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Tenoroc Fishing Forecast

Tenoroc

Learn about other activities Tenoroc has to offer!

TrophyCatch 10-Tag Celebration Logo

Tenoroc is a 10-Tag Water!

To celebrate Season 10 of the TrophyCatch program, biologists with FWC have tagged and released 10 largemouth bass with bright pink tags in 10 different locations across the state. If caught, one tag could be worth thousands of dollars in prizes. One of these bass is swimming in one of the Tenoroc FMA ponds! For details and rules see the 10-Tag Celebration web page.

New Tenoroc Welcome Center

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.

Polk County

Tenoroc

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.

Spring is officially here and as water temperatures continue to warm up moving into early summer, so will the panfish action. Bream (bluegill and redear) have already begun their spawn, so the best chances of finding heavy concentrations of fish will be near overhanging trees, piers and docks, submerged timber, pockets in vegetation, and offshore points and humps. Keep your nose up in the air as panfish emit a musky, fish-like odor when on bed. The best baits are natural baits (crickets, night crawlers, red wigglers, grass shrimp, grasshoppers, cut hotdogs, and 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, Halfmoon, Horseshoe, Hydrilla, 4, 5, B, Legs, Picnic, Pine, and Shop are good places to target Tenoroc’s bream.

The catfish bite will also pick up as temperatures rise. Fishing with a piece of chicken liver, cut bait with high oil content like gizzard shad, commercial stink baits, cheese balls, night crawlers, red wigglers, live shiners, live minnows, and even cut hotdogs around holes, humps, vegetation, and fish feeders (for select anglers only at Lakes Pine & Derby) will produce the best action. Lakes Cemetery, Coronet, Derby, Halfmoon, Horseshoe, 2, 3, 4, Legs, Picnic, and Pine are good places to target catfish.

Largemouth bass fishing is good this time of the year. They are finishing up their spawning cycle so now’s the time to catch them while they’re in shallow water. If fishing from a boat, anglers can also target the deep-water points, humps, drop-offs, and ledges many of these lakes offer. Bass can also be caught around any vegetation, timber, piers and docks, artificial fish attractors (found at Lakes A, Cemetery, Derby, Fish Hook, Halfmoon, Pine, and Picnic), and overhanging trees if fishing from the bank. 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, buzzbaits, topwater lures, heavy spinnerbaits, jerk baits, and frogs. Fishing with large plastic worms, single or double-tailed plastic grubs, crawfish, flukes, and lizards slowly can also be very productive this time of year. These lures in junebug, red-shad, white, chartreuse, black and blue, green pumpkin, and watermelon colors with red flake have been successful. Lakes Butterfly, Coronet, Halfmoon, Horseshoe, Hydrilla, 2, 3, 5, 10, A, B, C, F, G, Legs, Long, Lost Lake West, Picnic, Shop, & Tern are good places to target Tenoroc’s Bass. Numerous TrophyCatch submissions of bass larger than 8 lbs. were recently caught and released, so your trophy still swims at Tenoroc! Check out the TrophyCatch website for details!

Black Crappie (specks) fishing will slow as temperatures steadily increase, forcing fish into cooler depths or deep shaded banks. The bite will still be on at peak feeding times near dusk and dawn. Use depth finders to locate dredge holes, structure, fish attractors, humps, drop-offs, 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 most likely on the spot that holds others. You can occasionally find a good crappie bite in or near vegetation, around points with large underwater shelves, or suspending in the deep open water. Drifting live minnows or small shiners in 10 to 20 feet of water or trolling small jigs or spinners at various depths will produce bites. Anglers have noticed specks preferring live baits over artificial, so plan accordingly. Remember that a slow retrieval looks more natural. Lakes Coronet, Halfmoon, Horseshoe, Hydrilla, 4, 5, Legs, and Picnic are good places to target Tenoroc’s black crappie.

Check with staff (863-606-0093) 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!

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): 43

Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 5