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Millwood Lake Fishing Report – Sept. 18

Updated: September 21, 2017

The Overall Picture:

As of Monday, September 18, the lake level is approx 19 inches below conservation pool and falling at 257.6 ft-msl for ongoing drawdown. There is current of 3,847 CFS in Little River continuing fall drawdown according to the USACE; tailwater approx 231.5 ft-msl. Water temps were stable over the past week. Check 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 during ongoing drawdown conditions. USACE conducting fall drawdown to run through 15 November for planting millet grass for fall duck hunting, in the shallow flats. The drawdown will be approximately 21″ to 24″ until October 1, and will be raised back up to 258 or 14.4″ below normal and held there until 15 October when the Corps will begin raising back to normal conservation pool NLT 15 November. Use extreme caution in navigation on Millwood Lake during drawdown conditions as this will bring stumps and broken timber close to surface pool in many areas, and the boat lanes will be much shallower than routine conditions, exposing submerged objects at or near surface pool.

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging near 75ºF early to 80ºF range later under full sun, depending on location. Navigation use extreme caution on Little River and Millwood, this week during drawdown conditions.

Clarity and visibility continues improving from all the recent high winds and thunderstorms over the past week, depending on location for main lake and Little River. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 6-15 inches. Little River’s visibility ranges 8-12 inches depending on location and current. The oxbow’s clarity currently ranging approx 15-25 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.

Be advised there are NEW NO-WAKE RIVER BUOYS AT WHITE CLIFFS BOAT RAMP AND THE NO WAKE ZONE EXTENDS FROM NORTH END OF PARK TO SOUTH END OF PARK for approximately over 1 mile, and being enforced by AGFC in Little River. This no wake zone is being strictly enforced and is no tolerance for wake boaters or barges.

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:  Not much change over the past few weeks. Millwood Lake drawdown in process is re-positioning Bass to points, and major creek junctions in Little River. Bass remain good around 2-4 pounds, on topwaters early at dawn up to around 11am. Bass continue to react the most aggressive at dawn in the oxbows of Little River where creek channels dump into main body water. Top water bite at daybreak remains very good over the past few weeks on soft plastic fogs, buzz baits, Stuttersteps, Baby Torpedoes, Heddon Dying Flutters, and Jitterbugs. Soft plastic Bass Assassin Shads and top water soft plastic frogs remain drawing good responses, early in the morning around vegetation and lily pads. Best color of buzz baits over the past couple weeks included black/blue, Casper the ghost, and Firecracker/chartreuse around pads and vegetation adjacent to deeper sections of the creek channels or in the river. Bass Assassin Shads continue working well and best reaction we have had remain on the Salt and Pepper Silver Phantom, or Grey Ghost, and on the Rainbow Trout colors. Best colors over the past couple weeks of the Stuttersteps are the Pro Blue, Ghost Shad, or Millwood Magic colors.

The deep and medium diving crankbaits like the Bomber Fat Free Shad, remain working across underwater points in Little River; squarebill crankbaits continue working in creek channel swings (outer bends and deflecting off stumps) and where creek mouths and sloughs feed and dump into the oxbows. Rat-L-Trap/Echo 1.75 squarebills are still catching bass with the Gizzard Shad, Ghost Minnow, and Gold Shad being the best colors in the clearer water backwaters away from current over the past week. Nice size bass also continue biting on bulky 4″ salty tubes with black/blue tail or appleseed/chartreuse tail colors working over the past week. 10″ magnum Berkley worms are still working with best colors over the past week being black, black grape and blue fleck.

When the morning top water bite subsides, Largemouths and Whites grouped together near standing timber can be coaxed up with a 1/4oz to 1/2oz jigging spoon vertical jigging near the standing timber from 8-15 feet of depth.

War Eagle Spinnerbaits in Firecracker with chartreuse colors, Spot Remover, and Hot Mouse, are working next to cypress tree knees and vegetation, over the past couple weeks in the oxbows away from current in Little River, once the sun gets up, in the clearest water you can locate.

White Bass: Whites/hybrids are back to early and mid morning schooling activities with all the recent cloud cover and cooler daytime temps, away from river current in the oxbows. Clear baby torpedoes, Cordell crazy shads in chrome/black, Stuttersteps, Little Georges, Rocket Shads, Rooster Tails, and Rat-L-Traps in chrome or Millwood Magic are still working. Bomber medium diving crankbaits like the Fat Free Shads are also catching good numbers of Whites in the oxbows.

Crappie: Continue improving near standing timber and planted brush in the backs of the oxbows from 9-10 feet deep on vertical jigging spoons, small H&H’s, paddle tail grubs, and Blakemore Roadrunners.

Cats: Channel Cats are biting well on trot lines set along outer bends of the river in timber from 15-18 feet deep using CJ’s Punchbait. Yo-Yos using shiners and minnow are catching some nice cats in the oxbows underneath cypress tree limbs from 7-9 feet deep.

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!!