The excitement was mounting on the road down to our inaugural Pads Lake social and I’d had a busy few weeks at work. I thought that it would be nice to get away from it all for a few days! With temperatures due to rise into the 30′s during the week, I wasn’t overly confident of much action. In honesty, the trip was more about seeing some good friends, and catching up after fishing different waters for most of the Spring.
Arriving at the lake to blazing sunshine we made our way around, there were a few fish cruising in the centre areas and after talking to the friendly bailiff Ray, he said that the previous week had been quite slow due to the fish spawning a few days before.
Having only four of us made the choice of swims easier, and we all chose our favored swims. Fortunately, they didn’t clash and I got my first choice of swim ‘End Of Pads’.
I spent most of the first day flicking a bare lead about, desperately trying to find some of the small seams of gravel that have produced well for me in the past. After what seemed like an age, I finally settled on three spots and I was confident that they were nicely surrounded by weed, yet clear enough to present a bait.
My approach was very simple, and as I’d fished the lake in the past, I knew that tiger nuts worked really well. Before heading to pads, I cooked some CC Moore tigers up in a Burco boiler, after boiling I added plenty of sugar to soak into the nuts. I love to use tigers when they are incredibly gloopy and adding sugar speeds this process up, ensuring they are perfect for when you arrive at the lake.
My rigs were simple blow-back set ups, with long shank hooks, and large shrink tube kickers off the back of the eye. I like to fish long hairs, with a single tiger nut, and half a grain of plastic corn to counteract the weight of the nut. This also adds a fleck of colour, often attracting fish down to the hook bait quicker.
Being a weedy water, and knowing that I’m not always accurate with the spomb, I wanted to create a feeding area of solely tiger nuts. Having used hemp and other smaller particles in the thick weed before, I was certain that it could quite often pre-occupy the fish on the tiny grains of hemp that were often suspended in the weed around my hook bait. Fishing solely nuts created more of a boilie style approach, where the fish would have to tip up and down to pick up the individual nuts.
Despite the ridiculous heat across the week at one point reaching 34 degrees Celsius, I managed to get bites consistently every morning. On one frantic morning, I had 1 fish retained, 1 in the net and my third rod went off. Unfortunately, that one dropped off at the net but it was great to be getting such good action.
By the end of the week I had managed 12 bites, landing 9. It had been tricky playing some of the fish in the thick weed, but I was chuffed that the tactics had worked so well. With the bite times being incredibly narrow (5-8am) it had been a lot of pressure to get it right for the early morning spells. However, all in all it had been a perfect break, with some cracking food, drink and laughs along the way!
Roll on next year!
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