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.
Expanding hydrilla (90%), floating plants (water hyacinth and water lettuce) deterred many anglers from fishing the lake since the Fall 2011. Water levels have been higher so far this year and biologist found for the second year that the hydrilla dies back during the winter with bass anglers catching good numbers of fish. Hydrilla levels 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. 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. Black crappie catch reports were slow during the previous quarter but angler should still be able to catch a few in the deeper water of the eastern perimeter canal. Crappie may also congregate around and under the hydrilla making the location of fish difficult in a lake with so much submerged habitat. Small jigs and live minnows fished with a jigging pole or ultralight spinning gear will both work.