October 19, 2021
The Best Fishing Adventures: Everything you need to know to go fishing in Clay County
Located in Northeast Florida, Clay County offers 39 square miles of waterways – perfect for reeling in ‘the big one’ at one of the area’s many fishing spots. From Black Creek to Swimming Pen Creek and the mighty St. Johns River, fishing is a popular outdoor activity in the region with many accessible boat ramps and fishing piers available to those ready to make memories on the water.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about fishing in Clay County:
Where to Go and What to Catch in Clay County
Popular with the locals, most fishermen spend their time in Clay County along Black Creek, Doctors Lake, and the adjacent St. Johns River. The vegetative Black Creek is deep and known for black crappie year-round and all riverine panfish like redfish and bluegill in the spring, summer, and fall months. Typically, during the summer months, striped bass takes advantage of the creek’s cooler temperatures. In Doctors Lake, boaters have been catching mullets, blue catfish, and channel catfish with its brackish water and warm temperatures.
The St. Johns River flows north through 12 counties in Florida eventually making its way to the Atlantic Ocean. With that, this river is known to be home to both saltwater and freshwater fish offering a variety of fishing opportunities. From largemouth bass to crappie, catfish, and blue gills, the river is also an extremely popular area for catching shrimp too. Many shrimping boats can be found just south of the Buckman Bridge on the St. Johns River.
No matter whether you decide to fish on the shore or on the water, there are plenty of piers, boat ramps and kayak launches in Clay County.
Can I Rent a Boat for Fishing?
Don’t have a boat or didn’t bring your boat with you? No worries, you can rent a boat during your visit.
Located on Swimming Pen Creek connected to Doctors Lake, you can grab a bite to eat at Whitey’s Fish Camp and rent boats and kayaks from the adjacent bait & tackle shop. Fourteen-foot boats with and without motors are available for half-day and full-day rentals. Boat rentals are available on a first-come, first-serve basis – reservations are not accepted. Single and tandem kayaks, along with standup paddleboards are also available for rent. For those interested in putting their personal vessel in at Whitey’s boat ramp, there is a $5.00 fee on weekdays and a $10.00 fee on Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays.
For those in need of a relaxing day out on the water combined with fishing, locally-owned Boat Florida offers half-day and full-day rentals at the Doctors Lake Marina. Their Bennington 21 SSRC Pontoon boats, with a capacity for eight people, allow boaters to enjoy a leisurely day out along with fishing too. Other boat rentals include the Stingray 201DC – a good match for boaters looking to explore the sights of Clay County’s waterways or even tubing and boogie boarding off the back of the boat.
Let’s Go Fishing!
So, gather your fishing supplies and get ready to reel in the ‘big one’ on the waterways of Clay County. Whether you choose to fish from one of the area’s many docks or cruise one of our popular fishing spots, we hope you make memories and enjoy your time fishing in Clay County.