The sand shrimp or common shrimp is a lesser known species of saltwater shrimp that occurs in the Mid Atlantic region. Adults are typically 2-3 inches in length (head-on). Sand shrimp are often found together with grass shrimp. Smaller in size than edible shrimp, sand shrimp are preyed upon by flounder, speckled trout, spot, croaker, and other species.
In some areas, sand shrimp can be caught by seining or by dip netting around eel grass or other aquatic vegetation. They sometimes occur as bycatch in shrimping or other fisheries. Like other rare baits, sand shrimp are generally not available from tackle shops or other bait suppliers.
When available, sand shrimp can be used for catching flounder, seatrout, croakers, spot, pigfish, and other bottom feeders. They can be fished on small jigs, live-lined using appropriately-sized hooks, or threaded onto a single hook. Some anglers prefer to fish them under floats, while others use Carolina style rigs or traditional top and bottom rigs.
Although using fresh sand shrimp for bait may not be practical, the presence of these small crustaceans can be important to anglers. When sand shrimp are abundant, some anglers find success with synthetic scent-impregnated shrimp bodies. Combining the properties of both traditional baits and artificial lures, these products can be highly effective when fishing for flounder, speckled trout, and other species.