Hemp Seed Fishing For Carp: The Ultimate Guide

The history of hemp seed fishing is as rich and varied as the sport of fishing itself. While it’s difficult to pinpoint precisely when hemp seeds were first used as bait for fishing, their use can be traced back to European anglers in the 19th century and possibly earlier. The seeds were likely recognised for their high nutritional content and ability to remain intact in water, making them an ideal choice for bait.

Benefits of Hemp Seed

Hemp seeds are a powerhouse bait that offers many benefits for anglers. Their unique properties make them attractive and effective for catching various fish species, particularly carp. Here are some of the key benefits of using hemp seed as bait:

  • High Nutritional Value: They are packed with nutrients that fish crave. They are rich in essential fatty acids, proteins, and fibre, making them a nutritious and irresistible meal for fish. When prepared and introduced into the water, the oils released by the seeds are a potent attractant for many species.
  • Feeding Frenzy: One of the most significant advantages of using hemp seeds is their ability to create a feeding frenzy. When a quantity of prepared hemp seeds is introduced into the water, they spread out and sink to the bottom, creating a ‘carpet’ of bait. This can induce a competitive feeding frenzy among fish, increasing the angler’s chances of a successful catch.
  • Versatility: They can attract a wide range of fish species. They can be used alone or with other baits to target specific species or increase their effectiveness. This versatility makes them a valuable addition to any angler’s toolkit.
  • Carp Love Hemp Seeds: Carp have a particular affinity for quality hemp seeds. The seeds’ high nutritional content and the oils they release make an irresistible bait for carp. Anglers often use them when targeting carp due to their effectiveness. The seeds can attract carp from a distance and keep them feeding in the area for extended periods, increasing the chances of a successful catch.

Preparing Hemp Seed for Fishing

The correct preparation of hemp seeds is vital to maximise their effectiveness as bait. This process involves three main steps: soaking, boiling, and cooling. Overcooking the seeds can make them overly soft, reducing their effectiveness as bait. Here’s a unique take on the process:

Step 1: Soaking the Seeds

Begin by immersing the dry hemp seeds in cold water.

Allow the seeds to soak for a full day (24 hours). This initial soaking phase softens the hard exterior shell of the seeds and primes them for the boiling process.

Step 2: Cooking the Seeds

After the soaking period, transfer the seeds and soaking water into a cooking pot.

Simmer the seeds over low to medium heat for approximately 20 to 40 minutes. The key indicator that the seeds are adequately cooked is when the kernels begin to split, exposing the white interior. It’s crucial to avoid overcooking the seeds, as this can result in a too-soft texture that’s less appealing to fish.

Step 3: Cooling the Seeds

Once the seeds have reached the desired level of cooking, immediately drench them in cold water. This rapid cooling stops the cooking of hemp and helps maintain the seeds’ ideal texture and nutrient content.

Determining the Right Quantity

Hemp seeds don’t significantly expand when cooked – expect about a 10% increase in volume. Therefore, a pint of dry seeds will yield slightly more than a pint of prepared bait. It’s practical to prepare multiple pints at once, portioning the prepared seeds into usable amounts and freezing the rest for future fishing trips. A good rule of thumb is to start with a pint of prepared seeds for a fishing trip, adjusting the quantity based on the season and the fish activity.

Precooked Tinned Hemp: The Convenient Alternative

While preparing your hemp seeds can be rewarding and allows for customisation, it can also be time-consuming and messy. Precooked tinned hemp is an excellent alternative for those who prefer a more convenient option without sacrificing effectiveness.

Precooked tinned hemp is precisely what it sounds like hemp seeds that have been pre-soaked, cooked, and packaged in a tin, ready to be used straight out of the can. This option offers several advantages:

  • Ease of Use: There’s no need to worry about soaking times or cooking durations with tinned hemp. When you open the tin, the seeds are ready to use, making it a great time-saver.
  • Consistent Quality: The preparation process for tinned hemp is controlled and consistent, ensuring that the seeds are cooked optimally. You don’t have to worry about undercooking or overcooking the seeds.
  • Long Shelf Life: Tinned hemp has a long shelf life, so you can always keep a few tins on hand for impromptu fishing trips. There’s no need to plan for soaking and cooking.
  • Portability: Tins are easy to transport and don’t require refrigeration, making them a convenient option for fishing trips.
  • Less Mess: Preparing hemp seeds at home can be messy. Tinned hemp eliminates this issue, keeping your kitchen clean.

While tinned hemp may be more expensive than dry hemp seeds, many anglers find that the convenience and time saved make it worth the extra cost. It’s also worth noting that many brands of tinned hemp include added flavours or attractants, which can enhance the bait’s effectiveness.

Best Ways To Use Hemp Seed For Fishing

Hemp seeds are incredibly versatile and can attract fish in various ways. Here are some effective methods to consider:

Inclusion in Method Mixes

Method mixes are a combination of baits used to target specific fish species. Adding hemp seeds to these mixes can enhance their overall appeal. The unique texture and nutritional profile of hemp seeds make them valuable to any method mix.

Addition to Spods

Spods are bait delivery devices used in carp fishing. They allow you to accurately deliver a large quantity of bait to a specific area. Filling spods with hemp seeds and other particle baits can create a concentrated feeding area, attracting carp from a distance.

