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It’s A Prawn Thing

It’s A Prawn Thing

The arrival of the Zerek live shrimp created a stir unlike the arrival of many other lures in Australia. This lure catapulted to the top of the charts and, after more than five years on the market, still maintains its place at the top of the heap.

But what is it about the Live Shrimp that makes it such a user-friendly lure? And where has the development of this phenomenon gone?



The Live Shrimp is a prawn-shaped soft plastic lure that is constructed from the virtually indestructible TPE (thermoplastic). It has a host of features that make it an exceptional piece of lure engineering and allow it to be rigged in multiple fashions. Three sizes (2″, 3.5″ and 5″) also means there is a Live Shrimp that is suitable for every species in Australia.

Let us look at the features first. The Live Shrimp has unique rigging slots in the body to shield the weedless worm hook. This makes the lure virtually snag-proof while maintaining exceptional fish hooking abilities. The tail is segmented to provide a very realistic tail action. These segments are held together by Kevlar matting to give the tail exceptional durability. The legs are stiff, but this stiffness relates to their action in the water as they quiver realistically, rather than fold up and over the body like they do in softer materials. The Live Shrimp also comes with an in-built rattle chamber to add extra sonics to the lure. This rattle can be removed when rigging the Live Shrimp on a jig head, or if you feel the extra sonics are not required. And lastly fluorescent eyes add extra visual appeal to an already amazing lure.

Yep, there is a lot to the Live Shrimp. Add in over a dozen super realistic colours, and the fact the Live Shrimp won Best Soft Lure at the AFTA Trade Show on its release, it is easy to see the credentials this lure has.



The Live Shrimp is at its best in the field – when anglers are throwing it at fish.

The most basic of retrieves for this lure is the drop- and-hop technique. This technique is simple to master, with the angler simply casting the lure out to the target and letting the lure drop through the water column or structure, and then being hopped a couple of times before being allowed to drop again.

You can hop the lure subtly or harshly, and you can hop the lure with large hops or small hops. It is totally up to the angler and the situation they find themselves fishing. This retrieve makes the lure look to all the world like a real shrimp or prawn and is extremely effective in thick cover, be that snags, rocks, reef or weed.

A different retrieve is the slow roll. This is also a very simple retrieve with the lure simply being slowly wound back to the angler after the cast. The mechanics involve the angler casting the lure out, allowing it to sink to the desired depth, and then slow rolling the lure back. You can mix up this retrieve with little shakes of the rod or rod tip pulses to give the lure a little more action, but this is not always necessary. This retrieve really takes advantage of the stiffer legs of the Live Shrimp, as they look very lifelike on this retrieve, vibrating and wriggling. These leg movements look very much like the legs of a real shrimp as it swims through the water.



With the success of the Live Shrimp, several other models in the Live range were designed and released. The first of these was the Live Cherabin, a similar lure that was designed to look a lot more like the larger freshwater shrimps found in the freshwater rivers and lagoons up north.

The Cherabin comes in two sizes (4″ and 6″) and can also be rigged with the supplied weedless worm hook or a jighead. However, the tow point is in a different location, coming out of the top of the head of the plastic rather than the nose of the plastic.

The Cherabin is a more slender profile (but with a robust head) with long forward feelers. There are also different colours available, yet many of the same strengths of the Live Shrimp are retained, such as the Kevlar webbing in the tail, the internal rattle chamber and the TPE used in its construction.

The most recent addition to the Live range is the Live Shrimp Hot Legs. This lure is almost a hybrid between the original Live Shrimp and the Cherabin with features of both being seen in this version. The big difference with the Live Shrimp Hot Legs is the body plastic. While still being TPE, it is a softer compound allowing for extra movement in the long feelers and the legs. It is the extra movement in the legs that is important here because the Live Shrimp Hot Legs features highlight tips on all the legs in all the colours. Many of these highlights are UV- enhanced, but not all are UV. The non-UV leg tips are bold and black creating a real contrast to the rest of the legs and the bodies. The final difference is a slender body when compared to the original Live Shrimp. This gives the lure a real finesse feel that is difficult for others to copy.

The Live Shrimp Hot Legs also comes in two sizes (3″ and 4″) and with two hook styles – the omnipresent weedless worm hook for serious structure, and the stand-up jighead for more open areas such as mud flats, sandy stretches and freshwater lakes, where you want the lure to sit with its tail up wafting around.



The Live Range from Zerek is a revolution in soft plastic fishing. From the smallest 2″ Live Shrimp right up to the 6″ Live Cherabin, there is a size, colour and profile that will perfectly match your local crustaceans.

This range is definitely not just a saltwater range with all of the big name freshwater species also dining on these ultra-realistic shrimp representations. From barramundi, mangrove jacks and threadfins up north, to trout, bream and red fin perch down south, the Live Range from Zerek is a range that simply produces fish again and again.


By Stephen Booth


Published in the Jan-Mar 2020 edition.