Hempseed Particle Fishing Bait
Hempseed is a highly effective particle fishing bait that is a powerful attractant to most species of fish. It's rich and oily, inexpensive and versatile meaning that it should shoot straight to the top of your shopping list if you're yet to try it.
A Little History
Hempseed is the seed of the hemp plant. This is an environmentally friendly crop as it requires no chemical pesticides or fertilisers to grow and it is good for the soil too. Hemp fibres were originally used to make rope and paper but are now also utilised in fashion fabrics. It is a versatile crop but is prohibited in some countries because it is a close relative of cannabis.
Hemp was introduced to the UK as fishing bait by European refugees in World War I. First used for catching roach, this enticing seed is now favoured by anglers to use in their groundbait when fishing for any species. It can also be used as hookbait for catching smaller fish.
Hempseed was only available uncooked until the 1990s but then many bait suppliers began to sell pre-prepared hempseed. These ready to use tins are always useful to have on hand but it is far cheaper to prepare your own seed. Batches can be frozen for future use if you wish to minimise the amount of time you spend prepping your fishing bait.
[caption id="attachment_142" align="aligncenter" width="512"] Marijuana Seeds, a close relative of Hemp - By Jorge Barrios (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]
It is best to soak your hempseed overnight before cooking it. Once soaked it should be simmered for around 15 minutes. The seeds will start to split to reveal the white hearts. Take care not to overcook the bait, especially if you wish to use it as hookbait. You need to keep an eye on your pan and stop cooking when the seeds are just beginning to split. When the hempseed is cooked, strain off your seeds but retain the oily water as this is excellent for mixing with groundbait. Rinse the seeds in cold water and pack in a sealed container.
Hempseed is rarely used as hookbait for larger fish as the seeds are so small. However there is a method for fishing with these tiny seeds on a big enough hook. You can use a sticky substance, which is amusingly called 'bogey', tied to a hair rig with hempseed pushed into it. This creates a grainy ball which will enable you to land some impressive specimens.
Ramping up the Flavour
This particle fishing bait is naturally oily and flavoursome but you can pimp your bait with a variety of attractants if you wish. Add your chosen flavours to the cooking water to create your unique take on hemp.
Top Hempseed Tips
Hempseed floats if it dries out so keep it moist whilst you are fishing. Don't use too much at once when you are fishing because you'll find that little and often is the way forward when it comes to hemp. If you arrange a fishing trip at short notice and haven't prepared any hempseed then you can do a little impromptu prep-work using a vacuum flask. Put some seeds in the flask and cover them with boiling water, allowing room for the seeds to swell. Seal the flask and leave overnight. The next morning you will have usable hemp.