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Doctors Inlet, St. Johns River, and Black Creek

Clay County

Doctors Inlet

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.

Springtime fishing in Doctor’s Lake offers a some of the best opportunities for anglers targeting striped bass. Stripers seeking cover around bridge pilings will likely hit live bait or jigs in the deeper water as well as shallow running plugs near structure. Because this section of the St. Johns River is tidally influenced, sport fish are tied to the movements of the baitfish and shrimp up and down the river. Finding these food sources is going to be more important than finding any specific type of habitat. However, in the lower sections of the main river vegetation and good cover is scarce, so finding some submersed or emergent vegetation can pay off big. Doctor’s inlet and the tributaries including the Ortega River, Julington Creek, and Black Creek can offer more productive habitat and consistent fishing success. The middle and lower stretches of the tributaries are going to hold more fish than the upper stretches. Fallen trees or in areas of Spatterdock pads are the most likely places to hold bass and bream. When fishing in the creeks for bass try crayfish imitations or other soft plastics. In more open water try shad imitations like jerk baits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and spoons.

Popular Species

Popular Sport Fish Species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.

More species information is available for:

Largemouth bassBluegill, Redear sunfishBlack crappie

FWC Trophy Catch Logo

TrophyCatch Tracker

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): 180

Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 33