Doctors Inlet, St. Johns River, and Black Creek
Both 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.
This is a great time of year to fish for largemouth bass in the St. Johns River and its tributaries. There have been some impressive limits of bass weighed in earlier this year in one of the many tournaments run out of the Lower St. Johns River, and the general consensus is that fishing is quite good. The post-spawn period and warming temperatures should ramp up bass feeding activity. 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. Anglers in Doctors Lake and other sections of the lower St. Johns River should look to target redfish and spotted seatrout in deeper holes and around dock and bridge pilings with both live and artificial offerings.
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 the St. Johns River area, Black Creek, and Doctors Inlet:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 97
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 20