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.
Hydrilla has really taken over this lake since 2011, presently covering an estimated 80% of the lake, but look for the hydrilla to die back during this quarter. For bass angler who like fishing in, around and through hydrilla this is the time to year to fish this lake. The north pool, both the eastern and western sections are good starting points, 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 with little to know reports coming from anglers. Despite seeing fair to moderate number of crappie during our electrofishing in the winter 2015, 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 these fish in Kenansville Lake. If accessible, most crappie will be caught from the submerged drainage canals which run along the northern, eastern, and southern shorelines of the reservoir and the center canal that bisects the northern and southern pools. Angler may have to search for crappie concentration around the offshore hydrilla, which is everywhere. Traditional baits including jigs (twister tail and tube style) and live minnows fished under a small cork with jig poles or light spinning outfits will usually do the trick.