Pads Lake Biggun - Stephen Burton

Once in a while we all have those red-letter days, when everything falls into place and you simply can’t put a foot wrong. Well, Stephen Burton had one such session during his recent birthday social, where he banked not one, but two new personal bests at that Mecca of carp fishing, Yateley.

“We made our way to Yateley Pads Lake, for my birthday social. Five of us made the trip to this historic venue and because we had booked the whole lake, we felt there was no need to draw for swims. I chose The Point swim, because my research had shown that this area had a lot to offer and with a clear view of the whole lake, so I had all my options already covered.

Shortly after setting up, I saw one show about 30 yards out and, without any hesitation, I clipped a rod straight up to the area. Rig wise, I opted to fish a chod setup, not knowing the bottom, this was the perfect presentation. Having seen one, I needed to make the most of this opportunity and get a rig out there quickly, causing minimal disturbance. I flicked my chosen setup out there and even with a light lead, I still felt it crack down. After settling the line, I gently scattered a small handful of 15mm Krill free offerings around the area.

With one trap already set, I decided to fish my other rod to the snags away to the left. I’d heard from the bailiff that a few weeks previously that area had produced some bites.

Darkness crept in, with no action through the first day and no other fish activity; it was simply a waiting game. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait too long. At around 8pm I received an absolute ripper and I was in to my first Pads Lake carp. I shouted the boys round to lend a helping hand; it was putting a good account for itself and after an arm ranching battle, it finally graced the bottom of my landing net, result! We glanced down to see my prize; it certainly looked a big fish, possibly a new personal best. Once we got round to weighing her, it was official it was a new PB at 36lb 4oz.

Nothing more happened during the hours of darkness, so I decided to get up before first light and spend some time watching the water for any other signs of fish activity. Sadly there were no signs of any fish, but as the sun was rising, the same rod was away again. This time around the result was a very clean mirror at 25lb 8oz, a very welcome visitor.

The sun poked his head out for the day and pretty much wrote-off the rods on the bottom, so we opted to give zigs a go through the day. I couldn’t manage a bite on the zigs, so I was soon setting my traps for the night ahead. It was our last night of the session, so all the lads joined me in my swim for a BBQ and a few beers. It got really cold quickly, so we all hit the sacks soon after we'd finished eating, I sat down on my bed feeling really confident for another bite.

Sure enough, I woke up to an absolute screamer at 01:30am; my Delkim was going into absolute meltdown. I picked up the rod and tightened up to the fish, which stripped line steadily and plodded off into the dark. I knew instantly this was another big ’un, maybe another thirty.

After an intense, nervy fight, the fish was soon safe in the bottom of my net. As I looked down into my net, I couldn't believe what I saw! It was wider than a breezeblock across the back; I just let off a big scream to the lads and called them all over. It was 42lb of chunky Pads Lake mirror, a fish known as ‘Chilly's Fish’. I'd beaten my PB again and what a fish to do it with. Easily a session of a lifetime and one I will never forget.”