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Tenoroc Fishing Forecast

Tenoroc

Learn about other activities Tenoroc has to offer!

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 on its way, and as the water temperatures start to warm up, so will the Lepomis sunfish bite. Bream (bluegill and redear sunfish) are sensitive to lunar cycles so keep an eye on full or new moons for heavy action! 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 an Derby), artificial fish attractors (at Lakes Derby, Pine, Picnic, Cemetery, and A), and pockets in floating/emergent vegetation throughout the day, peaking in early morning and late afternoon. If fishing from a boat, try looking for concentrated panfish between 5 to 10 feet off the shoreline or just behind humps and points. Keep your nose up in the air as panfish emit a musky, fish-like odor when on bed as we’re approaching their spawning period. The best baits are natural baits (crickets, night crawlers, red wigglers, grass shrimp, grasshoppers, cut hotdogs, and even minnows for bigger individuals) suspended 6-12 inches under a cork/bobber or free lining with a split shot weight. They are too enticing for any fish to pass up! The best artificial lures (rooster-tails, road runners, beetle spins, fluorescent-colored grubs) and flies (poppers, rubber spiders, dragonflies) are go-to tackle for seasoned panfish anglers. Lakes Cemetery, Coronet, Derby, Halfmoon, Horseshoe, Long, Picnic, Pine, 3, 5, A, B, F, and G are good places to target Tenoroc’s bream species.

Catfish are still being caught aplenty at Tenoroc FMA, and the rising temperatures will continue to make them more active and hungrier! Fishing with a piece of chicken liver, cut bait, commercial stink baits, cheese balls, night crawlers, red wigglers, and even cut hotdogs around humps, depressions/holes, vegetation, fish feeders, or any moving water will produce the best action. Lakes Coronet, Derby, Legs, Long, Lost Lake East, Picnic, Pine 3, 5, A, B, and C are good places to target Tenoroc’s resident catfish species.

Largemouth bass fishing is as good as it gets this time of year. These sportfish are on or finishing up their spawn cycle so now’s the time to catch them while they’re in shallow water. Largemouth bass hear with internal ears located within their skulls so when loud, unfamiliar sounds are nearby, they’ll swim straight for deeper water or for cover. Utilizing stealth with a paddle or trolling motor while sneaking up on big individuals allows for opportunities to present lures and live baits they can’t pass up. Always remember to practice ethical angling habits when lifting largemouth bass out of the water, supporting the body weight from the belly while holding a firm grip on their lower jaw to remove hooks. Even better is the use of barbless hooks. This ensures quicker release and puts less stress on the fish for higher survival rates. If fishing from a boat, target the deep-water points, humps, drop-offs, and ledges many of these lakes offer by utilizing a depth/fish finder. Bass can also be caught around any emergent/floating vegetation, submerged lumber, man-made structure (such as piers or docks), artificial fish attractors (at Lakes Derby, Pine, Picnic, Cemetery, and A), and overhanging cover if fishing from the bank. Always be on the lookout for cover located on/near structure and pay close attention to water temperature as it affects largemouth bass metabolism and how/when they feed as well as lunar cycles! Shad (gizzard and threadfin), 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, hollow body frogs, 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, ribbontail worms, single or double-tailed plastic grubs, crawfish, flukes, and lizards slowly can entice a bite. These lures in junebug, red-shad, white, chartreuse, black, blue, green pumpkin, and watermelon colors with red glitter have been successful. It’s all about presentation! Lakes Cemetery, Coronet, Derby, Fishhook, Halfmoon, Horseshoe, Hydrilla, Legs, Long, Lost Lake West, Picnic, Shop, Tern, Waterlou, Wetland, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, A, B, C, F, and G are good places to target Tenoroc’s largemouth bass. Numerous TrophyCatch submissions of bass larger than 8 lbs. have already been caught and released in 2022 so your trophy still swims at Tenoroc! Check out TrophyCatch for details!

Black Crappie (specks) fishing is starting to level-out as the weather and temperatures heat up, forcing fish into deeper/cooler depths. The bite is still on at peak feeding times near dusk and dawn, so as the saying goes: The early bird gets the worm! But beware: crappie shy away from most unusual disturbances so keep your distance from fishable habitat, avoid unnecessary movements or noise, and use the bare minimum light tackle! Utilize depth/fish 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 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. Drifting live minnows or small shiners in 10 to 20 feet of water or trolling small jigs/spinners at various depths will produce bites. Black crappie anglers have witnessed specks preferring live baits over artificial, so plan accordingly. Remember: a slow retrieval looks more natural. Lakes Cemetery, Halfmoon, Horseshoe, Long, Lost Lake West, Waterlou, 4, 5, 10, A, B, and F 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!

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): 44

Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 5