Paradise PFA: Lake Patrick is four inches below full pool. Clarity: Slightly stained. Temp: 56-58 degrees.
Bass: Fair to good. Try spinnerbaits and Rat-L-Traps in four to eight feet of water. Bass have been moving in and out of the shallows. David Hudson, a well-known big-bass hunter, has been fishing Lake Patrick and has already caught some bass in the 8- to 10-lb range. He said the fishing should steadily improve with the warming water temperatures. Other reports include a 10-pounder caught on a junebug plastic worm in Lake Paradise. Bass fishing should be good through February and March. Expect bass to start bedding around the middle of February through the first part of March.
Crappie: Good in three to four feet of water using 1/32- to 1/16-oz. float-rigged jigs. Try blue/white, black/green, and chartreuse jigs in Lakes Patrick, Russell, Horseshoe 5, and Paradise. Minnows are not allowed.
Bream: Fair. The best bait has been red wigglers and pond worms fished just off the bottom at four- to six-foot depth. For redear use red wigglers suspended just off the bottom.
Channel Catfish: Good catches of channel catfish reported in Lake Patrick using pond worms and mullet gut. Other lakes worth mentioning are Tacklebuster, Horseshoe 2 and 3, and Beaver.
Marben Farms PFA: Level: All ponds are full. Clarity: Clear, visibility in all of the ponds is more 36 inches. Temp: 48-52 degrees.
Bass: In February the bass fishing on Marben Farms can be great for hauling in a huge bass, says Marben regular Gene Jenson. “By mid-month the bass are already starting to move up for prespawn activity in many of the smaller walk-in ponds. On warm days, throwing a red Rat-L-Trap around cover in shallow water can catch a bunch of small males. For the big ones try working a Buckeye Spot Remover Jig Head topped with a crawfish imitator in the deeper water closest to the shallow water. Remember to work baits slowly with long pauses,” Gene said.
Crappie: Excellent crappie fishing is just around the corner. “For the last five years, like clockwork, Lower Raleigh and Shepherd have been warming up before any of the other Marben lakes, and these two lakes offer great shallow-water crappie fishing the last week of February into March,” Gene said. “Live minnows are not legal, but any jig with chartreuse or white should work.”