Rigging a Plastic Shrimp backwards and other methods.
Many years ago, I was sent some trick instructions on how to rig a DOA (or other brands) of shrimp backward which, by the way, is how a real shrimp jumps / moves when trying to escape!
And since many if not most Flats Anglers work this type of bait way too fast, having it rigged this way at least "appears" more natural looking when compared to the real thing.
And what is that old saying "To know the Owl, study the Mouse" also applies in Flats Fishing! 😊
Rigged this way it should cast a little further and not get hung up as often. Also don’t forget to trim the tail closer to the body so it does not tend to spin as much.
Some other helpful tips...
Push out and trim off some of the weight and reinstall it. Usually, I will take off two of the three segments of the stock weight and then use a dab of glue to better secure it back inside the body for a slower drop when pitched/skipped under docks or mangroves.
Or take out the weight (so it falls even slower) and use a red circle hook in the head of the shrimp which has worked well for me in the past since it does not get hung up as much either. The circle hook works well when dudes like this are hanging around waiting for something to slowly fall or drift into their strike zone.
I also apply some kind of cover scent on them if nothing else, to help mask the human or other non-bait type of odor (like the plastic, glue, or sunscreen from your hands) so you don't have them turn their nose up at them. How many times have you seen a fish get within a few feet of your offerings and simply turn away? Sunscreen is not something you cover your shrimp with for dinner, you think that fish like that either.
Lastly (and don't tell your fishing partner about this one) you can also install in the shrimp body (or tied into a fly) along with or just as a replacement for the weight, a Bass Worm type of Rattle 😊
They are usually made of glass, but I have seen and used some in plastic that I like since they have more of a muted sound. I have generally found that the ones with the pointed end are easier to install, and just a tiny dab of glue on the point as you gently push it onto the space or body comes in handy. This since it helps keep them inside the body while pitching them for hours on end.
And a big shout out to our friends at Mangrove Outfitters in Naples, Florida that helped us with some of the product placement shots. We are looking forward to working with Paul and the Team on more projects soon!
Shrimp though like many crustaceans, make their little clicks and clacks and some are quite loud as they thump something to death like a trigger pistol shrimp!
Not that you are going to find many loaded dudes in our ecosystems that I have ever seen, so a more muted sound as you slowly (very slowly) work yours under docks or parallel to any cover like a Mangrove edge or other shoreline.
Which reminds me! Remember the saying about watching the mouse? Though can be effective by pitching into and under docks and mangroves seen above... Never count out how the majority of the forage species move, and that is along and parallel to cover like a shoreline or seawall. Ask yourself when was the last time you saw a school of minnows move out and away from the cover? Correct, they swim along it so at least the attack can only come from one side.
Pitching parallel to cover allows you to mimic the same as nature already programs them to do and the more you present your offerings like such, the better your strike ratio will be while (at the same time) covering more productive water and cover in the process!
Hope these tips and tricks help you get more strikes while using this style of offering and others. The only downside with such, is you need to have a level of confidence that predatory fish are in the area, or can be presented to them with tidal/current movement. Shrimp and other crustacean offerings like crabs are slow-moving and thus are not designed to cover the water at the rate that a topwater plug or spoon type of offering can. But you gently skip one under something with about 3 feet of a quality fluorocarbon leader and a loop knot on a spinning tackle. This or the correct leader and tippet on Fly gear, and work it out or through (even better) like the real thing acts, and be prepared for some serious Jungle Warfare and a ton of fun!
Captain Blair Wiggins and I talk more in-depth about the DOA Shrimp and other tips on our latest podcast!
And more awesome episodes are also found on the new Flats Nation YouTube Channel!
Tight Lines and God Bless!