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 in the St. Johns River and its tributaries and trophy bass have been caught and reported this year. Bass anglers will want to fish around the confluences of creeks and the river, ledges, and aquatic vegetation. Docks, bridge pilings, 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 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 panfish. Spatterdock and boat docks provide great cover and attract fish to the shallower areas. Effective artificial baits for bass include soft plastics, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits. Summertime is also a great time to throw topwater frog imitations, especially in early morning and dusk in around vegetation. Live baits, such as worms and crickets, are very effective for panfish, especially redbreast sunfish. Artificial lures like small spinners, crankbaits, jigs, and flies can also be effectively used for panfish. Shrimp enthusiasts should also look for these crustaceans to start entering the river in July and August, targeting the edge of the river channel with a cast net. Be sure to use a cast net with webbing or tape around the bottom of it so that it stays open in the deeper water. If heavy rains hold off, good shrimping could be had into September and even October.
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): 160
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 32