Pre-baiting is a technique to entice more fish to the area you plan to cast you line. The goal is to get fish comfortable with feeding so that when you do throw in your hook bait, the fish are present and ready to bite.
Always choose the hook size and shape that is appropriate for the type of fish you are looking to catch. As for color selection, some sand varieties are attracted to a red hook, but in most cases a silver hook will suffice.
Use a very sharp hook. Hooks dull quickly so buy new hooks frequently to have on hand. Between replacements you should sand the point to keep it nice and sharp. Purchasing high quality hooks in the first place will save you money in the long run as they have a longer life-span.
Many people mistakenly bait shrimp with the head first. The proper way to bait prawn is by sticking the hook tail end first so the body curls up in the shape of the hook (keeping the hook entirely in the shrimp when threading). If you bait head first, the shrimp is more likely to fall off.
Squid is a less common, but excellent and hardy bait choice. It is easy to hook and difficult for fish to nibble off. Thread the softer part of the body, which is more appealing to fish than the hard area around the head.
Always thread as much of the hook as possible through the bait. This will disguise the hook from the fish sight and keep the bait on more securely. In the end, you will pull in more fish and replace less bait.