‘A Pads Lake group booking’ – Darren Blunt

'The pads lake is a mature gravel pit with extensive gravel bars, weeds and an average depth of five feet historic carp fishing on the west side of the Yateley complex'
It's my second time to fishing the venue last year. It was in April and was was awful weather conditions, very cold and temperature had dropped big time but I had two double  figure carp in the 'Points' swim.

I arrived there on Thursday 2nd of May for four nights at the historic Yateley Pads lake at 9.30am to meet with my 3 friends and have a walk around. I spoke to lad in 'Waiting Man' swim, he told me that he had four carp, biggest at 32lb. A good result for him! I saw a bubbles in front of Waiting Man... it looked good! At 10am draw time, I felt nervous. Gary came holding a hand of 4 tree sticks, short one being 1st choice. Somehow I picked the short one, phew! In my mind it could only be one swim - Waiting Man!

The swim I'd be waiting for - 'Waiting Man's'

The weather was great, a warm day and very calm water and I could see bubbles everywhere. It seemed they were happy to feed so I felt confident.
While I set up a brolly... out of the blue I saw a good'un showing in front of me, only about 30 yards out. The rigs I tend to use is my old faithful hinged rigs, ESP stiff hook size 5, one half inch stiff rig bristle filament with a black Amnesia 20lb boom. All of this sits on a helicopter rig and ESP Original Camo Leadcore 1 half meters long with 3.5oz pear leads. I was casting around looking for cleaning 3 spots with a bare lead for a little while, I found three nice spots.
The right rod was quite close near the trees and a very hard spot. I chose this as that's where the previous lad had three from. I used my faithful Trent Baits Natural Shrimp corkball's in 14mm. I fished single hook baits on all three of the spots I'd chosen.
Around three hours later, I was cooking pasta with chicken. I was about to eat it, then out the blue one of my bobbins rises up slowly. It was the middle rod, I picked it up and felt a nice slow plodding around. When it got closer, the carp started shaking its head incredibly hard and wouldn't stop. My heart was beating hard! I could see it was good'un. After five minutes, I slipped the net under a long common. 'Phew' I thought, I could see it was proper nailed, that's why I choose the trusted ESP Stiff Rigger hook. My friends came around to my swim. We were thinking it seemed about 30lb+. When I lifted the net out of the lake, I realized it was definitely over 35lb+. I was going carefully to lift her into the sling and then left rod was screaming off! I ran down to pick it up as my friends sorted out the common in a retaining sling and back into lake. A few minutes later, I had a carp in my landing net. It seemed to be about a 25lb mirror. She eventually went 27lb bang on and we took a few pictures then put It back in lake. After few minutes, my friend took the retaining sling out of the lake to put on the unhooking mat. The scale needle pulled round to 35lb 4oz, she was in prefect condition,  I couldn't  believe it on my first day with brace of nice carp! Ashley is an awesome photographer, thanks mate!

35lb 4oz - what a first day!

35lb 4oz - the other side

The rest of the four night trip was non eventful due to very cold weather and it became very quiet apart from me losing a fish on the third day.
I will come back again next year!
Be lucky

The 27lb mirror completing the brace