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The Skinny on Artificial Shrimp Fishing Lures

Posted by 
October 29, 2015
Published in News & Tips > Fishing > Saltwater
6200   Comment

Many plastic imitation lures are successful, but almost none are as good as the real thing. That's not the case, however, with some soft plastic shrimp.  Properly rigged, these amazing lures can not only match live bait, but may even out-fish it at times.

 DOA Shrimp1 DOA wrote the book on plastic shrimp, and they're still one of the best choices for trout, reds, snook and any other species that likes live shrimp. The lures are impregnated with farm-raised shrimp, so they add scent to the lifelike movement of the molded legs and the slow, natural fall of the body. They're available in a wide variety of sizes, but the most effective all-around are the 3-inch and 4-inch versions. They can be rigged on a hook of your choosing, and they come with a weight, which can be slipped into the body to get them deep when needed. 
 Live Target 1 The LIVETARGET Shrimp, also available in 3- to 4-inch sizes, pre-rigged and scented, is without doubt the single most exact match for the real thing.  It's hard to tell which is which when you put one down by a live shrimp. They are considerably more expensive than others, however, and given the tendency of sheepshead and pinfish to nip them up, this can be an important factor.
 Savage Gear 1 The Savage Gear TPE 3D Manic Shrimp is another extremely life-like lure—reportedly fashioned from live scans of shrimp. It includes a flexible tail section attached to the body with nylon mesh for added durability. It's available in sizes from 2.5- to 6-inches and pricing is moderate.
 Gulp Shrimp 1 The Berkley GULP! ALIVE! Shrimp looks less lifelike than the others because the materials used don't lend themselves to exact molding. However, the scent of these lures is apparently an aphrodisiac to gamefish—particularly fish that rely on scent to feed, like flounder and redfish. They often come long distances to pick these lures up, even when the shrimp are sitting absolutely still on bottom. In fact, there are times when these are the only lures that will fool reds in ultra-clear and very shallow water. The lures come in a jar of scent solution, and can be restored to full potency anytime they wash out by being dropped back into the jar.



































All shrimp lures work best if fished very slowly. In fact, the ideal approach is simply to cast them upcurrent and then let the tide flow provide all the movement. Sometimes adding a bobber to extend the drift is necessary where the flow is slow and the water is shallow. But in general, you simply fish the artificial shrimp exactly like you'd fish a live one. When you feel a tap, set the hook!


Tagged under Read 6200 times Last modified on August 30, 2017
Frank Sargeant

Frank Sargeant is long-time outdoors editor of The Tampa Tribune and a senior writer for Florida Sportsman Magazine as well as for B.A.S.S. Publications. He's editor of The Fishing Wire and a regular contributor to He's also former senior script writer for BPS Outdoor World Television and former regional editor for Outdoor Life. His work has won over 60 national awards, including the ASA Homer Circle Fishing Writer of the Year Award in 2011 and the National Marine Manufacturers Association Boating Writer of the Year Award in 1992. He's author of 10 books on fishing and boating, and founder of the Frank Sargeant Outdoor Expo, Florida's largest all-outdoors expo for more than 20 years. He was a flats fishing guide out of Homosassa, Florida, before becoming a full-time writer.

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