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.
For those anglers who have not fished Kenansville Lake recently, they should be aware that the lake has become infested with hydrilla (80-90% coverage). Access around the lake can be very tricky due to the excessive vegetation both submerged and floating. The St. Johns River Water Management District continues to treat floating plants throughout the lake but there is no guarantee that a high wind event could move additional vegetation into the canal that leads to the lake and runs along the north side of the lake. If the past holds true, though, the hydrilla should die back (40%) and hyacinth come under control this quarter like last year, which led to some excellent bass fishing for anglers who like fishing in and around heavy cover. Last fall, bass were holding throughout the north and south pools where fish seemed to concentrate in and around the offshore hydrilla. Weedless plastics and spinner baits were working quite well. Punching heavy weedless jigs through hydrilla mats was also an effective technique use by some anglers.
Black crappie and bluegill fishing will continue to be tough based on the low effort we saw last year from those targeting either species. Anglers will have to focus effort in the deeper portions of the lake’s perimeter canal or try along the edge of open pockets of hydrilla and floating plants.