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Polk County


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.

Bluegill (bream) and redear sunfish (shellcracker) fishing has improved with warmer water temperatures, and is good in lakes Picnic and Derby (kids only lake). Fish around shoreline cover with red wigglers and crickets fished below a cork for the best catches. Largemouth bass action has improved with the warmer water temperatures as fish move into a summer pattern. Bass are in deeper water around points with chunk rock and humps. Try fishing these areas with plastic worms in red shad, Junebug, black and blue, and purple colors, or with deep diving crankbaits in shad imitating colors. Catfish fishing has been good in lakes B, Cemetery, and Picnic. Fish with chicken liver, commercial stink baits, or nightcrawlers around the deeper holes for the best catfish action. Black crappie (specks) fishing is slow, but they can still be caught. Drift live Missouri minnows in 6 to 8 feet of water or troll small jigs and spinners in the same areas. Use a depth finder to locate dredge holes and fish them until you find the one holding the specks. Check with staff regarding updated “hot spots,” boat launching conditions and lake closures due to habitat restoration activities when you are planning your trip. Tight lines!

Popular Species

Popular Sport Fish Species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.

More species information is available for:

Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Redear sunfishChannel catfishBlack crappie

FWC Trophy Catch Logo

TrophyCatch Tracker

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): 30

Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 4