Photo by Alan McGuckin

2016 St. Johns River Elite Series Preview

With the first event of the 2016 Elite Series season shaping up to be a slugfest, pro anglers Terry Scroggins, Kevin VanDam and Hank Cherry share their pre-tournament thoughts.

Will it be a spawn fest? What lures will play a major factor? 

Bassmaster Elite Series pros Hank Cherry, Kevin VanDam and hometown favorite Terry “Big Show” Scroggins answer those questions and tell us what’s cookin’ on the eve of 2016’s first regular season Bassmaster Elite Series event near Palatka, Florida on the St Johns River. 

What percentage of the bass weighed-in do you think will be ‘spawners’?

Scroggins: 80%

VanDam: 80%

Cherry: 75%

The St. Johns River is a healthy ecosystem rich with big largemouth. What’s the single biggest bass you’ve ever caught here?

Scroggins: 13 pounds 6 ounces, not in a tournament, about seven or eight years ago.

VanDam: 10 pounds in a B.A.S.S. tournament here a few years ago.

Cherry: 8 pounds.

This is Terry “Big Show” Scroggins’ backyard, and he loves to cook for fellow anglers, media, B.A.S.S. staff and service crew mechanics when the Elite Series visits Palatka. What dish will be the biggest hit this week in Scroggins’ kitchen?

Scroggins: Ribeye, but I’m so busy fishing, my buddy Bill Counts will have to serve as primary chef on that one.

VanDam: Could be Boston butt, shrimp, chicken—but I’ll choose ribeye as the favorite. 

Cherry: I’ll say a 1 1/2-inch thick ribeye steak.

Three lures that will get the most use this week?

Scroggins: YUM Dinger, YUM Dinger and YUM Dinger. 

VanDam: Strike King Ocho, Texas-rigged creature bait and swimbaits.

Cherry: Senko-style baits, swimbaits and a Devil’s Horse topwater.

Your prediction for the daily average weight it will take to win?

Scroggins: 25 pounds a day.

VanDam: 18 pounds a day.

Cherry: 22 pounds a day. 


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