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.
Kenansville Lake continues to have abundant hydrilla. Areas that are topped out at the end of the summer growing season should open up a little as fall progresses if floating plants sit in one spot long enough to shade the plants underneath and as coots feed on the hydrilla as growth slows with shorter days and lower sun angles. Access around the lake can be very tricky due to the excessive vegetation both submerged and floating. The wind can blow floating plants into areas and periodically block access around the lake. 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. Choke points in the reservoir can produce good wind currents, and fish will stack up in these areas. Fishing moving baits like buzzbaits, swimbaits, and chatterbaits when overcast and windy can help locate bass, if the bite is slow, try using worms, senkos, or punching around thick cover.
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.
TrophyCatch is FWC's citizen-science program that rewards anglers for documenting and releasing trophy bass 8 pounds or larger. The following TrophyCatch bass have been submitted from Kenansville Lake:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 172
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 27
Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 1