‘Bagging up' with hemp and tiger nuts
Hemp and tigers (tiger nuts) are two of the best carp baits around. They have both accounted for the capture of many big fish at home and abroad. Put hemp and tigers together and you have a bait that is irresistible to carp and will draw them in from miles! What more could you ask for?
Tiger nuts are one of my favourite baits, I love these little gems. They have a lovely sweet taste with an extremely crunchy texture. It is because of their hard crunchy texture that nuisance fish find it hard to eat them. They just don't have the teeth for the job, which means you catch less bream and more carp. Although what's even better is that if the fish aren't biting you can eat them yourself, yummy! Tigers will be eaten with confidence from the minute they are in the water. The carp don't have to be weaned onto them like other baits. Tigers are grown for human consumption and because of this they are grown all over the world. So where ever you are, you shouldn't be too far away from a supply of tiger nuts. Although tigers have an irresistible taste and natural attractants they don't hold any real goodness for carp, but that doesn't stop them getting taken time and time again.
Picture of how to present maize that can also be used for tiger nuts
Presenting tiger nuts
Tiger nuts can be presented in exactly the same way as boilies , they just need to be drilled before they can be hair rigged. Whenever I use tigers I always fish with them in conjunction with a small PVA bag of chopped tigers, covered in tiger nut oil. The oil attracts fish from even further a field and the chopped tigers give your hook bait that extra bit of attraction. A little tip when using a PVA bag is instead of catapulting baits out tie them up with other PVA bags the same as the one with your hook bait in it and catapult them out. This will leave little piles of food around that the carp will search for and make them move around a fair bit in between mouthfuls. This means when Mr. Carp picks up your bait he will move off looking for more giving you a better indication.
Hemp (“The magic seed”)
Hemp is the seed from the marijuana plant and is an illegal drug in many countries, although the hemp seeds that you buy for fishing will have been sterilized, so don't even try to grow it. Just like tiger nuts hemp has no real goodness for fish but again they will eat it time and time again. The reason many anglers give for hemp being such good bait, is that it resembles little black water snails that can be found in most rivers, lakes and ponds. Hemp is probably the best holding bait the world has ever seen for both carp and other species, because it is only the small fish that will hunt round for every single seed.
Presenting hemp can be very tricky because of it small size and fragile nature. There are a few well known ways of presenting hemp, either glue the hemp seeds to something like a cork ball and present like a boilie or use Krystons bogey where you just roll dry hemp into shapes and then leave it set. I have 2 different ways of fishing with hemp that I haven't seen many people doing, but I will let carp.com members know. The fact is you don't use hemp on the hook/hair rig at all! You'll need to use a PVA bag of hemp for these rigs to work, and make sure you dry the hemp off a bit before you bag it up. Personally I use Nash's breakout PVA bags which are made from a thicker gauge PVA and they don't dissolve as fast, which is just what want when your using damp hemp in the bag. Instead of using hemp on the hair you use two black lead split shot (I paint a thin white line on mine to look like the white inside of hemp). And the other way of presenting hemp is to have nothing on your hook as bait, (although this only works if there are many nuisance fish around). The theory is that the carp picks up the pile of hemp all in one go and your hook goes in with it. Carp find this very hard to eject has they haven't got the weight of a bait on the hair to blow against.
Preparing hemp and tigers
Both hemp and tigers need to be prepared to make them safe, as they need to be soaked for 24 hours in warm water and then boiled up for:
30mins for tiger nuts until the hemp starts to split.
Note; if you don't have the time to prepare the bait you can buy dynamites baits ready prepared hemp and tigers from the carp.com shop.
Using hemp and tigers together
I have explained how to use hemp and tiger nuts on there own but what about using them together?
When I talk about using them together I don't mean fishing with them on the same rig although that can be done, instead of gluing the hemp to a cork ball you could glue it to a tiger nut. Using a mix of whole tigers, chopped tigers, hemp and crushed hemp can be utterly devastating. This is a super mix drawing fish of all species and sizes in. The hemp will hold the fish while the tigers will be there waiting for to the carp to arrive. This mix either has to be put out by hand or by a spod rocket. This is because all of the particles are different sizes and shapes and if they were catapulted would go varying distances, some dropping short of the marker and some going past. I would still use a PVA over this mix to draw that extra attention to the hook bait.
A hemp and tigers mix is perfect for carp fishing, especially in weedy venues as the particles will fall in to all the little gaps and the fish will then rip up the weed to get at the mix leaving you with a nice clean patch to present a bait on!
If you're on a low budget, or a water with lots of natural foods present then tigers and hemp are definitely the way to go. Try them and you may be surprised at just how good they are!
Chris “ thecarpingkid ” Payne