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.

Fishhound External link also offers a fishing forecast for St. Johns River External link.


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): 93

Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 18


 Current Forecast:

This is a great time of year to fish for largemouth bass and bream in the St. Johns River and its tributaries. Bass anglers will want to fish over eel grass beds, around ledges, and under floating vegetation. Docks, bridge pilings, and snags are also worth a look. 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. Look for structure that allows fish to rest in the current, while feeding on passing items being carried by the rising or falling tides. 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. 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. The shrimp run has been good this season and looks like it could continue on into October barring any heavy rains. Success in any one location can be variable from day to day, so it pays to have multiple spots and keep your ears open for local reports and conditions. Anglers have also reported decent catches of redfish, spotted seatrout, and flounder in the lower St. Johns and its tributaries. Try fishing a jighead with a shrimp or soft plastic around docks, bridge pilings, or other structure. Other live baits such as finger mullet and mud minnows can produce strikes from these fish as well.

Hurricane Irma dumped massive amounts of rainfall all across Florida, and the St. Johns River is running high. Boaters are urged to navigate with caution as storm debris is likely to be encountered. We encourage people to also report any fish kills by calling 800-636-0511 or online at the Fish Kill web site. Prompt reporting of fish kills is important in order to perform an accurate investigation. We also encourage people to report any unusual or unsafe conditions resulting from the storm such as blocked access, debris, pollution sources, or anything else that might impede navigation or the use of the river.


FWC Facts:
The bowfin, or mudfish, is a ‘living fossil’ and is the only freshwater fish with a gular bone, a bony plate on the exterior of the lower jaw between the two jawbones.

Learn More at AskFWC