GREEN BAY, Wis. — Terry Scroggins has a well-known nickname: "Big Show." He demonstrated Friday that his heart is just as big as the show. Dean Rojas took the lead on Day Two of the Bassmaster Elite Series Green Bay Challenge, and he gave all the credit to Scroggins.
Rojas was in second place on Day One, only two ounces behind leader Aaron Martens. But Rojas, of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., was hurting before he ran into Scroggins at 10:30 Friday morning. He had seen Scroggins pull up to a spot near him and start catching bass after bass. Then Rojas trolled within talking distance of Scroggins, who is from San Mateo, Fla.
"I lost two right before I got there," Rojas said. "He asked me, 'How are you doing?' I said, 'I'm doing very poorly.' He said, 'Come on over here and get you some.'
"He gave me the baits I needed. He's a true friend, and I know that. We've hung out for a lot of years. There are only a few people I call friends out here, and he's one of them.
"He's just a happy-go-lucky guy, and he doesn't want to see anything bad happen to anybody. I appreciate that. I admire that."
Thanks to Scroggins, Rojas was able to go from a poor start Friday to a 17-pound, 14-ounce finish. It gave him a two-day total of 37-12, and allowed him to jump Martens, who is less than a one-pound back at 36-15.
Scroggins did all right for himself, too. He started the day in a three-way tie for 10th place. He's now 12th with 30-11. But he had too much fun with a friend to fret over a small drop in the standings.
"I started where I was yesterday and caught a limit that weighed about eight or nine pounds," said Scroggins, who had 16-13 Thursday. "I knew that was enough to make the cut, but I didn't feel like I could improve on it much, so I started running some new water. I found them pretty good."
Friend, or no friend, there are not many of the highly competitive Elite Series anglers who would invite someone to their spot, much less give them the lures that were working best that day.
If not for Scroggins, Rojas might have dropped like Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, did Friday, from third place to 36th. Everyone knew that the combination of limited tournament waters and smallmouth bass at Lake Michigan could create a day-to-day shakeup in the standings. And that was the case Friday.
Faircloth wasn't the day's only casualty:
– Matt Herren of Trussville, Ala., dropped from fifth to 40th;
– David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., fell from sixth to 22nd;
– Mark Menendez of Paducah, Ken., slipped from 15th to 45th;
– Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., slumped from 16th to 43rd.
But no one experienced a landslide quite like Jared Lintner of Arroyo Grande, Calif., who tumbled from a 16th-place tie all the way out of the top 49 cut for Saturday, finishing 55th.
Rojas knows it could have happened to him. Instead, he's in the lead, after more than a little help from a friend.
"I owe him everything today," said Rojas, who got emotional when describing Scroggins' act of friendship. "I think I would have caught them eventually, but he didn't have to dial me in like that. He didn't need to do that.
"I am truly grateful and very appreciative of him helping me out."
Scroggins wouldn't have had it any other way.
"We had a slugfest for about 30 or 40 minutes," he said. "It was just a fun day. Anytime you can hang out and catch them with your buddies, it's just fun."
Yes, there was one more buddy in this deal, and once again Scroggins was handing out favors. Chris Lane's marshal was in desperate need of some toilet paper, and Lane needed two more fish to fill out his limit. Scroggins accommodated both.
Lane, the 2012 Bassmaster Classic champ from Guntersville, Fla., moved from 23rd to 15th Friday, with a big assist from Scroggins.
Rojas couldn't help laughing about that incident: "Chris said, 'I need to catch two more fish.' Terry said, 'Come on in and catch two more and get out of here.'"
It seems there's always a big show of generosity around "Big Show."