Tips: Summertime Cranking With Big Show

Terry Scroggins has earned a big reputation as a professional bass angler in just a few years. With five wins and 52 in-the-money finishes in just 75 career BASS events, Scroggins has earned nearly $900,000 and stands poised to join the BASS millionaires' club in fewer starts than any angler in history.

 All of this means that Scroggins can catch bass just about anywhere and anytime. One of his favorite times is the heat of summer. That's when this Florida pro picks up a crankbait and goes to work.

 Scroggins has two favorite summertime cranking patterns that serve him well over most of the country. The first he employs on rivers and other moving waters. The second is for reservoirs. Both are extremely effective.

Since "Big Show" grew up and still lives near Florida's St. Johns River, he has a special knack for fishing moving waters. While many anglers might focus on soft plastics or even topwaters for this kind of fishing, Scroggins typically opts for a Bomber 6A or 7A crankbait in firetiger or a special pattern that he paints himself.

"My custom-painted Bombers have a chartreuse belly, white sides and a green back," he says. "The white sides give it some flash that really helps in the stained waters that you typically find in rivers."

Scroggins targets channel markers, bridges and pilings and boat docks near contour breaks for most of his river cranking.

"All of these things help to break the current and give the bass something to hold behind to wait for food to come by," he explains.

For his river work, Scroggins favors a 6 1/2-foot medium action Castaway cranking rod with a 6.3:1 Daiwa reel and line that matches the cover and clarity conditions he faces. If the water's really dirty or the cover extremely heavy, he'll scale up to 20-pound line or even more at times.

The shorter-than-normal cranking rod allows him to make short (25- to 30-foot), precise casts in the dingy water, while the fast reel lets him get bass away from trouble quickly once they strike.

When fishing clear reservoirs in the summer, Scroggins keys on drops and breaks in 12 to 15 feet of water with a 3/4-ounce Bomber Fat Free Shad, though occasionally he'll pick up a 10-inch Yum Ribbontail Worm or their 10-inch paddletail worm that he's helping to develop.

His approach on clear reservoirs is much different than for rivers. Scroggins makes long casts that allow the big bait to reach its maximum depth for as much of the retrieve as possible. His favorite structures are the drops and ledges that fall off really fast, "like a 10-foot drop that happens in just about 10 feet of horizontal space," he says. "The sharper the drop, the better, and if it has some cover on it — like stumps or grass — that makes it better yet."

For his reservoir cranking, Scroggins uses a 7 1/2-foot Castaway Launcher cranking rod and Shimano Curado 200 reel with a 5:1 gear ratio to make long casts, get the big crankbait down and keep it there as long as possible.

 "Remember," he cautions, "positioning is key with summertime crankbaiting. The fish can be really stacked up now, so if you catch one in an area, you might catch 20. But you have to really pinpoint the fish-holding spots and give yourself the right angle and position to fish it properly."

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