Doctors Inlet, St. Johns River, and Black Creek

Clay County

Doctors InletBoth the inlet and the hard sand bottom areas in this stretch of the St. Johns (south of I-295) support healthy stands of eelgrass and great fishing for largemouth bass and redear sunfish. Schooling bass are present all year and redear are caught spring, summer and fall. If you enjoy wade fishing, this is a great stretch of river.

Nearby Black Creek is deep with vegetated shorelines. It is a good water body for black crappie year-round and all riverine panfish (especially redbreast and bluegill sunfish) during spring, summer and fall. Striped bass utilize Black Creek as a cool weather refuge in summer and are present here and around St. Johns River bridge pilings commonly during winter months.

Local contact: Whitey's Fish Camp 904-269-4198.


Popular species:

Popular fish species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.


TrophyCatchTrophyCatch Tracker

TrophyCatch External link 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 the St. Johns River area, Black Creek, and Doctors Inlet:

Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 90

Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 19


Current Forecast:

This is a great time of year to fish for largemouth bass and bream in the St. Johns River and its tributaries. Tournament results from late spring and early summer have been encouraging so far this year. Bass anglers will want to fish over eel grass beds, around ledges, and under floating vegetation in search of feeding fish. Docks, bridge pilings, shell beds, and snags are also worth a look. With bass seeking the comfort of deeper, cooler water in the heat of summer, anglers should pay special attention to any springs or deep holes that may provide this thermal refuge. Another favorite area is Julington Creek and its side creeks and canals. This section of the St. Johns River is tidally influenced, so bass tend to move where cover is optimal for feeding. Black Creek is another great spot to fish for bass and bream. The spatterdock edges that line Black Creek provide great cover and attract fish to the shallower areas. Boat docks are also a great feature to target for tasty panfish. Common artificial baits are great for pulling in bass, while live bait, such as worms and crickets, is very effective for bream, especially redbreast sunfish. Artificial lures like small spinners, crankbaits, jigs, and flies can also be effectively used for panfish. The docks in and around Doctors Lake and nearby sections of the river can yield either familiar freshwater catches such as bass, bream, and catfish as well as marine species such as red drum, flounder, and spotted seatrout. Try jigs or shrimp fished on or near the bottom. As we move later into the summer, get ready for the annual shrimp run in the river. Rainfall in the St. Johns watershed can greatly impact the timing and duration of the run, so be sure to take that into account when planning your trip.


FWC Facts:
Many species of fish (many groupers, snook, etc.) are hermaphroditic and change sex at some point in their life.

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