Possibly two of the most versatile baits for carp fishing, hemp seed and hemp oil. When used alone, both hemp seed and hemp oil offer a powerful attraction that almost always stimulates a feeding response from carp that are passing by.
In this article, we will go over all aspects of hemp for carp fishing. From why carp are so attracted to it, preparing it and our top tips and tricks for using it successfully in your everyday fishing. If you Have any questions about hemp, this article will answer them.
Why Do Carp Like to Eat Hemp Seeds?
Carp are attracted to hempseeds because they ooze natural attractions such as oils, vitamins, amino and omega acids, all of which carp crave. Carp have keenly developed senses to hone in on these food sources, and they always stimulate a feeding response.
Hemp Seeds Resemble Natural Food Sources
Not only do hemp seeds ooze natural attractors, but they also resemble natural food sources that carp have grown accustomed to safely feeding on. Two of the biggest food sources for carp in the wild bodies of water that I fish are mussels and snails. When properly prepared, hempseeds split and produce a white shoot, which looks identical to the shells and soft inner flesh of their natural prey.
Hemp Seed Colour
Hemp seeds, when prepared properly, have a dark outer coating. This provides a perfect visual cue for carp passing by. The contrasting dark husk of the hemp seed particles stands out quite well against all bottom substrates. Whether you’re fishing over sand, silt, clay or gravel, carp will be able to see the particles quite easily.
Hemp Seed Texture
Not only does hemp seed offer visual and nutritious ques for carp to enjoy, but it also has that perfect texture once they do pick it up. Hemp seeds for carp fishing are soft, so they provide the perfect texture carp are used to when they bite down on a natural food source. The softness of hemp seeds also makes them easily digestible, unlike other popular carp baits such as tiger nuts. This will cause carp to quickly associate hemp seed with a high-value food source once found.
As you can see, hemp seeds are a great bait for carp fishing since they check almost every box on the list for what attracts carp. Visually appealing, sense stimulating and high in nutrients, there’s nothing hemp seeds lack.
How to Prepare Hemp Seed for Carp Fishing?
There are many carp bait companies out there that offer prepared hemp for carp fishing. They are all great options but if you have the time to prepare your hemp seed, buying in bulk is definitely the way to go. Not only is it more rewarding to prepare your own bait, but it will also save you quite a bit on the pocketbook; we all know carp fishing isn’t a cheap sport!
Preparing Hemp Seed for Carp Fishing
Hemp Seed is dried and sold in bulk bags, and it requires a bit of preparation to make it useful as carp fishing bait. It floats in its dried form, but when prepared properly, it will sink to the bottom and be more appealing to carp as a food source.
- Purchase Bulk Hemp Seed – Hemp Seed comes in bulk bags that have gone through a drying process. This is to ensure that it doesn’t spoil and can be stored for long periods of time.
- Soak the Hemp Seed – Although this step isn’t necessary, many recommend soaking the hempseed for 12 – 24 hours before boiling. This will shorten the time it will take for the hemp seed to cook.
- Boil the Hemp Seed – Place the hempseed in a pot and add water. It is recommended to add more water than hemp seed because the seeds will absorb the water during the cooking process.
- Reduce to a Simmer – After bringing the hemp seed and water to a boil, reduce and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes. You want the hemp seeds to split and be somewhat soft to the touch. I find if you boil the water for the entire duration, the hemp seeds become too soft.
- Drain (but save) the Water – The water is perfect for adding to other baits such as boilies or corn. It will infuse other baits with some of the great attractors that have leaked out of the hemp seed during the boiling phase.
Note: Hemp seed is much like corn. After it has been prepared for fishing, it will last only a few days before it will start to spoil. If you prepare a lot of hempseed beforehand, be sure to bag it and freeze it in a freezer if you plan to store it for longer durations. Simply thaw the hempseed before you plan to go fishing, and it will be as good as when it was freshly prepared.
How to use Hemp Seed for Carp Fishing?
When I first found out about hemp seeds for carp fishing many years ago, the first question that came to my mind was, “Ok, how the heck do I use hemp seeds as a hook bait?”
There are many ways to use hempseed for carp fishing, it is a very versatile bait, but the one thing it isn’t very good at is being a hook bait. Due to its small size, it is nearly impossible to thread onto a hook or hair.
Use Hemp Seed in Particle Mixes
Hemp seed is most effective for carp fishing when combined with other particles in spod or method mixes. When blanketing an area with bait to attract carp, hemp seed is an integral part of any mix. The small black particles will grab the carps’ attention and hold them on the spot longer. This will, in turn, increase the chance that they will stumble across your hook bait and pick it up.
