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Pads Lake Plundered
spodding there had been a little bit of
spill, which had been mostly landing
in an area about a third of the way out
to the spot. I think what happened
was this spod spill got caught up in
the weed. The swans then proceeded
to spend the rest of the afternoon and
evening grazing over this area, picking out bits of pellet and hemp and
the occasional boilie. It seemed that
every time they dipped their heads
under the water they would pick up
one of my lines – it was the afternoon
from hell. Nothing I did would scare
them away. They would drift off to
annoy one of the other lads for a
while, but sooner or later they would
be back in my swim. To give you an
idea of what the bloody things were
like, during the course of the week,
they took to sitting around marker
floats with spods landing around
them, and picking off whatever slowsinking particles they could. In the
course of doing this, they got hit several times by spods, but even this
failed to spook them; all they ever did
was turn around and start picking at
the spod that had just hit them! That
afternoon I almost lost the will to live.
Looking back on it, what I should
have done was reel in and wait until
dusk to cast out, but I wanted everything settled, and I still wanted to see
if I could grab a bite in daylight.
Come dusk, I redid the rods and
hoped the swans would stay off during the hours of darkness, which they
mostly did. All three rods were out on
pop-ups now, as that really did seem
the way forward. Following the setting of the sun, I once again took up
residence in Ady’s swim, as it was his
turn to cook! It was a nice evening
meal of cannelloni pasta, followed by
a cheese course. Not any old cheese
though, this is cheese with a difference; Mexican Cheese. Next time
you’re in Tesco, pick some up, as it’s
awesome stuff. Almost a red Leicester
but creamy, and it contains Jalapeño
peppers for a bit of extra kick,
mmmmm. With the wine and cheese
flowing, the rest of the night was
spent chatting away and having a
right old laugh. Sometime during the
night between the tears of laughter, I
received a run on my right hand rod,
which was fished on the baited spot.
I hot-footed it down to my rods, and
was soon in contact with a fish. It
wasn’t doing a lot though. I seem to
remember making a bit of a drama of
66 FREE LINE
Another 31.
it though, and ending up looking a bit
stupid when a 5lb bream popped up!
In my defence it was taking line off
the spool when I got to the rod! With
the Mexican cheese consumed, and
probably every carp laughed up to the
other end of the lake, it was about
time for bed. I must admit that my
confidence took a bit of a dip at this
point, as we had passed the time
period where I had received my previous two bites. I pulled the sleeping
bag and cover over me, and drifted off
to dream of carp, more in hope than
expectation.
I needn’t have worried though, as
at around 1am I was yet again alerted
to the presence of an angry Pads Lake
carp. Stood out in the cold, I bent into
the fish, but everything felt ominously
solid. I could still feel the occasional
knocks of a fish, though. I bent into it
as hard as I dared, but nothing was
budging. Left with no other option, I
eased right off. After a few seconds I
felt a few centimetres of line pull
through my fingers, so I snapped the
bale arm back over, leaned into the
fish, and this time it was moving –
game on! From there on in it was
fairly plain sailing. Once again it felt
like a good fish, and was using its
weight against me, plodding around
and making it difficult for me to gain
line. It didn’t really give me any heart
stopping moments though, and
before long another Pads Lake
whacker was lying in the folds of my
net. With Ady roused and the fish on
the mat, I had a good look at the
hookhold. The fish had been hooked
well over an inch back, as had my
previous two fish. They appeared to
be well on the feed now, and the confident feeding coupled with what was
turning out to be a very effective rig
was giving supremely good hook
holds. The weighing ceremony
revealed, amazingly, yet another 31lb
carp – exactly 31lbs this time! Cloud
nine or what? Ady was now well up
to speed on the paddling pool trick,
and certainly made sure that the carp
didn’t dry out during the photo session – not a lot of chance of me drying
out either, though! With the snaps
taken, our fourth 31lb fish in three
days was slipped back to its watery
home. The now familiar ritual was
then followed, of, tie a new pop-up on,
walk the rod out down the bank, clip
up, reel in, and cast towards the dip in
the treeline. And with the rod nicely
back out, I retired to bed.
Although the weather at this stage
was nowhere near as bad as our first
night, it was still fairly uncomfortable.
Since it picked up on our first night,

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