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) offer 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. During the summer heat, striped bass may utilize Black Creek if water temperatures are lower than out in the St. Johns.
Local contact: Whitey's Fish Camp 904-269-4198.
This is a great time of year to fish for largemouth bass and bream in the St. Johns River and its tributaries. There have been numerous reports of healthy tournament bag weights from lower stretches of the river this year. 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. Current reports suggest live caught shrimp are making excellent baits. With the shrimp run still going strong, catching your bait should be easy (more on the shrimp run below). 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, bream, and black crappie. 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. Live bait, such as worms and crickets, is very effective for bream, especially redbreast sunfish. Try using live minnows or grass shrimp in the same habitats for increased chances of black crappie. Post-Hurricane Dorian shrimp reports have been positive. Shrimp are still in the river and they are growing. The depth of the shrimp may change frequently throughout the day. Be patient and try tossing your net at varying depths until you find shrimp. Once found, keep on them while the catch is good.
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): 117
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 24