Brackish and Tidal Water is All Good with Scroggins

Team Toyota pro Terry Scroggins is feeling right at home on the James River, thanks to his experience on the St. Johns River in Florida. The playing field for General Tires Stage Six may be a 10-hour haul in the Tundra from Big Show’s hometown of San Mateo, but his second-place effort during Group B’s day one of competition supports this familiarity. 

According to Scroggins, the James and St Johns have plenty of differences, but what they have in common is they are tidal fisheries and are both influenced by the presence of saltwater fish and forage types. 

“I don’t want to say too much this early in the event but my experience with understanding tide swings and bite windows definitely seems to be helping me here on the James,” Scroggins said. “I pre-practiced here a few months ago, but that was the first time I had ever made a cast on the James. The fish don’t live everywhere here but I got a little something figured out after practice and day one.”

Scroggins believes maximizing bite windows presented by changing tides is a lot different on the James River as opposed to the St Johns, but knowing what to look for has helped him spend time in productive water.

“At home I might run for 40 or 50 miles to stay with the right tide,” Scroggins offered. “Here it is more about choosing the right creeks or pockets to fish on different tides, and how the changing tide could affect the water clarity or quality. There is a lot of fishing pressure and a lot of us sharing water this week. Knowing when to fish a pocket and staying stealthy in shallow water by using my Power Poles to not stir things up too much could be key.”

Another similarity Scroggins is drawing from the St Johns to bring him success on the James River is the proximity of this fishery to the ocean, and the presence of marine crustaceans and fish. While many of his competitors see the existence of saltwater species as a bad sign during a bass tournament, it feels like home for Big Show.

“A bass will eat a fiddler crab just like he’ll eat a crawfish,” Scroggins said with a smile. “Seeing crabs or saltwater fish while looking for a bass spins a lot of these guys out a little bit. But I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve caught bass and redfish or flounder from the same spot with the same lure on the St. Johns. A lot of times they are looking for the same thing or using the same areas. It’s all good!”

Scroggins had to make several bait adjustments throughout his first competition day, logging scoreable bass to the SCORETRACKER with multiple lures and presentations. He believes he has one key area mostly to himself and is excited to get back on the water in hopes to notch another Knockout Round and continue his strong 2024 season. 

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