Benson Lake Infomation
Mason County’s Benson Lake covers 82 surface acres, reaches maximum depths of about 35 feet, and lies at an elevation of 222 feet. Fish species in this ultra clear water lake include rainbow trout, largemouth bass and pumpkinseed sunfish. All species grow to very respectable sizes – even the sunfish. These macho sunfish will smack size 11 Rapalas on the surface like a largemouth bass. The largemouth also grow to lunker status. I have seen many fish in the 5 pound plus range and have caught several nice bass up to 4 pounds, 2 ounces. The rainbow trout also grow to very nice size and many are caught by shoreline anglers using Power Bait. See the photo below of Dakota Lanning. Trollers also do well with a variety of lures and baits.
Prime habitat for the largemouth bass in this clear water lake includes lots of overhanging brush and trees, old logs and wood in the water, shoreline reeds, a few cattails and lots of private docks and off shore floats. There is very little aquatic vegetation in this lake which makes for wide lure selection. Long casts with floating Rapalas will provoke many surface strikes. The long casts are necessary so the fish will see the lure before he sees you.
Jigs and plastic worms in black and crankbaits in silver or crayfish patterns are also effective enticements. Remember that there is a slot limit on the bass, only bass less than 12 inches can be retained except one over 17 inches may be retained. It is probably a good idea to release those over 17 inches also to insure good bass fishing into the future.
Public access is provided by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The large access area has plenty of parking space for tow rigs and trailers and for other vehicles. There are 2 old pit toilets and an excellent, fairly new boat launching ramp. This ramp could handle most fishing boats but the lake is now limited to smaller boats with no gas engines.
By: Bob Johansen – 2008