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Millwood Lake Fishing Report – May 7

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Updated: May 8, 2018

The Overall Picture:
As of Monday, May 7, the lake level continues falling, near normal, and remains approx 6 inches above normal conservation pool and falling (as of Monday) at 259.7 ft-msl; and the discharge was near 3,000 CFS in Little River according to the USACE.  The tailwater as of Monday is approx 232 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.

***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 65ºF early to 72ºF 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 improved 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 10-18 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 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, most locations around Millwood Lake this week, have the post-spawn blues. Very few Largemouths remain finishing their spawn, a few stragglers can be found near Millwood State Park and Beard’s Bluff and Saratoga sections of the lake. Largemouth Bass have been excellent over the past few weeks, from around 3 lbs each, up to around 11 pounds each. 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. Spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, Sweet Beavers, Trick worms, and Bass Assassin Shads on a light wire hook, and Rat-L-Traps all continue randomly working. Black and June Bug soft plastic frogs are working in new lily pad stands.  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 continue are now post-spawn, and have pulled out to slightly deeper water off the flats, and staging from 5-12 feet of depth, recovering from the spawn. Males can still be caught relatively shallow, and Buzz baits are beginning to draw good reactions from post spawn Largemouths, as well as Ken Pops, Pop-R’s, and Spitn’ Images and StutterSteps around vegetation and new lily pads.

Shallow running squarebill crankbaits, and Echo 1.75’s deflecting and banging them into and off stumps, from 5-9 feet deep, have been taking a few post spawn bass around 15-19″ in length. War Eagle Spinnerbaits were working near cypress trees, for the past several weeks, and stumps, new lily pad stands, and vegetation, all from 6-10 feet deep seem to be holding more Bass over the past week or so. In the clearer water of the oxbows, Spot Remover, or Hot Mouse were the go to colors. In the more stained areas, the White/Chartreuse and FireTiger were drawing best reactions. Best color of cranks in the oxbows, like the Echo 1.75 squarebills, over the past week or so have been the Bold Bluegill, Millwood Magic, and Ghost have been the go-to colors. 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.

Soft plastic Lizards, Brush Hogs, and Beaver Bugs were working very well for the past couple weeks near bedding flats, and in creek channel deeper water, near stumps and flooded buck brush, and have been taking Largemouths from 2-5 pounds over the past couple weeks, but slowed considerably over the past few days due to post spawn conditions. Best lizard colors for the past couple weeks working best have been South African Special, PB&J, Watermelon Candy, black/blue, and June Bug.

Real Deal Kustom Tackle jigs with a heavy craw worm trailer continue working on pre-spawn fish near Cypress trees from 7-10 feet deep. Best colors drawing good reactions from spawning Bass over the past few weeks continue working are Black/purple, Candy Bug, or Texas Craw, all with a black or green pumpkin craw trailer, with the current water clarity.

White Bass: No Report over the past week, Whites are the nomads of the Lake, and no telling where they will turn up next, or when.

Crappie: Continue to be caught and biting well in the oxbows, up Little River away from current, on Cypress trees. Crappie were reacting very aggressively hitting on jigs and minnows both, over the past few weeks near base of cypress trees from 1-3 feet deep. A few of the Crappie over the past week, were found in standing timber vertical jigging minnows in 8-14 feet of depth.

Cats: The Cats are fair to good on trot lines and Yo-Yos’ using most any cut bait like shad, buffalo, or punch bait, chicken livers, gizzards, and hearts taking a few 3-5 lb channel cats, in current along Little River from 12-18 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, Arkansas.com 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!!