Scroggins Predicts Fireworks for BPT Season Opener

Terry Scroggins is entering his 20th year as a full-time professional angler this week on the Kissimmee Chain as the Bass Pro Tour kicks off the 2023 season. “Big Show” is a seasoned-veteran at this point in his career, but he isn’t ashamed to say he feels like an 8-year-old on Christmas morning in anticipation of the start of the season.

The Team Toyota pro says he’s always excited to get a new year of competition started, but he’s extra fired up in 2023 due to the BPT format change and because the season is kicking off on a body of water he’s got a lot of history with.

“I’m pretty pumped to get back to a five-fish limit in some of our tournaments, and what’s better than starting off on a body of water where we can really showcase this format,” Scroggins said. “With how the weather is lining up, I think we are going to see a lot of five-to-eight-pound fish caught and I would be surprised if we don’t see some 30-lb stringers this week.”

Real time weather trends

Big Show Scroggins is a Florida native who lives on the St. Johns River, just a short drive away from the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes and he’ll be the first to tell you that weather trends are everything this time of year. Weather plays a huge role in every fishing tournament, but this fact is magnified when we come to Florida in the early spring.

Bass in the sunshine state want to be shallow and spawning right now, but Florida strain largemouth are extremely susceptible to cold-fronts and weather changes. These early spring Florida fish are here today and gone tomorrow, which has burned just about every competitor in the 80-person field.

“It’s been a typical, inconsistent spring in Florida,” Scroggins offered. “We’ll have a short warming trend followed by a cold front and we’re going to experience that during our practice period. It’s supposed to dip down into the 40s on Sunday and Monday, which I expect to set the fish back a bit. But throughout the tournament the temps are going to rise, the sun is going to shine, and we should see a big wave of fish move up and get right.”

While Scroggins’ forecast gives BPT competitors and fishing fans a lot to look forward to, he warns Stage One won’t be an easy tournament to prepare for. Big Show believes practice could lead a lot of guys astray. Noting there will be anglers who have terrible practices that turn in big stringers come tourney time, while on the contrary some pros who thought they found the mother load will come back to the ramp scratching their heads.

“This will be a tournament where you have to find the fish in the event more so than practice,” Scroggins admitted. “But that’s nothing new for this bunch, the every-fish-counts format trained this group of anglers to stay on the hunt during the event. You just gotta keep an open mind.”

Patterns will be wide open

Scroggins explained one of the best things about the Kissimmee Chain this time of year is it should spread anglers out and really allow people to fish their strengths.

“The major spawn really occurs from January to April down here, so there will be fish in all stages,” Scroggins explained. “Some up shallow spawning, some post-spawn headed out, and some in between. You could catch a big bag sight fishing, flipping heavy cover, winding something through hydrilla, or fishing open water. It should be wide open!”

Big show also recognized that the five-fish format will allow guys to settle in and fish for fewer, bigger bites each day as opposed to searching for big groups of fish to keep up with the SCORETRACKER.

“This should be a fun one to watch for the fans, especially later in the week as the weather gets right,” Scroggins believes. “Lots of techniques at play and plenty of big bass will be caught. I’m just excited to get it going!”

Competition begins Monday morning, February 13th at 8 A.M. and you can follow the coverage on the MLF NOW! Live stream on majorleaguefishing.com

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