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.
Since 2011 hydrilla has expanded throughout this shallow lake with coverage recently estimated to be around 70%. Bass angler can expect the hydrilla growth to cycle down this quarter with the cooler water temperature and grazing by large coot populations utilizing the plant for food during the winter migration. Based on last year’s largemouth bass surveys this lake should produce some excellent bass fishing for anglers who like fishing in, around and through heavy cover. A good starting point will be the western half of the north pool, where anglers will have to move through openings in the hydrilla to find the best combination of water depth and vegetation holding fish. Swim baits, spinner baits and weedless spoons worked well last year, allowing anglers to cover a lot of ground to locate concentrations of fish. When fish are located they slow their technique - fishing the edges of the hydrilla with plastic worms or punch heavy jigs through the hydrilla mats. The perimeter and center canals will also be holding bass, where anglers can flip soft plastic into the bulrushes, cattails and emergent grass lines. Anglers are reminded that all largemouth bass caught must be released immediately under the special no-harvest regulation.
We are expecting another slow winter for black crappie despite seeing fair to moderate number of crappie during our electrofishing in the winter 2013. The extensive amounts of hydrilla will mostly likely make fishing for crappie difficult again this year. January and February are generally the best time of the year to target this fish in Kenansville Lake. Unless patterns change, most specks will be caught trolling/drifting the submerged drainage canals running along the northern, eastern, and southern shorelines of the reservoir and the center canal that bisects the northern and southern pools. Making things more difficult, angler may have to search for crappie around the offshore hydrilla and floating vegetation. Crappie anglers may have to resort to fishing jigs or live minnows vertically through holes in and along the matted vegetation in these areas.