Millwood Lake Fishing Report – April 2

Updated: April 2, 2018

The Overall Picture:
As of Monday, April 2, the lake level dropped slightly, and is approx 10 inches above normal conservation pool and falling (as of Monday) at 260.1 ft-msl; and there is current of approx 17,000 CFS in Little River according to the USACE. The tailwater as of Monday is approx 245 ft-msl. Water temps continued improving over the past week. Be sure and check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on our website helpful links page, or at the US Army Corps of Engineers website for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels and conditions. USACE has completed clean up on some Millwood Lake Campgrounds, and a few are now open like White Cliffs and Cottonshed, Beard’s Bluff is still being worked on. Most all boat ramps, are now open including Millwood State Park, after all the 17 foot rise on the lake over the past few weeks. ***Be Advised, there are at least 2 BROKEN, MISSING, or DAMAGED BOAT LANE MARKERS ON THE NORTH END OF “LITTLE GAS LINE TO HIGHLINE BOAT LANE” FROM RECENT FLOOD DAMAGE. USE EXTREME CAUTION IN THE UPPER END OF THE BOAT LANE FROM THE HIGH LINE TO THE LITTLE GAS LINE CUTOFF AND WATCH FOR MISSING OR DAMAGED TELEPHONE POLE LANE MARKERS.***

NO-WAKE ZONES are in effect at White Cliffs Campground on Little River, and marked with No-Wake buoys.

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging near 59ºF early to 67ºF range later under full sun, depending on location. Continue to use caution in navigation on Little River and Millwood watching for broken or floating timber.

Clarity and visibility are mostly stained heavy in places, especially current rolling, up river. The main lake and lower sections of Little River are not quite as stained or muddy as the northern sectors. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility is moderate stain, ranging approx 10-18 inches. Little River’s visibility ranges 6-9 inches with heavy to moderate stain, depending on location and current. The oxbow’s clarity currently ranging approx 15-20 inches depth of visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.

To volunteer for one of the cleanup dates or ramp and USACE park information, contact Tony Porter at the Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office. To receive project updates, daily lake level information updates, gate release flows, tailwater information, park and campground information, or volunteer, call the US Army Corps of Engrs toll-free Millwood Project  information line at 888-697-9830 or the US Army Corps of Engineers’ main number to verify another Corp of Engineers project is open, at 877-444-6777. Call the Millwood State Park at 870-898-2800. Call the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for an officer, biologist, or to report AGFC regulation violation at 800-482-9262. Also reach the US Corps of Engineers at 870-898-3343 for more information.

The Details:

Largemouth Bass: Largemouth Bass attitudes and feeding continue improving over the past couple weeks with the improvement in surface temps, and many Bass are in spawn mode. Bass have been good over the past week with the warmer conditions, from 3 lbs each, up to around 7 pounds each. Spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, dead-sticking Trick worms and Bass Assassin Shads on a light wire hook, and Rat-L-Traps are working well. New lily pads are in bloom lake wide. War Eagle spinnerbaits in white/chartreuse or fire tiger colors, near flooded bushes, buck brush, and vegetation have been working well, over the past couple weeks for good Bass in the 3-7 pound class. Most of these Bass were roaming in and out of bedding areas, cruising in 4-9 feet of depth.

Up river and in oxbows away from muddy Little River current continue showing signs of a spawn with the Largemouth Bass as the water clarity continues to improve. The back of the oxbows definitely have the best water clarity, still heavy stained. Deflecting Rat-L-Traps, squarebill crankbaits, and Echo 1.75 crankbaits and banging them into and deflecting off stumps, from 4-9 feet deep, and were taking a few prespawners around 15-19″ in length. The heavy 3/4oz War Eagle Spinnerbaits continue working near cypress trees from 7-9 feet deep, best colors drawing reactions over the past couple weeks being Spot Remover, or White/Chartreuse and FireTiger. Best color of cranks in the oxbows, like the Echo 1.75 squarebills, over the past week or so have been the Rayburn Red Craw, Bold Bluegill, and Ghost have been the go-to colors. Rat-L-Traps in Red Chrome, Red Shad and Toledo Gold are working for cruising fish this week.

Heavy, fat tubes like the 4″ Gizzits with internal rattles, continue working most anywhere, in clear or the heavy stain water areas, where stumps, timber, and any vegetation remains. Internal glass or brass, heavy knocking rattles are helping the bass locate the lure in the stained water clarity. Bluegill, Black/blue tail, or pumpkinseed/chartreuse tail, were getting the best reactions over the past week, the darker colors seem to draw better reactions in the more stained water areas. Lizards targeting the same areas where stumps and flooded buck brush are present, were picking up a few nice cruising bass from 2-5 pounds this week. Best lizard colors this week continue working best are black/blue, blackberry, or june bug colors.

Real Deal Kustom Tackle jigs with a heavy craw worm trailer continue working on pre-spawn fish near Cypress trees from 4-9 feet deep. Best colors seem to be the Black/blue/purple, or Texas Craw, all with a black or green pumpkin craw trailer. Texas rigged, Baby Brush hogs continue finding a few 15-18″ Bass, in the 4-9 foot depth range, and Junebug-red, watermelon candy, and watermelon red, being good colors with the current water clarity.

White Bass: Whites and Hybrids have been running in the Saline River above Cottonshed Campground, for the past couple weeks. Chuck’nSpins, Little Georges, Roostertails, Rocketshads, and 1/2 oz Rat-L-Traps in shad patterns were getting really good reactions from the Whites, and limits caught in under an hour in the Saline River.

Crappie: Improved in the oxbows, away from current on Little River. Crappie were reacting very aggressively hitting on jigs and minnows both, over the past week near base of cypress trees from 2-4 feet deep.

Cats: The Cats remain very good on trot lines using Punch bait, cut bait like shad, buffalo, drum and the like, and chicken livers, in current along Little River from 9-12 feet of depth.

Wear your Life Jacket and kill switch!!  If you are suddenly or unexpectedly thrown from your boat, it could be your only chance of survival. Use caution navigating Little River in low light conditions, SLOW DOWN, and pass friendly to other boaters!  As always, careful watch for any random floaters and debris in Little River’s current, and wearing your PFD and kill switch is a requirement!

Visit with us on our website, YouTube, and on Facebook, for the most current Millwood Lake fishing and water conditions report, updated weekly. See some great catch and release photos, sponsor links, tons of great information and resources on the lake available to you, along with excellent related direct links to Arkansas’ State Parks, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Black Bass Program, The US Army Corps of Engineers, and tons more great fishing stuff….

Use extreme caution in navigation, wear your life jacket and let us know how we can help you GET OUT THERE!!