Hemp and tares are often fished in conjunction with each other and are a killing method for Roach in the summer and early autumn. Both are seeds that need to be prepared properly before use, they are readily available from tackle shops either in their natural state or already cooked.









To prepare hempseed for use it is best to soak it before cooking, overnight is ok; this will make the cooking time less and seems to help the grains to split. Place the pre soaked hempseed in an old saucepan and cover with water and bring to the boil, once it has boiled turn the heat down a little so it is just simmering and then cook it until the grains start to split and the white kernel is showing, once the grains start to split give it another five minutes and it should be done, you never seem to get all the grains split but as long as most of them are that’s ok. Remove from the heat and strain off the surplus water and allow to cool, once cooled sufficiently bag the cooked hemp into convenient sized quantities and it’s ready for use, hemp freezes ok so you can prepare big batches at a time and freeze some for later use.

The method for cooking tares is just the same but most people add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to the water, this helps the seeds to get a darker colour. The important thing when cooking tares is observation, they can go from too hard one minute to a soft useless mush the next, just keep fishing a few out of the pan with a spoon and check the hardness, they need to be just soft enough to allow a hook to penetrate.

Another way to cook tares popular with some anglers is in the oven in a casserole dish, they claim they cook more even and it’s less likely they will over cook, they still need to be checked though. 

The main use of hemp is loose feed and for adding to ground bait, it has great fish attracting powers and once the fish turn onto it it will hold them in the swim for a long time too. Hemp can be a good hook bait as well and to hook it you can just push the hook straight into the split and into the white kernel, Roach in particular love it, another way to hook it is to actually pierce through the top of the shell with the point of the hook and then pass the point out through the split, the hemp stays on the hook much better with this method and is my preferred way. There is also available now artificial hemp that is very realistic and this is possibly the best hook bait to use when the fish are really going for the seed, it virtually always stays on the hook.

Tares are fished on the hook in much the same way as hemp and are superb Roach bait, feeding hemp and fishing tares on the hook is an all time classic Roach method and often sorts out a better stamp of fish.

Most bait companies now have on offer ready cooked and prepared hemp and tares so it’s never been easier to try the method out.

By Chris Nicholls.



Cooked Hempseed