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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.

Largemouth Bass fishing has been excellent all year and doesn’t show signs of slowing through the late months of fall. Bass fishing should continue to get better by mid-November as the Bass begin feeding heavily prior to the spring spawning season. Use Shad imitating baits and plastic worms and lizards in June-bug, black and blue, and red-shad colors. As we move into the early winter months these Bass can still be caught with slowing your presentations down and patience on the water. 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 slow over the summer months this year, but the cooler water temperatures coming will spark the Crappie bite anglers are looking for. Fish with live Missouri minnows below a cork, or troll with small jigs and spinners in open water. 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. 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): 32

Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 4