A seasonal guide to Millwood Lake

SUMMER

Stephen Browning believes there's no better target fishing lake in the state. "This is stump fishing at its best."James OverstreetStephen Browning believes there's no better target fishing lake in the state. "This is stump fishing at its best."
“In summer, I head for the lily pads with LiveTarget’s weedless frog and 65-pound braided line,” Browning says.

Browning fishes pad fields in 3 to 4 feet of water that drop into depths of 6 to 8 feet. There are plenty of bass in the pads along the edges of the sloughs. There may be even more bass in the pads along the upper, riverine portion of the lake.

“Mud Lake, an old slough off the main river, is also a great place to fish a frog,” Browning says.

On summer mornings, Browning starts out by twitching a frog over the pads. He stays with it as long as the bite continues. There are times when the frog bite lasts all day, but it normally fizzles when the sun sizzles.

That’s when Browning moves out to the river and fishes windfalls, brushpiles and other objects that break the current. The bass station themselves behind this cover where they can lounge and pick off any tidbits that wash by. Flipping and pitching a 1/2-ounce jig into this cover results in bass battles that resemble bare-knuckled brawls.

FALL

A deep crankbait, a Carolina rig and a dog-walking stickbait come into play when Browning fishes Millwood in autumn. Prime locations are ledges on channel bends and the mouths of sloughs where logs and brush have piled up beneath the surface. Browning calls such places “log washes.” They are typically 10 to 15 feet deep.

“I’ll pull some bass up by walking a big stickbait over that cover in the morning,” Browning says. “When the topwater bite dies, I bump the cover with a deep diving crankbait.”

The bass tend to stack up in autumn, so you’re likely to pick off several of them from one location, Browning adds.

Another excellent fall pattern is dragging a Carolina rigged lizard over points that lead into sloughs and oxbow lakes on the lower, more open part of the lake.

WINTER

“You can catch wintertime bass at Millwood by fishing the mouths of sloughs and oxbows with football jigs, crankbaits and jigging spoons,” Browning says. “But I have to admit that I’m usually deer hunting then.”

Browning hunts whitetails not far from Millwood, and he claims the region yields trophy bucks. It’s just one more reason you can’t wedge him out of Arkansas.

Visit Bassmaster.com/Arkansas for more on Arkansas bass fishing.

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