As mentioned previously in my blog on their day peanuts can be a fantastic bait if used responsibly. However, they can also cause serious health issues to carp if they are abused by being used excessively. The very first time I used peanuts, which was on College Reservoir in the early 80s, I wanted to be sure that I was preparing them correctly by reading up everything I could find out about them, mainly from Rod’s book, 'The Carp Strikes Back', which also includes a chapter by Dick Caldwell. In the book Dick comments that nuts could fill carp up very quickly and should thus be used sparingly. Rod on the other hand, likens peanuts to sweetcorn in effectiveness and also states that they need to be baited heavily, both cooked or uncooked, flavoured or unflavoured.
This conflicting advice was very confusing but I remembered what Tim Paisley and Fred Wilton had written in Carp Fisher 4 about the negative effects of too many peanuts and I found myself somewhat confused? Do I follow Rod or Dick? Two widely differing opinions in the same book…in the same chapter no less! Surprisingly, seeing as Rod was widely accepted as The Man when it came to particles bait fishing, I decided at first to follow Dick's advice. It turned out to be the right decision and I have followed the 'less is more' doctrine regarding peanuts ever since.
My missus with a College carp caught on peanuts.
As for hemp seed, well I had already discovered the magic catching properties of the Wonder Seed back in the 70s and had used it on and off, either on it's own or as part of a seed blend for ages. So it should come as no surprise to you that when I joined Haith's Baits, with their Aladdin's Cave or carp baits at my disposal, naturally I turned to peanut granules and crushed hemp as two baits that would definitely improve my catch rate.
This is a pic of a carp that fell to hemp seed back in the mists of time.
I was such a fan of these two particle baits that when Haith's asked me to put together a couple of recipes for general purpose groundbaits I included them in two of our best sellers. The first of these is SuperRed, a little gem has been around for a decade or more and year on year its popularity increases beyond my wildest dreams.
Of course, there is more to the recipe that just peanut granules and crushed hempseed, and I know many anglers who put the reason for its effectiveness down to the Robin Red content. OK, while you'd be crazy to ignore the red stuff and the part it plays in the success of SuperRed, I still maintain that the micro-sized 'bits' are equally worthy of mention.
Second is SuperNut, one of my favourite blends. It too contains both crushed hemp seed and peanut granules and in the short time it has been available it has proved to be a hugely successful general purpose feed. SuperNut is another of my own designs and is a nut- and Robin Red-based blend that naturally includes crushed nut and seed components. SuperNut was designed to bind well with lake or tap water and its components are such that the blend breaks down pretty swiftly, which is ideal when you want to draw fish into your swim as quickly as possible. Our field tests have shown it to be amazingly successful, beyond my wildest dreams in fact as you will note if you take a look here.
Fellow testers Adam Roots and Brian Mills have also waxed lyrical about the SuperNut so all-in-all I am pretty chuffed with it.
I use both the above as part of my standard bait strategy and my sessions last year on Le Queroy's Napoleonic Lake and Lake Elba shows just how effective they can be when applied correctly. I actually caught the same fish twice during my session on Elba from the same spot and on the same bait, a mix of crushed hempseed, groats, Frolic dog food and a dash of SuperNut. I also caught 40 other fish on that session, so encouraged by this I took SuperNut along for my record breaking session on Nappy's in September (see link above).
I have used both peanut granules and crushed hempseed for years, which is why they went into both SuperRed and SuperNut, so today I want to show you some other ways of preparing and using these excellent bait ingredients.
Peanut granules and crushed hemp seed need no boiling and can be used with just a simple 24 hour soak. This makes them ideal baits for use on long sessions where access to cooking gear may be limited. This 1995 fish was caught on a Robin Red/fishmeal boilies presented over a carpet of crushed hempseed and oat groats in the margins of a small island.
Both peanuts granules and crushed hemp seed can be fished on their own or as part of a blaned (see above). I like to fished them mixed with Red Band or Nectarblend, as they can then be rolled into groundbaits balls that can be fished at range using a caty or a groundbait pouch. Once on the lakebed the balls will break down quickly releasing their attraction, which will spread across the bottom and draw fish in from far and wide.
First measure out equal amounts of peanuts granules and crushed hempseed and then double the amount of Red Factor or Nectarblend (here I am using the former). These ingredients are natural binders and will help to form groundbait balls by sticking together the other components of the groundbait.
Now boil a kettle and then pour the boiling water over the baits so as to just about cover it by a quarter of an inch or so. Do this for both the peanuts granules…
…and the crushed hempseed.
Leave them to soak for an hour.
You will note that the peanut granules will swell considerably and the crushed hempseed with release some if its oil into the water. Both will show signs of activity in the form of bubbles on the surface of the water.
After the soak has completed turn out the granules into a bowl…
…and add half the Red Factor.
At this stage you can either form the mixture into groundbait balls…
…or you can perform the same procedure with the Red Factor and the crushed hempseed. These too can now be made into groundbait balls. Thus you have two types of groundbait at your disposal, one peanut-based, the other hempseed-based.
Alternatively you may like to mix everything together, Red Factor, crushed hempseed and peanut granules.
The blend can also be rolled into balls or you can use a baiting spod to put bait in the margins.
Balls thus formed will break down into their component parts within about 30 minutes and as they do so, some of the crushed hempseed particles will tend to climb upwards in the water table. This helps draw surface cruisers down towards the lake bed in search of the source of this tempting food!