Indian River County
Kenansville Lake is a shallow 2,500- acre impoundment with an average water depth of 3 feet. This area was cattle pasture prior to flooding in 1993. Boaters, especially those unfamiliar with this water body, should navigate with caution as there are rows of submerged fence posts throughout the lake. Interior levees are also located at the north, center and south areas of the lake. A single lane concrete boat ramp is the only facility on the site. The town of Kenansville is the closest place to obtain gas, food and bait. Although most anglers fish this area by boat, bank fishing is available along the access canal and north end of the lake for those willing to walk or ride a bicycle to those areas. The most popular fish species include: black crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass and catfish.
Anglers are reminded that all largemouth bass caught must be released immediately under the special no-harvest regulation.
TrophyCatch is FWC's citizen-science program that rewards anglers for documenting and releasing trophy bass 8 pounds or larger. The following TrophyCatch bass have been submitted from Kenansville Lake:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 77
Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 11
Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 1
During the past quarter, bass anglers who were not shy about navigating and fishing a lake with extensive hydrilla coverage (40-50%) experienced excellent bass fishing. Hydrilla levels and floating plants are expected to increase during this quarter as the water temperature rises but anglers who don’t mind navigating and fishing in heavy cover should still be able to catch fish. Last quarter fish were concentrated in the central east half of the lake, along the north and south sides of the old east-west drainage canal. Targeting well define edges of heavy vegetation adjacent to larger open pools with weedless plastic worms, craws and jig should produce a bite. Remember that Kenansville Lake is catch-and-release only for largemouth bass.
Bluegill and redear sunfish action on this lake should be coming into full swing, but anglers are going to have to find out where these panfish are concentrating which becomes more challenging with all the hydrilla. Although many panfish anglers use artificial lures, live crickets are known for producing some of the better catches. There were no black crappie catches reported during the previous quarter but angler should still be able to catch a few in the deeper water of the eastern and northern perimeter canals. Crappie may also congregate around and under the hydrilla and floating plants making fish difficult to locate. Small jigs and live minnows fished with a jigging pole or ultralight spinning gear will both work.