Lower St. Johns River and Lakes

Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns & Volusia counties

Lower St. Johns River and LakesLower St. Johns River and Lakes: This one-hundred forty mile stretch of the St. Johns River flows north through, or is connected to, more than a half dozen natural lakes ranging from 380 acres to 40,000 acres in size (Little Lake George, Lake George, Lake Dexter, Stagger Mud Lake, Lake Beresford, Lake Monroe, Lake Jesup, Lake Harney, and Puzzle Lake).  Habitats are very varied.  The stretch between Puzzle Lake and Lake Harney is shallow with ample sandbars and wide, flat expanses of floodplain.  Lake Harney to Monroe is deeper with some small side channels and braiding as the river approaches Lake Monroe. The reach between Lake Monroe and Lake George has been channelized in some areas and lacks the sandbars.  It has numerous oxbows branching off the river.  The stretch above Lake George is more tidally influenced and has more marine species, with deeper waters and steeper shoreline drop-offs.


For listings of fish camps or for further information please contact our fisheries office in Ocala at 352-732-1225 or consult the Northeast Region Freshwater Fishing Guide icon_PDF.gif (1.2mb).


Popular species:

Popular fish species


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:

Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 88

Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 16

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.


Current Forecast:

Fishing at the start of this quarter may be difficult, as post-Irma flooding has led to relatively high water levels. Getting access to the river may be tricky with some boat ramps closed or inaccessible. Waters at the start of this quarter will be murky and very tannin-stained due to runoff. The FWC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have continued stocking sunshine and striped. These fishes should be giving a big bump to that fishery this year. Striped bass leave their cool water sanctuaries in the fall and should be congregating river wide near bridge pilings, jetties, channel markers, and in sharp bends in the river in the Mullet Lake area when the river is flowing. Grass shrimp, small shad, and rattling crankbaits are popular baits for these fish. Largemouth angling should also be picking up in the Mullet Lake area with live shiners the preferred bait. Cool weather marks the start of the black crappie (speckled perch) season. Lakes Jesup, Beresford and Harney, are popular speck lakes with most anglers drifting minnows or crappie jigs. Lakes Woodruff and Dexter, typically popular largemouth bass and crappie fisheries, should be relatively productive.


FWC Facts:
It is common for closely related species such as bluegill (bream) and redear sunfish (shellcracker) to hybridize or spawn with each other.

Learn More at AskFWC