Sunday, 29 July 2018

Preparing Hemp Seed for Fishing

Hemp seed, there are few fishing baits around that attract fish like hemp. Hemp seed is an outstanding fishing bait for most species of fish and you could be a specimen carp angler, a barbel angler, a bream or tench angler, a match angler or a pleasure angler just enjoying a day’s fishing, whatever branch of angling you participate in, this article on preparing hemp seed for fishing will be of use to you.

At the time of writing I’ve paid £30 for the 15 kilo sack of Hemp Seed that features in this article, hemp seed isn’t the cheapest fishing bait by any means but it is certainly a very effective one and fish like Carp, Barbel, Tench, Bream, Roach, Dace and Chub just can’t resist the magic seeds, hemp seed seems to have an almost drug-like attraction to all of these fish.

A sack of hemp seed for fishing, currently around £30 for 15 kilos

Obviously you can’t use hemp in its raw form straight out of the sack, it has to be soaked and boiled first, this can be a long and laborious task specially if you are carp fishing with hemp seed and require large amounts of the seed. Many carp anglers completely overdo hemp seed and they put so much in that the carp get pre-occupied on the hemp seed to the exclusion of all other baits, I’ve had this happen to me in the past and I’ve sat there with a swim that resembles a jacuzzi as the carp root out every last grain of hemp whilst ignoring the hookbait I’m fishing over the top. With this in mind I limit my hemp seed to one third of my spod mix these days and I make up the other two thirds with trout pellets, sweetcorn, chopped boilies and whole boilies, this gives me the best of both worlds as far as hemp seed fishing goes, I have enough hemp in the swim to hold fish but it’s not the dominant bait so the fish will feed more on the pellets, sweetcorn and boilies and these are the baits I want the carp to be picking up because one of them will have my hook in.

Click here to watch a step by step Guide on how to prepare hemp seed for fishing

The correct way to prepare Hemp Seed in a pan is to soak it for 24hrs then boil it for 20 minutes until the grains start to split, as I only require enough hemp seed to do one third of a spod mix I can use a Thermos Flask to prepare it instead. I’m limited to about 3 pints of hemp using the flask method but this amount is perfect, by the time the spod mix is made up I’ll have in excess of 9 pints or over a gallon of bait, this is a good bucket full and easily enough for a carp session. Using a Thermos Flask also allows me to cut out the laborious task of slaving away over a hot stove cooking up pans and pans of hemp, I simply put my 3 pints of hemp in the flask, add boiling water, seal the lid and leave the hemp seed in the flask overnight to cook. Next morning the hemp seed can be emptied out into a bucket and it will be perfectly split and ready to take fishing so that's perfect hemp seed for fishing with minimum effort, it takes as much of your time as boiling the kettle!.

Preparing hemp for carp fishing, use a pint glass to measure/pour the hemp into the Thermos Flask

As well as being a perfect amount for a bucket of spod mix, 3 pints of hemp is also perfect for a day’s barbel fishing on the river, it’s also twice as much as a match angler or a pleasure angler would need for a day’s stick float fishing on the river for roach, dace and chub, you can split the 3 pints up and freeze one half for your next session if you are preparing hemp seed for just pleasure fishing.

So that’s it for preparing hemp seed for fishing, whether it’s hemp seed for carp, hemp seed for barbel or just hemp seed for a pleasure fishing session, using a Thermos Flask is a very cheap way to prepare these magical seeds and hemp is certainly well worth buying.
Hemp seed also works really well in combinations with other particle baits, specially for carp, the 'hemp and pellet' I've covered in this article but hemp seed also goes well with Sweetcorn, Maize, Tiger Nuts and Maple Peas. I've already covered preparing and using some of these particles and they all work brilliantly when fished over small beds of hemp seed, you can check out some of these carpy particles below, each article has a youtube video to go with it and you can watch it from the blog or better still pay my youtube channel a visit, there are loads of fishing videos on there and they are all split by category so it's easy for you to browse them.
How to prepare Maize for Carp Fishing
How to prepare Tiger Nuts for Carp Fishing
How to prepare Maple Peas for Carp Fishing
Fishing How to prepare Pigeon Conditioner (Cheap alternative to hemp)

A big river weaver carp caught fishing with hemp seed as feed

Until next time.

