PADS Lake 2019 – Journey to the PB
Having booked up this trip the previous November, it felt like an eternity that the actual day would come round that I would be fishing this lake steeped in such history. Some of the best anglers have trodden the banks and I felt privileged to get to fish it with 5 other friends. Although it doesn’t hold the fish it used to its still well respected water and a challenge.
This lake is fished every day all year round, so the fish knew exactly what was going on! Holding lots of 30+ and a few 40+, I had a chance to break my PB which stood at just over 30lb. I didn’t actually envisage that I would end up smashing it out the park.
We arrived at the lake just as the previous anglers were leaving, they a had a few fish between them so things looked good and this was confirmed as we walked round and saw some fish activity. I settled in the point swim with my mate Sam, who decided to fish the bay area.
Most of the lake is fairly weedy this time of year but there were clear spots, I had done my research before the trip so I had an idea where to fish, 11.5 wraps towards the far reed line as a marker.
I made a conscious plan before the trip not to use a spod rod or marker rod, I wanted to keep disturbance to a minimum. I was armed with only a catapult, throwing stick, 5 kilo of nutcracker and some tiger nuts. They see a lot of bait in this lake and you just don’t know what has previously gone in before you so baiting lightly was the plan with a nutcracker pop up over the top. Its simple stuff, but seems to work wherever I fish.
Weather conditions were spot on, low pressure and not too cold, it was in the hands of the beasts below to play ball. All three rods were finally primed after what seemed like hours due to the wind causing havoc.
Excitement soon turned to frustration as the rest of the day passed without even a beep. Even the fish stopped showing, however dusk did produce a couple fish at the other end of the lake in the pads swims to low 20’s.
Day two I awoke with the same excitement, once bite time had passed without a bleep, our good friend Len, cooked us all a full breakfast, we had a nice little catch up in his swim.
Time to regroup and rethink about how we could snare one of these beautiful carp. Back at my swim, fed and full to the brim with tea, I recast the rods with new baits and a fresh scattering of nutcracker and tigers over the spot. I sat, staring, anticipating, imagining what was ahead.
The story of the PB then begins. I am sitting there with my buddy Sam and I said to him, let’s watch the latest fox video. Ian ‘Chilly’ Chillcott, an angler of whom I have the up most respect for had fished the lake at the end of the summer, and in the same swim!
Quite surreal watching Ian fishing the exact same spots and landing a few of these gems. This really raised my confidence and then a few hours later my bobbin hits the rod and falls back before tightening up again, I was in!!!
I lifted into the fish and within a few seconds …WEED. I kept the pressure on and I begin to slowly drag something in. Now I can’t lie, I wasn’t sure if it was still on , but I got the lump closer to the bank and just saw these MASSIVE shoulders…I shouted to Sam to net it as fast as he can and he duly did. I was actually in shock. I didn’t know how big it was until I lifted the net…LUMP alert. ‘Got to be a 30’ I said to Sam.
I had a cup of tea to compose myself, knowing that there was a pretty good chance of a PB on the horizon. I can just remember the grin on my face I couldn’t stop smiling. We finished our tea and weighed this beast. 39lb 10oz…..what a fish, smashed my PB and from Yateley PADS, I was in a dream world. Even writing this gives me shivers down my spine, feels like it was a dream but the pictures prove otherwise!
Our time was up as we woke up on the Sunday and no further action was imminent. I cannot complain, I beat my PB and the trusty nutcracker came up trumps for me as always.
We have booked the lake again next year, I highly recommend the venue, it’s really beautiful and holds some lovely fish. It’s tricky with the weed but if you find your spots and make sure you have some Urban Bait with you then you have a great chance!
Until next time, tight lines to all!