St. Clair Smallmouth Snacks

Terry Scroggins is headed to the Knockout Round tomorrow after finishing in 5th place of Group A for General Tire Stage Six on Lake St. Clair with a two-day weight of over 38-lbs. Like many anglers in the field, Scroggins is employing a dropshot to catch his weight while bouncing in the steady waves this fishery is famous for.

Big Show’s primary area is on the Canadian side, and he is fishing around a lot of other anglers, both Bass Pro Tour competitors and locals. While his fishing technique and area may not be abnormally unique, Scroggins has figured out a few subtle tackle changes he believes have been key this week.

“I’m feeding them a little snack instead of the main-course meal,” Scroggins said. “With St. Clair having so many big fish in it, most of us started throwing bigger plastics the last few times we’ve come here. But I’ve downsized my rig and it seems like I’m getting more bites than the anglers around me.

“Normally I use the 4.25-inch Berkley Maxscent Flatworm on St. Clair, but all my fish came on the smaller 3.6-inch size, and I’ve gone down to a ¼-ounce weight on my dropshot versus the 3/8-ounce (or heavier) that most of the other guys are throwing.”

These adjustments may not sound too significant, but Scroggins stresses that subtleties are critical when it comes to smallmouth. As a fan watching live coverage, it can seem as though about every angler in the field is doing the same exact thing in a smallie slugfest. The pros will most likely be offshore, looking at their electronics, and dragging around something on a spinning rod. There are exceptions, but these elements are generally the norm, and to the untrained eye it can appear almost monotonous.

But the subtle distinctions of line size, jighead or dropshot weight size, soft plastic profile, and the depth range an angler invests their time in makes all the difference for tournaments like Stage Six on St. Clair. Dropping down is size comes with a cost, especially when fighting three-foot waves, but the results can be worth it.

“The wind has been blowing pretty good this week and it’s been a pain to fish a lighter weight in these conditions,” Scroggins explained. “But it pays to show the fish something different. Sometimes it’s the opposite and it’s best to show fish something bigger than they are used to seeing, but this week a smaller profile and lighter weight have helped me put more weight on the SCORETRACKER.”

Scroggins is also varying his leader lengths on his dropshots to give pressured smallmouth a different look throughout the day, and they are all strung up on a custom built 6’10” DS822-MHX Drop Shot Rod from Mud Hole Custom Tackle. This is Big Show’s go-to spinning rod for just about every application, whether he’s skipping wacky rigs for Florida largemouth or dragging a dropshot for a Michigan smallmouth.

Scroggins will be joined by Team Toyota colleagues Kevin VanDam and Mark Daniels Jr. in the Knockout Round, where they’ll all keep their foot on the gas in hopes of claiming a Bass Pro Tour trophy to ride home with in their Tundras. Follow the action starting at 8 a.m. ET tomorrow morning on MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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