Millwood Lake Fishing Report – May 21

Updated: May 24, 2018

The Overall Picture:

As of Monday, May 21, the lake level continues falling, near normal, and remains approx 3 inches above normal conservation pool and falling (as of Monday) at 259.5 ft-msl; and the discharge was near 1,800 CFS in Little River according to the USACE.  The tailwater as of Monday is approx 228 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.


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 70ºF early to 80ºF 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 15-20 inches. Little River’s visibility ranges 10-15 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: Largemouth Bass continue to rebound from the post-spawn conditions over the past week. Most all Largemouths have finished their spawn, a few stragglers and late spawners can still be found randomly across the lake. Largemouth Bass have been good over the past few weeks, and levels of feeding activity continues improving. Many Bass Tournaments over the past few weeks on Millwood Lake have given up numerous Largemouths at weigh-in’s from 7lbs to over 11 pounds each. Best baits drawing reactions, over the past week or so have been Squarebill Crankbaits, Rat-L-Traps, Spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, Soft plastic Frogs, and Bass Assassin Shads on a light wire hook working in new Lily Pad growth. Best color of frogs have been black, pumpkinseed pearl, watermelon, and June Bug in new lily pads.  War Eagle spinnerbaits in white/chartreuse or fire tiger colors, continue working randomly, around flooded brush and new emerging vegetation for 2-4 pound Bass. We noted they better quality Largemouths have pulled out to slightly deeper depths on points and creek mouths, from 7-11 feet, recovering from the spawn. Males can still be caught relatively shallow around new vegetation and lily pads. StutterSteps, Spit’n Images, Ken Pops, Pop R’s and Buzz baits are beginning to draw good reactions from post spawn Largemouths, around vegetation and new pads.

Shallow running squarebill, 2.0 & 3.0 S-cranks, and Echo 1.75’s deflecting and banging/deflecting them off stumps, from 3-7 feet deep, have been taking some random, post spawn bass around 14-17″ in length. War Eagle Spinnerbaits & chatterbaits have been working near cypress trees, for the last couple weeks, near stumps, new lily pad stands, and vegetation, all from 6-10 feet deep. In the clearer water of the oxbows, better spinnerbait colors are Spot Remover, Mouse, or Hot Mouse colors for the last week or so. In the more stained areas, the White/Chartreuse and FireTiger were drawing best reactions. Best color of cranks in the oxbows, like the 2.0 S-cranks, and Echo 1.75 squarebills, for the past week or so have been the Bold Bluegill, Millwood Magic, and Ghosts. Rat-L-Traps in Millwood Magic and White Smoke continue to get random reactions from 15-18″ Bass over the past couple weeks in creek channels leading in and out of spawning flats worked slower and deeper in the creeks. Squarebill S-cranks and shallow running crankbaits in shad or bluegill patterns are working near creek mouths and points extending into Little River for the past week or so, since the post spawn Largemouths have pulled out to deeper sections of creek channels and points dumping into the river.

Soft plastic Lizards, Brush Hogs, and Beaver Bugs continue working well for the last several weeks deeper into the creek channels. Best lizard colors for the past couple weeks working best have been South African Special, PB&J, Watermelon Candy, black/blue, and June Bug.

Heavy, big, bulky 10″-12″ worms are beginning to pick up reactions from Largemouth Bass in creek channels, creek mouths dumping into Little River, and points along Little River. Berkley Power worms, and Zoom Ole Monster 10″-12″ worms in Black, Black Grape, Blue Fleck, Plum, Junebug Red, Watermelon Candy, Blackberry, and Red Shad colors have been drawing good reactions from lethargic, post-spawn Largemouths.

White Bass: A large school of White Bass were connected in the mouth of Hurricane Creek this past week. Nomadic Whites are on the move, along Little River.

Crappie: Continue to improve near standing timber and planted brush piles. Crappie were very aggressively hitting on jigs and minnows both, over the past week to deeper drops 14-15 feet of depth, near standing timber. They have been located by vertical jigging minnows, Arkie Jigs, and minnows, in standing timber in 10-15 feet of depth.

Cats: No Report on cats for this 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!!