneath a cork or actively retrieved.
Weedless - When working through grass or other shell, rigging the shrimp weedless is an effective way to go. Again, start by chopping off the tail fan. They, rig the bait tail first with either a worm hook or screw-on weedless head. The body weight can be left in or removed, depending on the desired effect. If the weight is removed and a weighted weedless head is used, the shrimp can be worked as a stand up jig. Baits rigged weedless can also be freelined or actively retrieved.
Jig Head - While the body weight system causes artificial shrimp to fall horizontally, it also causes them to fall very slowly. This is usually a benefit. However, at times - when fishing deep or needing a more aggressive retrieve - it can be a detriment. In these instances, the pre-rigged hook can be removed and replaced by a jig head. Artificial shrimp can also be rigged tail first on a jig head. It is really just a matter of personal preference. If the body weight is left in, the shrimp will still move mostly horizontal when rigged on a jig head. If the weight is removed, the shrimp will have a jigging motion like any other soft-plastic. Baits rigged in this fashion can be fished beneath a popping cork, freelined or actively retrieved.