PALATKA, Fla. -- Local favorite Terry Scroggins says that the Power-Pole Citrus Slam is going to be a game of consistency rather than a four-day slugfest. Weights are on par with what he expected, but he still believes that he's in the game with 17-3 on Day 1.
"I knew there would be some big bags today, but those all came from sight fishing and that's going to dry up pretty quick here," he said. "All of the sight fish I had are gone, and there are boats on my other spots."
Despite having miles and miles of water, the St. John's River is fishing very small, meaning lots of anglers are in just a few small places. Scroggins blames low water levels for concentrating the bass in Lake George, where much of the sight-fishing field is located.
Low water means muddy water and bass that spook easily from trolling motors, boat noise and fishing pressure. But, despite his sight bite evaporating, Scroggins was able to fall back on his vast knowledge of the St. John's to get him back on his feet.
"I had one 12-inch fish by 11:30 this morning, so I started running a bunch of stuff on the lake that I've fished for years and years, and that's how I got what I did," he said. "I had on secret spot that no one else was on, but the wind blew a bunch of muddy water in there so I couldn't see.
"I had to take off and run a bunch of water. Maybe the winds will change so that I can get in there tomorrow and get a good limit."
A "good limit" is what the hometown crowd in Palatka is expecting. However, he's pleased with his weight and doesn't feel any performance anxiety in front of his family and friends.
"You've just got to go out and do what you can do," he said. "Like today, I got in trouble so I started running past history whereas if this was a lake I didn't know, I'd be in real trouble."
For Day Two, Scroggins expects to start his day simply "fishing around" with a topwater rather than bed fishing. He'll begin to prowl around bedding areas if and when he fills out his limit.
"We saw a few bags in the high 20s today, but that's going to fall throughout the week; I guess I'll just have to play catch up!" he said. "I just have to be consistent and I think I'll be OK."