Last week we brought you the top rigs for Mahi Mahi, and today we bring you our top artificial shrimp lures. It doesn’t matter what type of shrimp it is, brown, white, or grass, I’ve never seen a big fish turn down a shrimp. If you’re a shrimp, you’re going to be eaten at some point in your life and that’s just all there is to it, either by me or by a fish. But you can’t do better than a live shrimp, right? Well, that’s where you’d be wrong.
Recently the artificial shrimp lure market has really expanded and now there’s a lot better options out there. Options that don’t require you to keep the shrimp alive and care for them. You won’t have to stand in line in a bait shop and have more time out on the open water doing what you love to do. Oftentimes, because of the many design features some of them implement, a lot of them actually turn out to be better than the real thing. Cost can be another huge factor, these lures will all safe you so much money on live shrimp they’ll essentially pay for themselves.
Plus the additional cost of throwing out a shrimp and then instantly having to reel your line back in to bait it again because a fish at the shrimp but you missed the catch. So let’s get into the best artificial shrimp lures and find out which provides the best bang for your artificial shrimp buck.
The Winner: DOA Shrimp
The first one we’d like to talk about when it comes to the best artificial shrimp lures is DOA shrimp. These shrimp have a bit of additional keep weight in their stomachs, which makes them fall horizontally and look more to a fish like a natural shrimp. If you drop it into a big hole or near a bridge or some rocks, you can almost guarantee yourself a big catch, like we said before no fish can resist the look of a raw shrimp and this lure captures it perfectly. DOA offers 4 different sizes depending on the size of fish you’re looking for, all the way from small 2 inch ones to much larger 6 inch sizes. You can get anything from snapper to redfish to a big speckled trout almost effortlessly just by dropping one of these lures in their vicinity.
If you’re used to using live shrimp bait already, then you’ll already know about popping corks and maulers that are usually employed with that type of fishing, and the DOA shrimp can be applied in exactly the same way. Glow is usually the color you’ll want to go with, unless the water you’re fishing in is particularly clear and a bit shallow, in which case you should opt for the clear and gold or clear and silver color patterns.
The Runner Up: Gulp! Shrimp
Next is the GULP! Shrimp. These are very popular along the Gulf Coast, and the reason for their popularity is because of their high rate of effectiveness. They’re not prerigged like the DOA and the YUM, so you’ll have to fit them with a hook yourself, which isn’t really all that big of an inconvenience. It falls in a vertical formation instead of looking horizontal and natural like these other lures, but the scent it gives off seems to more than make up for its unnatural appearance.
The next on our list of the best artificial shrimp lures is the YUM Sweet Shrimp. Like the DOA, these shrimp have the extra weight in their belly to make them appear more horizontal and natural, and employ the use of a single hook in their design. It differs in a few ways though, including the use of a rattle and a cavity that can be filled with a liquid attractant. If the fish don’t seem to be hitting on your DOA shrimp, this is a great option because the liquid scent and the added sound can sometimes be exactly what a fish is looking for and it’ll be ready to bite. Again, the best color option is glow, except for in clear water where you’d want something a little different and flashier.
Next up is the Crème Shrimp Tease, which specifically resembles a shrimp in motion. Because of that, these lures tend to be a bit more effective when worked aggressively like a shrimp that’s actually trying to escape the fish in a curled up sort of position. This bait is also much heavier than the first two and make working it with a popping cork incredibly easy.
Next on our list is the Bomber Pop’n Shrimp. If you’ve ever seen a shrimp in its natural habitat you’ll know they sometimes skip across the surface of the water in an effort to escape bigger fish. This lure is designed to mimic that movement. As long as you keep it moving quick the fish are sure to be drawn to it.
Next is the Stanley Wedgetail shrimp. It’s really similar to the GULP! shrimp in that it tends to go more vertical than lying flat. Just bait it through the head like you would a live shrimp and drag it through grassy areas and you’ll have fish biting in no time.
And the last one on our list of the best artificial shrimp lures is the Crème Jerkn’ Shrimp. Slow sinking and made of hard plastic, this one is unlike any of the others on the list. It has a very natural appearance and is has a big nostalgia factor, looking like a classic bait that experienced fishermen will recognize.
You may not be able to eat your leftover bait if you use these lures, but with the amount of fish you’ll be bringing in you won’t even want to.