Hempseed Ground Bait

Ground bait is a popular method anglers use to attract fish to their fishing spot. Incorporating hemp seeds into your ground bait mix can significantly increase its attractiveness. The seeds release oils and particles into the water, creating a scent trail that fish find hard to resist.

Loose Feeding of Cooked Hemp

Cooked hemp seeds can be used as loose feed. Toss handfuls of grains of hemp seeds into the water to attract fish to your area. The seeds will sink to the bottom, creating a tempting fish-feeding spot.

Scattering to Create a Bait Bed

Scattering hemp particles over a wide area can create a ‘carpet’ or ‘bed’ of bait on the water’s floor that can stay in the swim for hours. This can induce a competitive feeding frenzy among fish, increasing your chances of a successful catch.

Mixing with Other Baits or Additives

Hemp seeds can be mixed with other baits to create a more enticing offering. For example, they can be combined with sweetcorn, maggots, or boilies to create a varied and appealing bait mix. One of my personal favourites is using it as a combination with caster. Additionally, hemp seeds can be mixed with additives like chilli powder or turmeric to enhance their attractiveness.

Liquidised Hemp

Liquidised hemp is a potent attractant that can draw fish to your hook. It can be added to ground bait or method mixes or used to soak other baits.

Hair Rigging Hemp Seeds

For carp fishing, hemp seeds can be used on a hair rig. This involves attaching the seeds to a small line (the ‘hair’) hanging off the back of the hook. When a carp sucks in the bait, it also takes in the hook, increasing your chances of a successful catch.

Utilising Leftover Hemp Oil

Don’t discard the oil left over from cooking hemp seeds. This oil is packed with attractive scents and flavours and can be used to boost the appeal of other baits. Try soaking boilies or pellets in the oil, or add it to your ground bait or method mix.

Hemp Case Studies

Case Study 1: Steve Ringer’s Victory at the Claypit

In a memorable episode of the Guru YouTube series, renowned angler Steve Ringer faced off against Andy Bennett at the Claypit, located in Weston Pools Fishery. Ringer strategically decided to feed a mix of hemp and corn down the edge. He chose corn due to its weight, which allowed it to sink quickly and stay in the targeted feeding zone.

Ringer’s strategy paid off handsomely. He caught over 300lb of fish, securing a decisive victory in the match. Ringer’s success underscored the effectiveness of hemp as a bait despite it being considered somewhat ‘old school’ and underutilised in modern angling. His victory served as a powerful reminder of the potential of hemp seeds when used correctly and strategically. You can watch that video here.

Case Study 2: Inspired Success at Hall Lane Fisheries

Inspired by Steve Ringer’s impressive victory, the author of this post decided to try his hand at hemp fishing during a club match at Hall Lane Fisheries. He used tinned hemp, fishing it down the edge with double corn over the top. This feed mix strategy mirrored Ringer’s, combining the attractive properties of hemp and corn to entice the fish.

The results were impressive. The author caught over 100lb of fish, with most of the catch coming from the edge of the lake in the last 90 minutes of the match. This experience reinforced the effectiveness of hemp as bait and demonstrated how successful strategies can be adapted and applied in different fishing scenarios. The author’s success is an encouraging example for other anglers considering using hemp seeds in their bait mix.

Hemp Seed FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Hemp Seed Fishing

  1. What fish are attracted to hemp?

Hemp seeds are known to attract various species of fish. In freshwater environments, they are particularly effective for catching roach, tench, bream, and carp. However, their appeal is not limited to these coarse fish species alone. With the right techniques, hemp seeds can catch a broad spectrum of fish.

  1. Where can I purchase hemp seeds for fishing?

Hemp seeds for fishing can be obtained from several sources. They are often stocked in fishing tackle shops, outdoor sports and animal feed shops. Additionally, various online retailers offer them for sale. You can buy them in their dry form or precooked and tinned, depending on your preference.

  1. Is it possible to use hemp as a hook bait?

Yes, it is possible to use hemp as a hook bait. While it can be tricky due to the small size of the seeds, anglers often use a hair rig to use hemp seeds as hook bait effectively. It’s also common to use partially split hemp seeds, as they can be more easily mounted on the hook.

  1. Does hemp attract bream?

Hemp is a fantastic bait for attracting bream. The seeds’ high nutritional content and the oils they release into the water make them an irresistible meal for bream. Using a bed of hemp seeds can significantly increase your chances of a successful bream catch.

Final Thoughts

Hemp seeds have long been a secret weapon in the angler’s arsenal. Despite being considered somewhat ‘old school’, their effectiveness as fishing bait is undeniable. From their high nutritional value that attracts a wide range of fish species to their ability to induce a feeding frenzy, hemp seeds offer numerous benefits that can significantly enhance your fishing experience.

Whether you prepare hemp seeds or opt for the convenience of tinned hemp, the key to success is understanding how to use them effectively. This guide has provided insights into the various techniques and strategies you can employ, from creating a ‘carpet’ of bait on the water’s floor to combining hemp seeds with other baits for maximum effect.

We’ve also explored the experiences of successful anglers who have used hemp seeds to great effect, demonstrating that this versatile bait can deliver impressive results in the right hands.

In conclusion, while trends in fishing may come and go, the humble hemp seed remains a potent tool in the pursuit of a successful catch. Whether you’re a seasoned carp angler or a beginner, this guide has inspired you to explore the potential of hemp for fishing.

Leave a Comment