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.
After Hurricane Irma, Hydrilla in Kenansville Lake was knocked way back. It is now in recovery mode and coming on strong. When the vegetation gets going across the whole lake, just about anywhere is suitable habitat for catching bass. A great way to get a giant is to find floating mats of vegetation over hydrilla. Using heavy 1.5oz weights and a small worm, punch through the mats and hang on. Many big bass are caught this way in Kenansville. If there is sufficient wind, drifting across the grass flats throwing swimbaits is a good producer. Of course, live golden shiners are excellent when fished in the open holes and canals. When you find fish in Kenansville, stay nearby because they tend to school up in favorable habitats.
The road and ramp to Kenansville is worth a mention. Covering your boat and fishing equipment will help keep dust out. The ramp is pretty steep, so be sure your vehicle is suitable to pull a boat out. Also be mindful of floating vegetation as it can blow in the canal making access more difficult. Kenansville is a bit out of the way, but can be well worth it for some very high quality bass catches. Anglers are reminded that all largemouth bass caught must be released immediately under the special no-harvest regulation.
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): 157
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 22
Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 1