Benjy Kinman Lake is a recently-opened to the public 88 acre lake in an old oxbow of the Kentucky River, in Henry County across the river from Gratz, KY. About an hour from Lexington, the lake is a nice drive through sweeping creek and river bottom country. I decided to check out one warm, sunny afternoon in late October.
Currently, the lake is catch and release only for bass. Others there were catching nice crappie on minnows under bobbers. Two guys in kayaks had a basket with 14 nice crappie. One of them told me he had caught six bass, but the bite was slow. In my two hours there, I caught nothing, using a shakey-tail weedless rig, a shallow fry shallow diving minnow, and a spook patterned Rapala. The weather was beautiful, on a Saturday, and there were probably 8-10 other boats on the water–a little crowded for that size of lake.
There is an eagle’s nest across from the ramp, which is interesting to note. Nothing nesting there this time of year, of course.
Getting to the area isn’t too hard–from Frankfort, take 127 North, 16 miles, then left on 355 (at Monterey, KY). Follow 355 for several miles along the Kentucky River, then turn left on 22 (there’s a gas station at the corner.) Cross the bridge, then turn right on 389. The area is about 3 miles on the right. As you approach the area, you’ll see a small parking area and sign on the left. This abuts a smaller lake, also open to the public. There is a map of the entire WMA there. To reach the main lake, continue past this parking area, past a barn on the right, then take a right on the next gravel drive. This is not marked, and really not obvious (a guy fishing a the other lake told me how to get there). Take that gravel drive to the end, where you’ll find a gravel (as of 2014) ramp, sign and parking area.