Tight Lines.


Monday, 7 May 2018

Pigeon Conditioner for Fishing

Way back in the 1970’s there was a revolution in carp baits, angler’s discovered seeds and pulses and it was an era of particle fishing. Hemp won the battle of the particle baits and even today it’s still regarded as one of the most outstanding carp attractors there is. Like everything in fishing pressure can take its toll and eventually hemp slowed down, this lead anglers to look at other seeds and pulses and they found there were other good seeds that were attractive to carp.

Pigeon conditioner, it makes a great spod mix for carp

Among these other seeds were baits like groats (rolled oats), red dari seed, white dari seed, wheat, barley and pulses like mung beans, pinto beans and black eyed beans. It’s easy to see why Pigeon Conditioner has proved so popular with anglers ‘in the know’, a quick look at the label to see what’s in it and you will see most of these seeds, they are all attractive to carp and they come with the added touch of an aniseed flavour, again another highly rated carp attractor in its own right.

How to Prepare Pigeon Conditioner for Fishing (Click below to watch)

Preparing pigeon conditioner for carp fishing couldn’t be more simple, just put your pigeon conditioner into a cool box, poor boiling water over it and close the lid, leave it overnight and next day you have perfectly prepared pigeon conditioner ready to go fishing with, it really is that simple. (See the video above).

Using a coolbox to prepare pigeon conditioner for carp fishing

Pigeon Conditioner can be used as it is for fishing but it benefits from a process I refer to as ‘layering’. Layering your pigeon conditioner involves adding a mixture of different sized baits to your pigeon mix. The pigeon conditioner becomes the base layer of a spod mix, it’s a mix of seeds that will keep carp, tench and bream grubbing about in the swim and the extra baits you add become the baits you fish with on the hook. In this article I’ve added maple peas to my pigeon conditioner spod mix but you can add anything else you want, favourites of mine include sweetcorn, tiger nuts (chopped and whole), maize, chick peas, trout pellets and boilies (whole and chopped). With a good mix of baits in the spod mix you also have more options for which bait you’ll fish on the hook. By adding some of these baits you don’t leave the carp to get pre-occupied with just the seeds and this method of layering your pigeon conditioner spod mix brings you more runs.

One big advantage of using Pigeon Conditioner as the base of your spod mix instead of hemp is that it keeps the cost of you bait down. Currently hemp is around £45 for a 20k sack whilst a 20k sack of pigeon conditioner comes in at around £18, a considerable saving over using hemp. Not only is pigeon conditioner less than half the price of hemp, it’s easier to prepare which is ideal if you have limited time due to work and family commitments. Pigeon conditioner runs hemp a pretty close second in the fishing stakes too, it’s an exceptionally good fish attractor and well worth a look if you’ve never tried it before.

Nice mid double common caught on a maple pea over pigeon conditioner

I hope I’ve given you some food for thought regarding the use of Pigeon Conditioner for carp fishing, it’s an outstanding particle bait mix that’s largely gone under the radar so it’s well worth using.

Please check out my YouTube Channel and subscribe and also Follow my Instagram Page, when I’m not making fishing videos I post some of my catches to my Instagram so it’s a good way to keep in touch with what’s happening on the North West Carp and Anglers Diary fishing blogs.

Until next time, tight lines and take care.


