Millwood Lake Fishing Report – July 2

Updated: July 3, 2018

The Overall Picture:

As of Monday, July 2, its very HOT after 10 a.m., folks. Millwood Lake is currently approx 5 inches above normal conservation pool and steady (as of Monday) at 259.6 ft-msl; and the discharge was near 175 CFS for Little River, Monday, according to the USACE. The tailwater below the dam and gates, as of Monday remains very low, approx 223.5 ft-msl. Water temps continued climbing 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.


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 86ºF early to 94ºF range later under full sun, depending on location. Continue to use caution in navigation on Little River and Millwood watching for random, broken, or floating timber.

Clarity and visibility continue improving over the past week, but remain stained in places, especially up river. The main lake and lower sections of Little River continue to improve, are not quite as stained or muddy as the upper regions of Little River and Saline River. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility is moderate stain, ranging approx 10-15 inches. Little River’s visibility ranges 10-12 inches with heavy to moderate stain, depending on location and current. The oxbow’s clarity currently ranging approx 20-30 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: With all this July heat, the best bite for Largemouth Bass continues to be from dawn to around 10am, and bite disappears until just before sundown. Some Bass are night feeding during cooler times of the feeding cycle when sun is not baking the shallow cover and flats. Largemouth Bass, over the past couple weeks, have been good early up to 3-5 pounds on topwaters, and cloud cover mornings have seen best activity, over the past few weeks early at dawn. Feeding activity levels have slowed with the increase of surface temperatures in the mid to upper 80’s and low 90º range over the past couple weeks during the heat of the day. Best baits drawing reactions, over the past couple weeks have been Buzzbaits, plastic Frogs, and Bass Assassin Shads on a light wire hook working in new Lily Pad growth. Best color of frogs have been black or green pumpkin/pearl in new lily pads. Buzzbait colors drawing best reactions lately are Hot Firecracker Chartreuse, Firecracker Candy, Spot Remover, and black. A good spinnerbait bite is working on shallow flats early, near lily pads and vegetation like pond weed and alligator grass, randomly, near stumps and laydowns close to creek channel swings. Slow-rolling the spinnerbaits off points, ditches, and creekmouths dumping into Little River from 8-12 feet, will yield a few random bass. The buzzbaits are also working across flats with stumps and laydowns near creek channels, and around lily pads. StutterSteps, Cordell Crazy Shads, and Baby Torpedoes are still getting fair to good reactions from Largemouths in creek channels near stumps. Topwater activity levels slow considerably after 11am with the high noon increased sun baking down. Very little top water activity after noon, until dusk.

Shallow running squarebill, 2.0 & 3.0 & S-cranks, Echo 1.75’s, continue drawing out a few good random reactions by deflecting and banging/deflecting them off stumps, from 8-10 feet deep in creek channels and points. The bass around 14-15″ in length are randomly responding to crankbaits in shad and bream colors. Best color of cranks in the oxbows, like the 2.0 S-cranks, and Echo 1.75 squarebills, for the past couple weeks or so have been the Bold Bluegill, Millwood Magic, and Ghosts. Rat-L-Traps in Millwood Magic and White Smoke continue drawing random reaction from 14-17″ Bass over the past couple weeks in creek channels leading in and out of flats worked slower and deeper in the creeks. Squarebill S-cranks and shallow running crankbaits in shad or bluegill and bream patterns are working near creek mouths and points extending into Little River for the past week or so. Working the cranks in a stop and go, slow retrieve will draw a better reaction than fast retrieves.

Bass Assassin Shads in Mississippi Hippie, Bad To The Bone, Panhandle Moon, or Grey Ghost colors along with Magnum 4″ Gitzit tubes with internal rattles continue working for the last couple weeks deeper into the creek channels. Best colors for the GitZit tubes over the past couple weeks have been Black & Blue tail, Watermelon Magic, Pumpkinseed/Chartreuse tail, or Bluegill.
Once the topwater bite subsides, a big, bulky, 10″-12″ worm around stumps on points and deeper in the creeks will get a bite from Largemouth Bass, and on points dumping into Little River, and secondary points along Little River. Berkley Power worms, and Zoom Ole Monster 10″-12″ worms in June-Bug/Red, Black, Blue Fleck, Red Shad, Junebug colors are drawing random reactions from Largemouths along steeper vertical washouts, ledges, and stairsteps along Little River and near creek mouth junctions, points, and intersecting feeder creeks dumping into Little River.

Vertical jigging spoons will connect with a few Kentucky (Spotted) bass and schools of Largemouths in Little River behind points and washouts. Schools of Kentuckies and Largemouths feeding on river shad, will hit vertical jigged spoons with abandon, once the topwater bite subsides late in the morning. We have been using Cotton Cordell hammered spoons over the past week or two, with added bucktails. Some mornings a white bucktail is best, and seems like cloudy mornings that a red bucktail works better. Between Jack’s Isle and Hurricane Creek along Little River, in 10-15 foot of depth where broken timber and stumps are located, will find the most aggressive spoon-bass feeders. Also, the mouth of Snake Creek gave up a few spoon bass over the past week.

White Bass: Whites remain biting jigging 1oz slab spoons in Little River under the Hwy 71 bridge next to bridge pilings. Casting spoons to the points in Little River, above Highway 71 also connected with some 2-3 pound White Bass last week.

Crappie: No Report, not many Crappie fishermen out in the past few days.

Cats: Blues and Channel Cats were biting minnows and cut bait on Yo-Yo’s set around 8-10 feet deep, hung from Cypress limbs in very back of Mud Lake oxbow, along Little River over the past week.

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!