Hemp is another bait synonymous with catching quality canal fish. It can be fed in healthy quantities to keep fish like tench and carp grazing in your swim More commonly however, it is used to catch roach and has an uncanny knack of winkling out the big ones.
You can buy hemp ready-prepared but it isn’t difficult to prepare your own cheaply, and you can also freeze a good supply in small batches. Simply soak it overnight in a large saucepan before bringing to the boil. Now reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for an hour. You’ll know it’s ready when the seeds are all opened and the white kernels are visible.
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Hemp is a terrific roach bait. Piercing one end with a baiting needle makes it very much easier to hook.
Hemp can be tricky to hook, but is well worth the effort. The easiest way is to find the blunt end and pierce with a sharp baiting needle to make a little hole. Thread a small hook through this and you’re away. Tares can also be used however, which are much easier to hook and work well in conjunction with hemp. Or you could take a leaf out of a much older blog and try elderberries.
Boost your hemp!
Hemp seed is potent stuff straight out of the pan, but can be further enhanced with additives. A small amount of liquid flavouring can be added towards the end of the cooking process, but perhaps the simplest additive is a little salt during cooking.
As with all additives, a little added kick is better than overkill.