Sunday, 14 January 2018

Fishing Knots

Throughout my angling life I’ve tried many different fishing knots, all knots can have their place but I only use a handful of them on a regular basis, in fact I’d say there are only really four fishing knots I use these days and below are three of the knots used and a short youtube video for each on how to tie them. The fourth knot will be subject to it’s own article and video so please subscribe to this blog via email or rss feed and visit my YouTube Channel and subscribe to that too, that way you won’t miss out when my videos are uploaded. You can also Follow Me on Instagram where you can keep up with the current fishing i'm doing in between YouTube Videos.

Palomar Knot
First up is the Palomar Knot. This is probably the easiest fishing knot to tie. I use this knot for both braid and mono and it’s ideal for tying both types of line to both swivels and hooks. My preference with the palomar knot is to use it for tying mono directly to a hook, either for a surface fishing hooklength or occasionally for those long fluorocarbon rigs I use for my barbel fishing but more so with non pellet hookbaits like bread or luncheon meat. The palomar knot is simplicity in itself to tie, you just thread your line through the eye of your hook or swivel and double it back so the line runs through the eye twice. Tie an overhand knot in the doubled over line then pass the swivel or hook through the loop as per the diagram below then gently tighten everything down, don’t forget to wet your braid or mono as you tighten the knot. Although the palomar knot is simple to tie its extremely reliable and has great knot strength, definitely a knot that won’t let you down. Just click and play the video underneath the knot diagram to see how to tie the palomar knot.

Fishing Knot Diagram, The Palomar Knot

How to tie a palomar knot, click below to watch

Grinner Knot (Uni Knot)
Next up is the grinner knot, also called the Uni Knot. This is another knot I use for both braid and mono and again its for tying both of these types of fishing line to either a swivel or a hook. I mostly use the grinner knot (Uni Knot) for tying braid or mono mainline to a swivel when I’m making my rigs. I use the grinner knot (Uni Knot) for carp rigs, pike rigs and barbel rigs, again it’s a twice through the eye knot that’s incredibly strong once tied and bedded down. Its not so easy to describe how to tie a grinner knot (Uni Knot) in writing so please check out the diagram below then click to watch the video below that. The grinner knot (Uni Knot) is another ‘non strangulation’ knot that won’t let you down and it's the knot I tend to use most in my fishing.

Fishing Knot Diagram, The Grinner Knot (Uni Knot)

How to tie a grinner knot (Uni Knot), click below to watch

Braid to Mono Shock Leader Knot
Apart from tying braid or mono to a hook or swivel, a fisherman may on occasion need to tie two pieces of line together. In my own fishing I sometimes need to use a braided shock leader for long range carp fishing or I need to use a fluorocarbon leader with a braided main line if I’m dropshotting for perch. For both long range carp fishing and dropshotting I use a braid to mono shock leader knot. If you follow the instructions, the braid to mono shock leader knot is fairly easy to tie but you must make sure you follow along precisely, on occasions you can wrap the second part of the knot from the wrong direction and it will unravel on you under pressure, which is why I wrap both the mono and the braid round my hands and pull really tight in the video below, the knot needs to be tested properly. This braid to mono shock leader knot works really well, it won’t let you down and its very small so it won’t get caught in the rings of your rod. Have a look at the knot diagram below then click to watch the video of how to tie a braid to mono shock leader knot that's underneath.

Fishing Knot Diagram, Braid to Mono Shock Leader Knot

How to tie a braid to mono shock leader knot, click below to watch

The above three fishing knots are the ones i’ve settled on using after a lifetime of fishing, none of them will let you down and you can have total confidence in these knots. For those of you who’ve read this far, you will be wondering where the fourth fishing knot is?. The fourth knot I use is the ‘knotless knot’ and this will be subject to an article and video all of its own. The knotless knot is the key knot in virtually all of my carp rigs and I’ll cover it separately at some point in the future. If you’d like to see the knotless knot please subscribe to this blog via email or the rss feed and please visit my YouTube Channel and subscribe to that too, if you subscribe to my youtube you won’t miss out when the knotless knot video or any of my other content gets uploaded.

I hope you find these fishing knots useful.

Until next time, tight lines.


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