How to get there
Lake Claude Bennett is a 71-acre lake located in Jasper County, 20 miles east of Bay Springs off Mississippi Highway 18. Lake Claude Bennett is open year round and provides great boating, skiing, fishing, and also supports a well maintained camp ground. The street address is 100 Wells St., Bay Springs, MS 39422. GPS: N32 06.010 — W89 02.060
According to Lake Manager Jason Thigpen, Claude Bennett is best known for its bluegill and redear sunfish. The lake also has populations of crappie, including white, black, and the Magnolia crappie, and hefty sized largemouth bass.
Bream: Late February and March will find bream, particularly redear sunfish moving out of the deeper water and staging in the cuts and coves around the lake. Use nightcrawlers fished on the bottom to target redears, aka chinquapins or shellcrackers, and use crickets to catch bluegill around the man-made gravel beds near the wooden and earthen piers later in the spring.
The limit on bream is 100 per day per person.
Crappie: Three species of crappie – black, white and Magnolia can be found at Claude Bennett. The lake has man made fish attractors where most of the crappie in the lake will be staging until the fish move shallow to spawn. Anglers using live minnows or fishing jigs around these attractors catch the majority of crappie in March.
The limit on crappie is 30 per day per person.
Bass: The lake record at Claude Bennett is a 14-pound, 12-ounce largemouth that was mounted and can be seen inside the lake office. Early in the season, anglers will troll live shiners, working the edges of the grass lines and weed lines to catch trophy bass. Later in the year, most anglers use artificial baits to catch largemouth bass.
Ramp: An onsite boat ramp is available with no restrictions on the size boat or motor launched on the lake. The daily ramp fee is $7 per boat.
Accommodations: Claude Bennett offers 31 RV hookups with power, water, and picnic tables at each site. Camping permits are $18 per day and a 30-day camping permit is $360.
Claude Bennett offers four cabins for rent on the property. The cabins are well furnished former FEMA trailers acquired after Hurricane Katrina relief effort and have been converted into permanent structures. The only thing a person needs to bring when renting one of the cabins are linens for a queen bed and a regular bed. Towels, bath cloths, and soap are provided.
Cabin rentals are $65 per night during the weekday and $75 per night on the weekend. There is a three-night minimum from May 15 through Sept. 15 and on holiday weekends. A two-night minimum is in place from Sept. 16 to May 14.
Lake Manager: Jason Thigpen 601-727-3561
Maps: Lake and Campsite Maps, online at http://www.mdwfp.com/fishing-boating/state-fishing-lakes/central-region/lake-claude-bennett.aspx
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