When looking for the perfect pad field, think location, location, location. Kind of like looking for a good business location, you want a spot with a lot of traffic and a reason for the fish to be there. Creek channels, drop offs and intersections are the best areas. What you are looking for is something that brings the fish to a specific smaller area in what can be pretty massive areas of pads.
The bass are using the pads to feed, so you are also looking for baitfish in the area and especially for bream feeding in the same pad fields. If you are in an area where there is no activity, there aren't any bass there. Of course, the best sign is to hear bass feeding on the surface. I prefer smaller pad fields along a river, pad points and areas where two types of pads meet.
The strike is what this type of fishing is all about. The sound of a good strike is somewhere between someone throwing a cinderblock on top of your frog and a toilet flushing — definitely not for anyone with a heart condition. Nothing beats that sound!
When a bass takes the frog under, it's critical to wait before setting the hook. I always keep the rod tip high during the retrieve so that when a fish bites, I have to drop the rod tip before I can set the hook. This gives you a built-in delay and helps keep you from taking the bait away from the fish.