Scroggins Makes St. Johns Elite Series Predictions

April 17, 2024
B.A.S.S. News

Team Toyota’s Terry “Big Show” Scroggins competes on Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour these days. So, obviously he won’t be an entrant this week in the Bassmaster Elite Series on his home waters of the St. Johns River, but who better to ask what fans can expect to see than Scroggins, a guy who has lived here for 40 years, notched three Top 10 Bassmaster finishes on this famed fishery, and still fishes here constantly when he’s not on the road?

Water levels are the wildcard 

“The same 40-60 mph South winds that caused the Bassmaster Elite Series to be postponed at the Harris Chain last Thursday blew through here, and when that happens, it blows the water out of this tidal river in a big way. It’s still low, and that leaves the lily pads high and dry, and that’s the only vegetation we really have left here,” explains Scroggins. 

Scroggins says the forecast for light winds this week, coupled with natural tide flow will help restore water levels to normal, but not to the point an angler can count on swimming a jig in lily pads to win. There simply won’t be enough of them available to carry an angler through four days of competition. 

Mix it up. No single pattern will win. 

“There’s a lot going on right now. Sure, there will be guys using forward-facing sonar in Rodman Reservoir that will do well. The creek channels and stump-filled flats on Rodman play well to that. There will also be guys who get a Top 10 here targeting the shad spawn around Crescent Lake, plus, off-shore shell beds will be a player, and they’ll even be some spawners weighed-in. But the guy who wins will have to do a little bit of all that,” Scroggins confidently predicts.

18-a-day to do well

Scroggins predicts an angler who can average 18 pounds each day will make a Top 10. He says a 30-pound mega limit like Rick Clunn’s iconic 31-pound Saturday catch here in 2016 is still very possible, but seldom does that happen. When it does, it’s often complimented by a more realistic 15-pound limit the day prior or the day after. 

Lures that’ll play 

“Again, I think the water levels will get back to normal enough for a swim jig to be a popular choice this week, and so will a spinnerbait, but of course, don’t leave your front-looker sonar minnows in the truck either,” grins the always comical Scroggins.

Comical, but confident. There’s simply no better bass fishing wisdom with more tournament earnings from this Northwest Florida fishery than “Big Show” in the past 20 years. He got the nickname around here for a reason, you know.