Tenoroc Fish Management Area, located northeast of Lakeland, offers a unique fishing opportunity. Tenoroc is an old phosphate mine where 14 lakes ranging in size from seven to 227 acres provide quality public fishing. All anglers are required to register at the area headquarters where a daily use fee of $3 is charged. Access quotas control the number of anglers on all lakes and harvest restrictions on sportfish ensure angler satisfaction. Limitations on the use of boat motors also apply here. Special opportunities are available to children and physically challenged anglers; bank fishing access is provided on many lakes. This intensive management philosophy has created some of the best catch rates in the state for a variety of sportfishes.
Two types of lakes offer different fishing challenges. Unreclaimed lakes have steep banks, brush-covered shorelines and generally greener water color. Reclaimed lakes have gently sloping shorelines vegetated with cattail, bulrush and other aquatic plants. Lakes vary in depth and offer shoreline opportunities, as well as open-water structure fishing. Roads and grounds are well maintained and modern boat ramps are provided on most lakes. Selected lakes also have restrooms and picnic pavilions.
Tenoroc is nationally noted for largemouth bass and provides excellent fishing for panfish (bluegill and redear sunfish), black crappie and several varieties of catfish. Seasonal patterns are well established for these fishes and appropriate fishing techniques are updated quarterly in this report. Most bass anglers prefer to fish the reclaimed lakes, while panfish and crappie anglers target unreclaimed lakes. Nevertheless, all species can be caught in both, so anglers can choose the type of area they wish to fish.
The site also has a shooting and training facility on the property.
Up-to-date fishing reports for Tenoroc can be obtained by calling 863-499-2422, Friday through Monday, between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Largemouth bass fishing has been good. Use shad imitating baits and plastic worms and lizards in June-bug and red-shad colors. Bass fishing should improve by mid-November as the bass begin feeding heavily prior to the spring spawning season. Bluegill (bream) fishing has been good with many fish taken on live crickets and red wigglers fished below a cork near shoreline vegetation. Fishing should be good until water temperatures drop and fish move out from spawning areas. Black crappie (specks) fishing was excellent last year, and this year should be more of the same. Fish with live Missouri minnows below a cork, or troll with small jigs and spinners in open water. Tenoroc is now open later, so speck anglers can have a chance to fish the early evening feeding period, and increase their catch. Catfish fishing has been good, and should remain good until the first cold fronts of the season slow the bite. Use commercial stinkbaits, chicken livers, frozen shrimp, and nightcrawlers fished near the bottom for best results. Call the Tenoroc Creel Office (863-499-2422) for the best lakes before you head out there.