Butler Chain of Lakes Pictures
Lower St. Johns River and Lakes: Until summer rains bring water levels up, anglers should be careful as low water conditions in the river may present obstacles to navigation and launching. Largemouth bass should continue to be caught following the schools of bait fish present in the river. Anglers should plan on being out early as recreational boating reaches its peak during this time of year making many areas of the river difficult to fish even in the late evening. The redear sunfish (shellcracker) and bluegill spawn comes to an end but fishing should remain good early this period. Lake Jesup (currently extremely shallow) and Lake George are among the most popular bream fisheries on the river. Striped bass seek cool water in the summer and should be congregating near the mouth of Blue Springs, the Wekiva River, the Croaker Hole in Little Lake George, and at other thermal refuges in the river. Grass shrimp, small shad and eels (when available) are the preferred baits for these fish.
Upper St. Johns River and Lakes: Water levels in the upper St. Johns River were lower than normal throughout Spring due to low rainfall but should rise during this quarter as the summer rainy season begins. The river sections between lakes Winder and Poinsett and from SR 520 to SR 46 have been restricted to smaller, shallow-draft boats and air-boats but should become accessible to all types of fishing boats if seasonal weather conditions prevail.