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irunsides

Lake Milford KS April15-16 2018 Fishing Trip.

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I am Planning a bucket list trip for bucketmouths (targeting largemouth, smallmouth, wipers, walleye, white bass, stripers almost anything that swims :)) coming up in April of this year. We will be focusing on what seems to be hottest on the bite. I would love some input from people with knowledge of lake mIlford. I have been an avid fisherman all my life and fished all over the world both salt and freshwater. I have not been able to fish much the last 10 years because of serious health problems and now my doctor is telling me I am down to maybe 6-12 months left and my one bucket list item I feel I have to do is get out on a boat and fish one more time. After looking at available lakes close enough to make work near me in southeast KS I came up with Milford. I have bought a map and studied all I can find online regarding the lake, but still want to know more. I found this site recently and figured it would be a good place to ask around. I have fished enough that any advise offered will be appreciated I enjoy the faster fishing methods like topwater and crankbaits more, but am always willing to slow it down when needed to get the bite. I am wheelchair bound these days so I will be fishing from a pontoon boat since I cant get around on a bass cruiser anymore please keep this in mind when making suggestions. I have timed my trip what I am hoping is going to be during the spawn if I am wrong when spawning starts in northern KS please explain what part of the early season occurs here in mid April. After reading this site for the last few weeks I am sure many members here can offer some great information for my trip. I have a good deal of experience so be as detailed as you like It is not likely to go over my head. I want to thank all that contribute in advance and if you have any questions for me feel free to ask I will answer to the best of my ability. Have a good one and I hope your next catch is a drag burner.

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I grew up 20 minutes from the lake and have fished it many times. You'll be there at a great time of year for a wide variety of fish to be up shallow and feeding, provided there are no big rains, but I'll be very surprised if they're spawning (which is good imo). Milford has a limited supply of largemouth that are mostly an accidental catch unless you intentionally pursue them, which I wouldn't suggest as it will greatly reduce the chance to catch many of the other fish that reside in the lake. What I would highly suggest is bringing a variety of suspending jerkbaits and plan on spending a majority of the time fishing them. The lower end of the lake near the dam is where I would mostly focus. Last time I fished the lake that time of year with my dad, we fished suspending jerkbaits for 2 days and caught tons of smallmouth, along with walleye, wiper, white bass, channel cat, largemouth, spotted bass, and crappie. That portion of the lake is mostly rocks but any rocky point leading into pockets where they will likely spawn is going to usually hold fish. Along with the jerkbaits, I would also bring baits like wiggle warts, shad raps, spinnerbaits, Ned rigs, tubes, senkos, and flukes.  

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Thank you very much for the information BB86. I am also glad it sounds like my trip will be timed more to the pre spawn. I am fine with fishing more for smallmouth or stripers and it sounds like Milford is a top notch location for both. Sounds like the south end of the lake is priority and I may want to fish both days there instead of dividing my time between south and north end. I had figured as much since most of the north end looks to be mud flats. I'll be putting in at Farnum creek so will be starting there. Do you think going north from Farnum would have any value for me. Another question you might be able to answer for me is what is the typical water clarity on Milford barring heavy rains?

 

One other thing not sure if you fish for catfish at all but I planned on throwing a few small trotlines in to work for me while I fished for bass any pointers there I assume deep water points near dam or bluff faces might be a good spot? I will be sure to let you know how I end up doing and again thank you, I really appreciate your reply...

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There are no stripers in Milford, just white bass and wipers. Very few true stripers in Kansas other than Wilson Lake.

 

I would not venture any further north than Farnum, I typically don't even go up that far unless I'm after walleye. I always launch in the state park, usually the south state park ramp on the north end of the dam, but if it's a strong south wind the north ramp will be more protected. 

The area around Farnum typically is stained with 2-3 feet of visibility down to less than a foot if the wind is blowing from the south like it often is. Wind is a huge deciding factor on that lake. You're going to have a long, rough, wet boat ride to get to the more productive smallmouth water if the wind is from the south. There are smallmouth up there, but you'll work a lot harder for them since the numbers aren't typically there. 

When you get to around the dam area, you can have visibility of several feet at times. You'll often have areas that are clear and then areas that are stirred up nearby from the wind hitting mud banks. These areas are prime for feeding fish of all kinds. 

Milford is one of the best blue cat lakes in the state, with fish up to 80+ pounds available. You'll probably be best off to set your lines shallower that time of year as the fish will be getting active and cruising looking for shad. I wouldn't go deeper than 10' unless there's a big cold snap. I'm not sure if you're planning on keeping catfish, but there is a new regulation on blues this year. Make sure you can ID them and tell the difference between them and a channel cat. Also, please consider releasing the larger fish if you do get one over the slot limit. 

 

New regulation for Blue Catfish in 2018...all between 25"-40" must be released...creel limit is still 5, but only 1 can be 40" or longer.

 

Walleye have also been changed to a 2 fish over 21" limit instead of the old 5 over 18" limit, and wipers now have a 5 fish a day limit with no length limit. 

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Thank you again for your help I am bummed to find out no stripers they were on the list of available species on a website I was reading for information regarding lake Milford proof positive that not everything on the internet is reliable.

 

Thanks for the heads up on the creel limits I had seen that information on the KWPT website and I am wanting to keep some fish this trip to eat but will be releasing most and certainly the larger ones. I usually run my lines in the deeper water area that transitions to the shallow feeding zones this time of year but if you think the majority will be holding in shallower water I'll give it a try. I take it that walleye populations in Milford are not doing great that is a tight limit on them if so I won't keep them if I catch them. I have fished mostly catch and release and like to think of myself as a conservation minded fisherman.

 

Well thanks again for all the info and your time you saved me packing my muskie/striper gear which will free up room for ultralight bream/crappie stuff. Hopefully Milford has good populations of both crappie and bluegill.

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Due to health and temps still being a little chilly decided to post pone trip to the 29th and 30th do you think this will still be pre spawn or will the smallies and largemouth be on beds? I have gathered a good deal of information and suspect some will still be transitioning while some will be bedded, but one cant beat local knowledge. Thanks again for the replies so far blue.

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1 hour ago, irunsides said:

Due to health and temps still being a little chilly decided to post pone trip to the 29th and 30th do you think this will still be pre spawn or will the smallies and largemouth be on beds? I have gathered a good deal of information and suspect some will still be transitioning while some will be bedded, but one cant beat local knowledge. Thanks again for the replies so far blue.

You'll have fish starting to bed by then most likely, or at least very close to spawning areas. Any of those pockets that have sand/gravel mixed with big rocks will likely be loaded with fish. There's several like that down around the dam. 

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On ‎3‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 3:39 AM, Bluebasser86 said:

I grew up 20 minutes from the lake and have fished it many times.

Where did you grow up? Were you an Army brat?

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1 hour ago, S. Doolittle said:

Where did you grow up? Were you an Army brat?

St. George, nope, farm/country kid.

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Thanks again Blue I will try to key in on those spots and Hope they are indeed "Loaded with fish." I will let you know how things turn out.

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