If you are a recreational angler, you should experiment with different baits. Shrimp is easily available, and you can use it easily. Both saltwater shrimp and freshwater shrimp can be used as bait. It is a good bait option for trout, catfish, panfish and bass. In this post we are going to discuss everything you need to know about freshwater fishing with shrimp.
Shrimp as a bait for freshwater fishing
Around the world, freshwater shrimp has numerous varieties. Regardless of which country you live in, chances are that you will find at least one variety. Freshwater shrimp likes warm, murky water. It can be a good live bait option if you can catch it fresh. In some parts of Australia, many anglers use freshwater shrimp as bait. Trapping shrimp is not a hard process.
On the other hand, saltwater shrimp does not offer many fishing options. Pickerel, walleye and bass prefer live bait, so dead freshwater shrimp will not work if you want to catch these fish species. With saltwater shrimp you can catch bluegills, bullheads and catfish.
If you wish to use saltwater shrimp, you can use cooked shrimp or raw shrimp. However, you will get better results if you remove the shell. If you wish to catch bluegills, use a small shrimp or a small piece of a large shrimp.
What fish can be caught with shrimp?
If you are interested in freshwater fishing with shrimp, you should have a pretty good idea of what fish species you can catch with shrimp. With live freshwater shrimp you can catch trout, bluegills, crappie, bass, catfish, chain pickerel, yellow perch, walleye and bullheads.
And if you are using dead saltwater shrimp, you can expect to catch bluegills, common carp, bullheads and catfish. There are many articles and video tutorials online that can help you learn how to use shrimp to catch fish.
Shrimp vs. other types of bait
In some places, freshwater shrimp is not less effective than worms, crayfish and minnows. Bass, bullheads, catfish, trout and panfish are naturally attracted to lively shrimp. If you use an aerated bucket or a live well, you can easily store these freshwater shrimp. If you put them on a hook, they will remain alive for a while.
If you wish to catch active predators such as trout and bass, do not use saltwater shrimp. They will not work. With saltwater shrimp, you will have to target scavenging type fish species such as bluegills, catfish and bullheads.
It is true that cat bait, minnows and worms work better for catching bullheads and catfish. But when it comes to catching bluegills, dead shrimp is as effective as live bait. Bluegills are naturally attracted to freshwater shrimp.
Suitable water conditions for using shrimp
You can use shrimp in different water conditions, but there are ideal water conditions to use shrimp. Identifying those specific settings is important for an angler. If the water is very clear, do not use shrimp to catch fish. But when it comes to catching bluegills, clear water is not an issue.
When you are using freshwater shrimp as bait, it is a good idea to use them in the same water. They may not work well in saltwater. Using a live shrimp is very effective when you are catching bass, trout and bluegill. For the best results, make sure you catch live shrimp in gently flowing, muddy water.
If you wish to catch catfish or bullheads, you can consider using canned shrimp. When you are using dead shrimp, you do not need to worry about the clarity of water. You just have to make sure that you are fishing for the right species. Muddy, slow water is good for carp, bullheads and catfish.
Tips for freshwater fishing with shrimp
Now we are going to provide some useful tips that will make using shrimp a bit easier for you. If you are new to freshwater fishing, we encourage you to take these tips seriously.
Use canned shrimp for catching catfish
Canned shrimp is especially effective for catching catfish. Canned shrimp tastes fishier than raw or cooked shrimp. Catfish are naturally drawn to canned shrimp. This trick is more effective at night. When you are learning about freshwater fishing with shrimp, you should also learn a thing or two about using canned shrimp.
Peel the shrimp
When you are using saltwater shrimp, make sure you shell the shrimp before you use them. While freshwater shrimp shells are delicate, saltwater shrimp shells are tough. To be able to catch a carp or catfish, make sure the bait is manageable and inviting. Do the same when you are trying to catch bluegills.
Use small shrimp for bluegills
The mouth parts of bluegills are very small. That is why bluegills can not eat bigger meals. To make sure that bluegills can take the baits easily, use small shrimp or a tiny chunk of a shrimp.
A full-sized shrimp is too big for a bluegill. That is why bluegills may not be attracted to full-sized shrimp. This is one of the most important tips for freshwater fishing with shrimp.
Use big shrimp for big catfish
If you are trying to catch large catfish, find some big shrimp. But you do not need to buy tiger prawns because they are pretty expensive. Besides, for most catfish, tiger prawns are a bit intimidating.
To attract catfish, you can use jumbo frozen shrimp. Big catfish love jumbo shrimp. The size of the shrimp should be determined by the size of catfish you are trying to catch.
Corn or burley meal
Tossing some corn or burley meal into the water is an effective way to attract some fish. You can do some research online to learn how to use cornmeal to attract fish. If the burley slick is good, it will attract fish from up to ten yards away. In most cases, shrimp alone is enough. But corn or burley meal will make it more effective.
Use healthy shrimp
Walleye, trout, bass and bluegills do not like sickly prey; they like healthy natural ones. If you can catch some shrimp, make sure you catch the healthiest ones to fish with. Robust and healthy shrimp will work better than the sickly ones. Many anglers use sickly shrimp and can not actually figure out why they are not getting expected results.
Make them sweat
Freshwater shrimp are usually found away from the bottom and around shoreline vegetation. They do not like swimming freely. So, when you are trying to attract other fish species, make sure your bait is not far from the shoreline. The goal is to make the shrimp look vulnerable. It will also help you set the hook quickly.
We have provided a few tips on freshwater fishing with shrimp, and hopefully you will find these tips helpful. But there is no fixed rule, because the rules depend on the situations you are in. We have just tried to outline the general rules. As you gather more experience, you will find your own ways to use shrimp for freshwater fishing.