Benton, AL Fishing: Direct Fishing Access to the Alabama River

Catch plenty of bass and catfish from the Alabama River when you visit the quaint little town of Benton.

Benton, AL Fishing: Direct Fishing Access to the Alabama River
Benton, AL Fishing: Direct Fishing Access to the Alabama River
Team Guidesly

December 15, 2022, 6 min read

Updated on December 11, 2022

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Benton is a township found in northwest Lowndes County in central Alabama. It is a very small community made up of 41 residents as of the census conducted in 2020. Its area is only 0.3 square miles, 8.82% of which is water. Benton was settled in 1832 on land owned by James Maull. It was formerly known as Maull’s Landing during that time. It was then renamed and incorporated as Benton in 1834 in honor of former US Senator Thomas ‘Old Bullion’ Hart Benton from Missouri, who served in the Creek Campaign under General Andrew Jackson. Benton was a major trading stop along the Alabama River during the steamboat era. The community’s population dwindled over time due to emancipation and continuous subdivision of counties and townships. Benton was reincorporated in 1964. Out of Lowndes County’s seven incorporated communities, it is the smallest and is one of two with a white majority.

Visitors can explore Benton in a day because of how accessible and small it is. Though it may not have any major tourist attractions, it can act as the perfect place for a peaceful day out and immersing oneself in nature. Those who want an escape from the busyness of city life and crowds can seek respite in Benton. There are opportunities to access camping grounds, parks, forests, and nearby cities that one can further explore and experience the thrill of what that part of Alabama has to offer. Anglers interested in planning their fishing tours and learning more about Benton's fishing spot will be pleased to know that it has direct access to the state's most famous river and is close to a couple of other abundant waterways teeming with a variety of fish species.

Benton Fishing

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Benton will allow anglers to experience Alabama inshore fishing and boat angling by providing access to one of the most famous rivers in the state and the United States. The area is perfect for an angler who wants to taste tranquil fishing in central Alabama.

Formed by the Tallapoosa and Coosa rivers, anglers can find the highly meandering Alabama River flowing along Benton’s eastern border. The river flows through the heart of the state, with its downstream section commercially navigable. The waterway is also where the Alabama Scenic River Trail is found. The boating trail can be navigated throughout its 631 miles from the Coosa River to the Gulf of Mexico. The Alabama River is renowned for its Alabama Bass Trail, which is a favorite among bass fishing enthusiasts. Freshwater and saltwater fish species can be found in the Alabama River. Freshwater fish such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass (Alabama bass), redeye bass, rock bass, shadow bass, black crappie, and white crappie inhabit the northern section of the river. Saltwater and brackish-temperate fish such as striped bass, white bass, yellow bass, southern flounder, red drum, and speckled sea trout are found in the river’s lower sections to its drainage system in Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Other game fish anglers may find in the Alabama River and adjacent water bodies include channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish, flier, warmouth, redbreast sunfish, redear sunfish, bluegill, chain pickerel, grass pickerel, redfin pickerel, sauger, walleye, yellow perch, rainbow trout, Alabama darter, and Alabama sturgeon.

The Alabama River stretches over 318 miles, offering plenty of access to anglers and boaters. A boat launch area to the north of Benton is called the Benton Park Boat Launch, which visitors can easily access by driving up Market Street. Prairie Creek Boat Ramp is another access point located nearby. Anglers can choose to do bank fishing in the river and employ techniques such as fly fishing for red drum and bass or casting cut-up or live bait to most biting species. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, and crappie are the most popular game fish to target in the Alabama Bass Trail, situated downstream of Alabama’s capital city, Montgomery. Each section, tributary, and lake connected to the river provides unique terrain and water features that create fertile fishing grounds. Jones Bluff and Millers Ferry in the northern part of the river are home to plenty of giant spotted bass and crappie. Claiborne Lake is one of the most peaceful spots anglers can find in the river. It is known for its healthy populations of catfish, bluegill, crappie, and largemouth bass. The Lower Alabama River is where the state’s freshwater mussel beds provide homes for paddlefish and alligator gar. Meet up with Mobile Bay fishing guides to experience the saltwater section of the river, which is just a couple of hours’ drive south of Benton.

Benton is home to a farm that allows anglers to fish from B C Rhyne Lake. The 21-acre lake is home to the same freshwater species found in the Alabama River, including bass, crappie, and catfish. The lake is near Big Swamp Creek, which is connected to the Alabama River. The creek also houses the same freshwater fish.


Top 10 Fish Species in Benton, AL

The top 10 fish species found in Benton, AL, are largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, redeye bass, rock bass, black crappie, white crappie, channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead catfish.

Seasonal Fishing

Bass fishing in Alabama is good any time of the year, but the best time to target these fish, especially largemouth, is in April and May. Bream and sunfish species like bluegill, warmouth, redear sunfish, and redbreast sunfish are also excellent year-round targets. Crappie can also be caught throughout the year, but winter and spring are the best seasons for fishing. Late fall and early spring are perfect for red drum fishing, but like other fish in the state, they can be caught any time of the year. Catfish fishing is excellent all year, but they are best targeted in early spring, late summer, and mid-fall. The best time to fish in the Alabama River is from March through June and September through November.

Nearby Attractions Around Benton

Benton has the advantage of being surrounded by nature sites and cities that will complete any person’s fun trip in the area.

1. Book a Fishing Charter

Book a fishing charter to enhance a fun-filled fishing trip in Alabama. There are plenty of guide services to choose from that can be found near Benton, including Sunrise Charters, Water Walker Fishing, Reel Fishin' Charters, and Killin Time Fishing Charters. Boat rental services and bait and tackle can be availed at designated angling and boating spots. Make sure to have an Alabama fishing license before planning an angling adventure.

2. Visit a Nearby Museum

The National Voting Rights Museum and Institute is located in Selma, just a few miles north of Benton. The site is the cornerstone of the contemporary struggle for voting rights and human dignity and is where ‘Bloody Sunday’ occurred. The museum exhibits materials and artifacts from America’s voting rights struggle and the Civil Rights Movement in the South. Visitors can book a guided tour or explore the site for a low fee. It is open from Monday to Thursday, 10 AM to 4 PM, and on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays by appointment only.

3. Go Camping

Head to Prairie Creek Campground and experience camping and outdoor recreation by the riverside. The camp area is situated beneath moss-draped oak trees on the banks of Woodruff Lake. The lake is part of the Alabama River’s scenic Black Prairie Belt. The waterfront campground offers the common outdoor enthusiast a wonderful opportunity to relax between fishing and hunting trips. Watersports and hiking are also very popular at the site. Facilities include RV sites, tent sites, electric hookups, flush toilets, showers, a dump station, laundry facilities, a beach, a boat ramp, a dock, a playground, a basketball court, and a picnic shelter.

Fish in Benton and beyond.