Blackwater River – Good largemouth bass and bream (shellcracker and bluegill) fishing is anticipated for the lower Blackwater River from July through September. If you are fishing in the tidal section of the river, try to catch a falling tide for best results. Early morning and late afternoon should be the best times to fish during the summer. Effective baits to use for bass include plastic worms and any spinner-type plug. In addition to bream and bass, the lower river also harbors other sport fish such as warmouth, spotted sunfish, seatrout, redfish, croaker and mullet.
Good access to the lower river is provided by boat ramps in Milton (Carpenters Park, north of downtown Milton, just off Highway 191, and also a new ramp just north of Highway 90, on the east side of the river opposite downtown Milton) and in Bagdad (improved landing east of downtown Bagdad, off Highway 191).
Fair largemouth bass fishing is anticipated for the lower Blackwater River from January through March. Overall, bass fishing should pick up dramatically along toward the middle of March, with the onset of warmer weather and the beginning of the spawning season. Bream fishing may be a bit slow this time of the year, but should also pick up at the end of March. If you are fishing in the tidal section of the river, try to catch a falling tide for best results. Effective baits for bass include plastic worms and any spinner-type lure. In addition to bass, the lower river also harbors other sportfish such as spotted seatrout and redfish. The winter season is typically a good time to fish for seatrout around the mouth of the river. Live mullet make good bait for seatrout.
Striped bass in these rivers were stocked by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in an effort to create a trophy fishery, and to reestablish this species in an area from which they had virtually disappeared.
Striped bass fishing will also be available during the cooler days of winter and early spring. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission fishery biologists anticipate good fishing for stripers. Appropriate places to fish for stripers from January through March include the lower river, from the Navy Recreation Area down to the Interstate 10 bridge near Milton. Dawn and dusk are prime times for striper fishing, and anglers should try to catch a falling tide for best success. In the lower, tidal section of the river, you should fish around points of land extending into the river. Live mullet or menhaden make good baits. Anglers should also try plugs that resemble shad or mullet, such as Bangolures and Yo-Zuri lures. Live shrimp or twister-tail type jigs are also appropriate. Striped bass are available in the Blackwater River as a result of long-term stocking by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Note: Anglers fishing in the Blackwater River should use caution and be aware of submerged objects and downed trees which resulted from Hurricane Ivan last September. Such underwater obstacles may occur in places that were unobstructed last summer.
Blackwater River State Park
Blackwater River offers opportunities for a variety of outdoor recreation. The river is one of the purest sand-bottom rivers in the nation, making this park a popular place for swimming, fishing, camping, and paddling. Shaded campsites are just a short walk from the river, and visitors can enjoy a picnic at a pavilion overlooking the river. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy strolling along trails through undisturbed natural communities. In 1980 the park was certified as a Registered State Natural Feature for possessing exceptional value in illustrating the natural history of Florida. Atlantic white cedars line the river and one of them was recognized in 1982 as a Florida Champion tree, one of the largest and oldest of its species. Located 15 miles northeast of Milton, off U.S. 90.
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.
Heading East on I-10 exit 31 (Hwy 87N), 1/2 mile, right turn on Hwy 90E, 7 miles to town of Harold, Left turn onto Deaton Bridge Road, 3 miles to main gate. Heading West on I-10 exit 45 to town of Holt (blinking light). Left turn onto Hwy 90, Approximately 15 miles to the town of Harold, right turn on Deaton Bridge Road, 3 miles to main gate.
Admission Fee Honor Park $3.00 per vehicle
Pedestrians, Bicyclists, Extra Passengers, Passengers In vehicles with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Permit Entrance Fee $1.00
Blackwater River State Park
7720 Deaton Bridge Road
Holt, Florida 32564