Combine Hemp Seeds and Sweet Corn
Perhaps the deadliest combo for carp fishing in North America. Sweet Corn is definitely the most commonly used bait for carp fishing, and when combined with hemp seeds, it offers an irresistible attraction. I notice on my underwater camera that the contrast of dark hemp seed and bright yellow sweet corn really pops. These baits will stand out above all else on any lake bed.
Add Hemp Seeds to Your Stick Mixes
I’m a big fan of using Stick Mixes with every cast. Some Stick Mixes already have some hemp seeds included, but I like to beef mine up with some added particles. Prepared hemp seeds are the perfect match. If I add larger particles such as boilies, tiger nuts or corn, my hook sometimes will get caught in the larger particles as the PVA Mesh dissolves. Hemp Seeds are the perfect fix here as they are small enough not to impede your rig or rig mechanics.
Use Hemp Seed in Small PVA Bags
Since hemp seeds have such powerful natural attractants, a small pile of them right next to your hook bait is the perfect approach to get feeding fish to notice your bait and pick it up. Be sure to soak hemp seed in PVA Friendly Hemp Oil to ensure that the prepared seeds break down the PVA mesh too soon.
Use Hemps Seeds as a Hook Bait
This is the most difficult way to use hemp seeds for carp fishing. As hemp seed particles are so small, they are impossible to thread on a hook or hair. One tactic I use and the only reliable method I’ve found is to use a very sticky hook bait glug or Soluble Hemp. Thoroughly coat your hook bait in the glug, then dip it into the hemp seeds. They won’t stay on your bait forever, but they may last long enough to entice a quick bite.
Flavour Other Hookbaits
If you saved the water you used to prepare the hemp seeds during the boiling process, use the same water to soak some other particles for hook baits. You can use either corn, tiger nuts, boilies or chickpeas. Any particle that can take on the same flavour and goodness that was lost during the boiling process.
Why Do Carp Like Hemp Oil?
As stated above, carp are attracted to hemp oil for a few of the same reasons they are attracted to hemp seeds. They can’t see the oil, so it isn’t a visual attraction, but carp have many ways of finding food, not just relying on sight.
Carp like hemp oil due to the fact that it sets off their chemoreceptors and informs them there is a food source nearby. Once they sense the hemp oil in the water column, they can quickly hone in on its source, be it hemp seeds, hemp flavoured particles or preferably, your hook bait.
Carp have thousands of chemoreceptors in their mouth on their barbels and even on the outside of their mouth and under their chin down to their neck. They are constantly tasting, smelling and sensing their environment as they move through it.
How to Use Hemp Oil as Carp Bait?
Hemp oil can’t be used as bait alone, but it can be used very effectively to attract carp to the bait you are using. It usually comes in small amounts in small bottles. This is because it is very concentrated and highly attractive; a little goes a long way.
Use Hemp Oil To Soak Hook Baits
One of the most effective ways of using hemp oil is to place your hook baits in a separate pot and let them soak in a little bit of the liquid. The hook baits will take on the natural attracting properties of the hemp oil.
Use a Small Amount of Hemp Oil in Stick Mixes
Hemp Oil is most often PVA friendly, so it is compatible with all stick mixes. Simply add a bit of the liquid to your stick mixes to give them some added attraction. This will also aid in spreading the attraction and flavours of your stick mixes throughout the water column as the hemp oil dissolves and rises to the surface.
Add a Generous Amount of Hemp Oil to Particle Mixes
This will add more attraction to your particle mixes to boost their effectiveness. A neat trick I’ve noticed before is to add a generous amount of hemp oil, completely coating the particle mixes of corn and hemp seed. On days when there is a slight ripple on the water, you will be able to tell carp are feeding on your bait; as they disturb it, the oil will rise to the surface and create a calm oil slick over the area you’re fishing. This is often referred to as the “Dinner Plate” effect.
Add Hemp Oil to the Water Used to Prepare Hemp Seeds
Once you drain the water that hemp seeds were boiled in, be sure to save it as listed above. The water will have attractive properties from the hemp seed, but if you add a bit of hemp seed oil, it will supercharge the mixture for glugging other particle baits.
Dip Baits in Hemp Seed Oil
When pre-baiting with hemp seeds, a tactic I like to use is to use a pop-up as a hook bait, but before I cast, I will dip it in hemp seed oil to make it sticky then dip it in prepared hemp seed to make them stick to it. Much like stated above, the seeds don’t stick to it for very long, but they do provide a nice attractive pile of freebies around my hook bait when they do fall off.
As you can see, there are some different tips and tricks you can test when using hemp seeds and hemp oil as carp fishing bait. It definitely is one of the most effective baits for turning a cruising fish into a feeding fish. From what I’ve seen on my underwater camera, the hemp seeds excel at holding carp on the spot longer and increasing the chances of them finding your hook bait.
For more information on other great carp fishing bait, check out our complete A – Z Guide on Carp Fishing Bait.