There’s not a lot of rest and relaxation for MLF pro Terry Scroggins this offseason. The Florida pro’s fall has been more about repair and recovery.
A pair of procedures to repair his eyes have already been done while he awaits two more surgeries this winter for two knee replacements.
Scroggins had refractive eye surgery on both eyes in the past month, giving him 20/15 vision in his left eye and 20/20 in his right. While he says the procedure was quick and painless, it took a while to get to the days of the surgeries.
“It’s a long process really before they even get to do the surgery,” Scroggins explained. “After waiting and doing a lot of tests, I had my left eye repaired a month ago. They waited two weeks for me to fully heal, and then did my right eye. I went from not being able to read a receipt at a restaurant to completely perfect vision. I’m seeing like I’m 15 years old again.”
Scroggins could tell that his eyesight was declining over the past few years. He regularly donned his “cheaters” while working on baits, so he never thought of it as that much of an issue. However, when his vision started to cause him to miss out on fish and hurt him competitively, that’s when he knew he needed to do something.
“When your eyes start to go, they go gradually so you can’t really tell how bad it gets,” Scroggins said. “It was more and more difficult to tie on baits and hooks and stuff like that. But what I didn’t realize is that I was missing a lot of stuff on my graphs and electronics because I just couldn’t see it clearly. I probably missed some fish because of that, and when you’re fishing against a group of solid anglers like this, it can make a big difference.”
Now that his eyes are both fully healed, Scroggins says it’s now time to turn his attention to his aching knees. The Florida pro walks with a considerable limp on both legs because both knees are bone-on-bone.
“The x-rays the doctors at the Mayo Clinic took say that my left knee is worse than my right, but my right knee hurts more,” Scroggins detailed. “They want to repair my left knee first, but I’m hoping I can convince them to do the right knee and help me out with some pain there.”
“Big Show” says that he’s dealt with the near-constant pain for years. When he’s fishing, he never really knows how much he’s going to hurt until he gets out there with his boat.
“The conditions really dictate how much my knees hurt when fishing,” Scroggins described. “If I was moving around a lot and driving from spot to spot, they would give me a lot of pain. If I was able to kind of just stand there, not move a lot and maybe lean or sit on something, it really helped.”
Scroggins will be in pre-op by the end of next week for the first of his knee replacements. It should take a couple of months to recover, but he should be ready to go with both knees and eyes fully healed for the 2021 Bass Pro Tour season.
With his ailments fixed, Scroggins hopes that he can return to his best self and compete at a high level in 2021, something that he wasn’t able to do in years past.
“Anytime you’re in pain, you hinder yourself,” Scroggins explained. “When my knees would hurt, I wouldn’t want to practice for 15 hours a day, I would only make it to about 10 hours or so. Well, that’s five hours that other people are getting a competitive advantage over you because you can’t stand the pain. The biggest thing for me is to have my vision back to near perfection. I feel like I’ll be a brand-new angler when we get back out there in February.”