The mantis shrimp is an odd-looking crustacean that is found in saltwater estuaries of the Mid Atlantic region. Adults measure 5-7 inches in length (head-on). The mantis shrimp gets its name from its front legs, which resemble those of the praying mantis. According to biologists, mantis shrimp should be handled with care as they can inflict wounds with their powerful front legs.
Mantis shrimp are sometimes found among shrimp bycatch. These unique sea creatures are generally not available from tackle shops although they are occasionally found in specialty seafood markets. Mantis shrimp are preyed upon by flounder, speckled trout, striped bass, bluefish, drum, and other gamefish.
When mantis shrimp are abundant, some anglers cast jigs or other rigs combined with synthetic scent-impregnated shrimp bodies. Combining the properties of both traditional baits and artificial lures, these products are used when fishing for flounder, speckled trout, striped bass, and other species.