Marty Robinson and his sons, Marshall and Mitchell, got some pointers from Terry Scroggins. Photo courtesy of Marty Robinson

One of my favorite traditions is when my family and I all head down to the St. Johns River in Florida for some fishing after Christmas. We have a little vacation home near the river and we spend about a week there while my sons, Marshall and Mitchell, are out of school. It’s so nice for us to spend some time together as a family, enjoy the warm weather, and of course, enjoy the amazing fishing.

We spent the majority of our time around the St. Johns River, but we also bounced around to a couple of smaller lakes in that area depending on how good the fishing was. Luckily for us, we were able to rely on one of the best anglers in the state of Florida to help guide us. Terry “Big Show” Scroggins is a great friend of mine, and there’s no one I would have rather had to show us around than him.

It’s awesome for the kids to get to pick Terry’s brain about Florida fishing, because we were able to see so many different types of fisheries.

One of the kids would be in my boat and one would be in Terry’s, depending on the day. One day we were on a little lake that was really shallow and covered with vegetation. “Big Show” and I were able to show the kids a thing or two about flipping and getting bites through the thick stuff with soft plastics and vibrating jigs. We made it a friendly competition a few times between boats, but at the end of the day, it was all about helping each other catch fish.

I was able to land a 7-pound largemouth, which just goes to show how impressive these Florida bass are, even in January.

Marty with sons Mitchell (center) and Marshall (right) with some Florida largemouth. Photo courtesy of Marty Robinson

When we transitioned to fishing more on the river, we focused our efforts a little more on offshore fishing with crankbaits and Carolina rigs. Florida is such a diverse state when it comes to the variety of fisheries, and you can see why guys like Terry are so talented because of the tools they have at their disposal.

I was just happy that he was able to give some pointers to not only my kids, but he even taught me a few things throughout the week. Terry is like a human encyclopedia when it comes to Florida fishing so any morsel of information he’s willing to offer I soak up when I can. As for what exactly those tips are, I plan on saving those for the season.

I love it when my two bass-fishing-crazed sons get to experience fishing with different people besides just me. Don’t get me wrong, I love imparting some wisdom onto my children, but there’s something about learning from a talented and experienced professional like Terry that can be invaluable in the development of a young angler. I hope that if either one or both of them choose to pursue a career in professional fishing, they remember weeks like this. I hope they recognize how lucky they are to get to learn from some of the best to ever do it.