Doctors Lake Inlet
Doctors Lake has easy access to the St John’s River and is a short boat ride to downtown Jacksonville. This area can lead to a variety of fish because of the proximity to saltwater vs Freshwater to Jacksonville.
Access is at Lakeshore Boat Ramp located off SR17, take Doctors Inlet Rd to Lakeshore Dr to the boat ramp.
Both the inlet and the hard sand bottom areas in this stretch of the St. Johns (south of I-295) support healthy stands of eelgrass and great fishing for largemouth bass and redear sunfish. Schooling bass is present all year with mild current and redear are caught spring, summer, and fall. If you enjoy wade fishing, this is a great stretch of river to get out and give a try.
Nearby Doctors lake is Black Creek, it has an abundant vegetated shoreline. It is a good water body for black crappie year-round and all species of panfish (especially redbreast and bluegill sunfish) during spring, summer, and fall. Striped bass utilizes Black Creek as a cool weather refuge in summer and is present here and around St. Johns River bridge pilings commonly during winter months.
Doctors Lake Fishing Tips
Doctors lake during the spring months is some of the best if you are looking to fish for striped bass in the St. Johns River. Many of the bridge pilings around the Jacksonville area and farther south to Green Cove Springs provide excellent cover that attracts stripers. Fishing live bait or jigs in deep water seems to be the best way to catch this species. Shallow running plugs can also be effective when they are worked along pilings using a stop-and-start retrieve.
Black bass and bream will still be feeding and can be caught on live bait or artificial lures. If you are fishing in the Doctors lake area around Black Creek during the winter, you will want to target the creek mouths, small holes, and vegetated areas where the fish tend to congregate. These areas may hold some large estuary fish such as snook and redfish looking for warmer water during winter. Be prepared for some unexpected catches because you just never know what might bite. This section of the St. Johns River is tidally influenced, so fish tend to move where cover is optimal for feeding.
What to Target
Look for the structure that allows fish to rest in the current while feeding on passing items being carried by the rising or falling tides. When the tide is moving, work artificial in the direction the current is flowing. Black Creek is another great spot to fish for bass and bream. The spatterdock edges that line Black Creek provides great cover and attract fish to the shallower areas. Standard artificial baits are great for pulling in bass on Doctors lake, as well as live bait, such as worms and crickets, which is very effective for bream, especially redbreast sunfish.
Doctors lake area holds some large estuarine fish looking for warmer water during winter. Be prepared for some unexpected catches because you just never know what might bite. This section of the St. Johns River is tidally influenced, so fish tend to move where cover is optimal for feeding. Look for a structure that potentially holds fish to rest in the current while feeding on passing items being carried by the rising or falling tides. When the tide is moving, work artificial in the direction the current is moving.
Sport Fish Species: Black Crappie, Bluegill, Chain Pickerel, Channel Catfish, Hybrid Striped Bass(wiper/palmetto), Largemouth Bass, Longnose Gar