All across Arkansas, fishermen are in action. Many are catching bass, crappie, bream, catfish and other varieties.
The action is spotty, a reflection of weather uncertainties and upheavals. A competent angler may catch a limit one day and bomb out the next.
In central Arkansas, a spring fishing hotspot of several decades is Lake Overcup, just north of Morrilton. It is consistently a good to excellent locale for panfish, meaning crappie and bream, and not at all bad with largemouth bass and catfish.
“The crappie haven’t spawned, but they are wanting to,” said Junior Bennett a few days ago at his Overcup Landing.
Warm days of recent have been interrupted by chilly nights and cold rain, so water temperatures remain below what turns on the fish spawns.
This bothers the crappie spawning but not the crappie catching. Bennett said the crappie in general are out of the lake but will move close to banks and shallow water for spawning.
“They are in about five feet of water and about this deep,” holding his hands roughly 20 inches apart.
Like any Arkansas crappie fishery, anglers are working with both live minnows and with jigs.
“Orange, white and chartreuse are the colors a lot of fishermen are using on crappie,” said Donna Cupp at Lakeview Landing.
“The colors the fish like may change in a day or even during a day.”
Bennett echoed the color basic for Overcup crappie jigs. “Stinger jigs are being used a lot. These have just a single tail instead of the multiple tails of most jigs. A lot of fishermen are using triple jigs too — one color on the head, another on the body and a third color on the tail. Red heads, yellow bodies and chartreuse tails are popular.”
Cupp and Bennett said good bream action is yet to come. Bass are being caught, and so are catfish. “A fellow came in yesterday with a real nice blue catfish,” Cupp said.
The lake was drawn down last summer so repairs could be made to its water control structure, Cupp said. “Game and Fish keeps it stocked pretty well. The highway is being raised below the dam, and this should take care of the flooding of the road we have when water gets high on the lake.”
Overcup’s fish habitat is varied. It’s a relatively shallow lake with a number of channels. Underwater stumps are numerous and so are brush piles, many of them man-made. Some of the best action is often along shorelines on all parts of the late, especially in spring spawning periods.
Fishing regulations on Overcup are the same as statewide rules, including daily limits. Bank fishing is accessible in several areas, along with a couple of handicap accessible piers.
Overcup is just north of Interstate 40 at Morrilton. Most access it from Arkansas Highway 95 that leads to Lakeview Landing and from Arkansas Highway 9 that leads to Overcup Landing.
The lake was built by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in 1963 and is an impoundment of Overcup Creek. It covers 1,025 acres at normal level.
Outdoor writer Joe Mosby can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.