How to Maintain Live Shrimp for Fishing Bait

Keep brown shrimp lively in the Frabill Shrimp Shak for a successful fishing trip.

By Chris Schieble

In In spring, many species of fish - including redfish and speckled trout - key in on small brown shrimp as their primary forage.During the spring fishing season, massive amounts of Brown shrimp begin to make their exodus from Louisiana’s interior marsh to the outer bays and Gulf. This is when many species of fish, including Redfish and speckled trout, are keying in on small Brown shrimp as their primary forage.

I often get asked “when are the shrimp coming in” in May. My answer is “they are already here, they’ve been here since February.” Brown shrimp are able to reproduce when they get to be about 5-1/2 inches long. They spawn in deep waters of the Gulf with female Brown shrimp capable of releasing up to 1 million eggs on the sea floor. These eggs mature and hatch out into planktonic larval shrimp which enter our estuaries typically in February and March as a post larval shrimp. They are carried into their marsh nursery habitats by the wind and tide.

Being a proponent of the ‘match the hatch’ theory, it makes sense to always look for good quality bait shrimp this time of year when inshore fishing. With all of the crazy weather fronts we’ve been having this spring, the marsh is churned up like a bottle of Yoo-Hoo. The fish in these muddy waters must rely on noise and scent to find prey. There is no better replacement for a fresh, lively Brown shrimp under a popping cork to equal a successful fishing trip.

What if your boat doesn’t have a livewell or you’ve had trouble in the past keeping live-bait lively? With the ever-escalating cost of live shrimp, how do you keep those crustaceans alive so you don’t waste your hard-earned money on another two-dozen shrimp? Leave it up to Frabill, the leader in live bait care management systems.

Frabill Shrimp Shak

Frabill thought of a solution to this problem called the Frabill Shrimp Shak. This is a 4.25-gallon oxygen-rich spa for your shrimp. The Shrimp Shak comes with a durable, insulated, removable liner and an accessory-compatible lid with a self-standing bait access door. The component that makes the whole system different from other bait buckets is the cling-on bait screen which allows shrimp to climb up and cling to the interior walls, thereby increasing the volume of bait that can be maintained and preventing the shrimp from smothering each other at the bottom of the bucket.

The Frabill Shrimp Shak's cling-on bait screen allows shrimp to climb up and cling to interior walls increasing the volume of bait that can be maintained.Frabill incorporated an entirely new line of saltwater aerator systems specifically designed and tested to keep saltwater bait healthy and active. The Frabill Shrimp Shak includes a 14331 battery-powered Aqua-Life® Portable Aerator and also includes a special micro-bubble oxygen diffuser that produces clouds of tiny bubbles. Smaller, more numerous bubbles mix readily as they collide and dispense through the entire water column. In bait containers, smaller bubbles are important as they are less prone to damage delicate bait like shrimp.

During the spring fishing season, make sure you are ready with the right bait – healthy, live shrimp. And make sure you have the right live bait container to maintain your investment: the Frabill Shrimp Shak.

Learn more about aeration and bait care at


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?