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story.lead_photo.caption Mike Siefert's Millwood Lake Guide Service helps show anglers where the big bass are. His time on this lake goes all the way back to its beginnings, where four rivers came together in a flood control program for Red River. (Submitted photo)

Mike Siefert would never call himself the "fish whisperer," but he knows fishing and boating on Millwood Lake like he has been there since the beginning, because he has.

"I was part of the program of setting up the boating lanes on Millwood Lake, securing paths that would allow boats to traverse the waterways safely here," he said. "Before Millwood Lake, there was just a river bottom where four rivers crossed, emptying into Red River. Millwood Lake was a project to help control Red River flooding. Construction of Millwood Dam created the lake."

Siefert grew up on Millwood, fishing with his father, back in 1967-68.

"Getting out and experiencing nature in my early years was the greatest thing," he said. "Those experiences stayed with me to this day."

His enthusiasm for the fishing experience led him to start Millwood Lake Guide Service, where he uses his skill as a fisherman and knowledge of Millwood to give those he guides the ideal fishing experience. He partnered with his wife, Karen, who handles the business side of things. He brings the fishing skill and experience.

"I am not a 'know-it-all' guide," he said. "I don't claim to be the best fisherman on Millwood. But I do have knowledge to pass on to folks, especially younger generations. I can help make them better fishermen after time spent with me.

"My goal is to help folks learn and love fishing. Not everyone has a family member who has taught them fishing. I've had people come from all walks of life to learn this. I give them some knowledge and a memorable fishing experience. This creates the memories that are a huge part of what fishing is all about."

Siefert retired from 25 years with Colgate Palmolive and realized Millwood called to him once again.

"I started the guide service in '90," he said. "I've been doing this for 30 years. My guide service is so rewarding personally, taking kids with fathers and grandfathers out there. Seeing them so excited. It takes me back. It makes me think of my father, Dr. Raleigh Siefert from Camden, Arkansas, and the experiences we shared. I want to pass that onto those who take advantage of my service."

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