New Tenoroc Welcome Center
Tenoroc has opened its new Welcome Center (3755 Tenoroc Mine Road, Lakeland, Florida 33805; Phone:863-303-0093) for the general public! Operational days/hours are Friday - Monday from 6AM-7PM EST, shifting to 8PM after March 13th, 2021 for daylight saving time. The Tenoroc Welcome Center will currently be where all visitors check in and out of the FWC-managed property and includes a drive-thru window to cut back on waiting time. Visitors are authorized to enter the building while wearing a mask or face covering to buy drinks and snacks at their leisure, use restrooms, and obtain information about the PUA from 8AM-5PM. Tenoroc Fish Management Area averages a total of 24,776 anglers a year, providing a wide variety of fishing opportunities to both boat and bank anglers.
Public Access: Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. during periods of Daylight Saving Time and 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. during periods of Eastern Standard Time.
Tenoroc Fish Management Area, located northeast of Lakeland, offers a unique fishing opportunity. Tenoroc is an old phosphate mine where 24 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 can be obtained by calling the Tenoroc office at 863-499-2422, Friday through Monday, between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.
It’s officially Summer, and the panfish action is heating up along with the weather! The bream spawn is in full swing, so the best chances of finding heavy concentrations of fish will be near overhanging cover, man-made structure (such as piers or docks), submerged timber, fish feeders (at Lakes Pine & Derby), and pockets in vegetation. Keep your nose up in the air as panfish emit a musky, fish-like odor when spawning. The best baits are natural baits (crickets, night crawlers, red wigglers, grass shrimp, grasshoppers, cut hotdogs, & even minnows for bigger individuals) under a cork/bobber or free lining with a split shot weight. Artificial lures (rooster-tails, road runners, beetle spins) are go-to tackle for seasoned panfish anglers. Lakes Cemetery, Coronet, Derby, Fishhook, Horseshoe, Hydrilla, 3, 5, 10, A, B, C, F, Legs, Lost Lake West, Picnic, Pine, and Shop are good places to target Tenoroc’s bream species.
The catfish bite has been on fire so far this summer! Fishing with a piece of chicken liver, cut bait, commercial stink baits, cheese balls, night crawlers, red wigglers, and even cut hotdogs around humps, vegetation, and fish feeders will produce the best action. Lakes Cemetery, Coronet, Derby, Fishhook, Halfmoon, Horseshoe, 3, 4, 10, A, C, Legs, Lost Lake West, Picnic, and Pine are good places to target Tenoroc’s catfish.
Largemouth bass fishing has been consistent this year and should continue through the summer. If fishing in the heat of the day, target shaded areas that provide ambush cover for bass seeking relief from sunlight. If fishing from a boat, target the deep-water points, humps, and ledges many of these lakes offer. Bass can also be caught around any vegetation, submerged lumber, and overhanging cover. Shad, bream, and golden shiners are a few of the most common prey species found at Tenoroc, so try imitating their colors with artificial lures such as deep diving crankbaits, heavy spinnerbaits, jerk baits, and jigging lures. Bass have great eyesight, so wisely choosing the lures color and retrieval at depth can be the difference maker. Fishing with plastic worms, crawfish, flukes, and lizards slowly can entice a bite. These lures in Junebug, red-shad, white, black and blue, and watermelon red fleck colors have been successful. Lakes Butterfly, Coronet, Derby, Fishhook, Halfmoon, Horseshoe, Hydrilla, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, A, B, C, F, G, Legs, Lost Lake East, Lost Lake West, Pine, Shop, and Tern are good places to target Tenoroc’s bass. Numerous TrophyCatch submissions of bass larger than 8 lbs. have already been caught and released in 2021 so your trophy still swims at Tenoroc!
Black crappie (specks) fishing has slowed down this summer due to the higher temperatures, forcing fish into cooler depths or deep shaded banks. The bite is still on at peak feeding times near dusk & dawn, so try to beat the heat by getting out early! But beware: crappie shy away from most unusual disturbances so keep your distance from fishable habitat, avoid unnecessary movements or noise, & use the bare minimum light tackle! Use depth finders to locate dredge holes, structure, artificial reefs, humps, ledges, or submerged timber and continue to fish them until you find the one holding the specks! These fish like to school up, so once you’ve hooked one, you’re mostly likely on the spot that holds others. You can occasionally find a good crappie in or near vegetation, around points with large underwater shelves, or suspending in the deep open water during warmer conditions. Drifting live minnows or small shiners in 10 to 20 feet of water or trolling small jigs/spinners at various depths will produce bites. Remember: a slow retrieval looks more natural. Lakes Horseshoe, Hydrilla, 2, 3, 4, 5, B, and Legs are good places to target Tenoroc’s black crappie.
Check with staff regarding boat launching conditions and lake closures due to habitat restoration activities as well as current fishing reports when you are planning your trip. Tight lines!
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 Tenoroc Fish Management Area:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 37
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 4