Scroggins conquers bass fishing, deer hunting at age 10

Published 12:01am Sunday, July 21, 2013

NATCHEZ — When Mitch Scroggins bought a fishing trip from an Adams County Christian School auction for him and his daughter, he had no idea 10-year-old Amber Scroggins would adapt to catching bass so quickly.

Mitch said he took Amber down to Wilkinson County with ACCS teacher Warren Whitaker, whose private lake they fished on, but he expected it to be more of a learning experience for a girl who had never been bass fishing before.

Scroggins holds up a deer she shot from 200 yards at Second Union Hunting Club  in Natchez with her father, Mitch Scroggins. (Submitted Photo)
Scroggins holds up a deer she shot from 200 yards at Second Union Hunting Club in Natchez with her father, Mitch Scroggins. (Submitted Photo)

Mitch said Amber caught 10 bass fish that day, including a 4-pound bass, which is a personal best for her. She has fished brim and catfish before, but Mitch said this experience was different.

“We used plastic bait this time, which is special,” he said. “A lot of young girls don’t fish period, but using plastic bait was a little difficult. You can’t just throw it out there and reel it in.”

Amber said she didn’t realize it would be so different than her previous fishing trips.

“It took me a few minutes to get the bait in the right place,” Amber said.

But she said once she got the hang of it, the fish kept coming in. She said she was surprised she caught so many fish in one day.

After a fun-filled trip to Wilkinson County, Mitch said he could see them making a family tradition out of it.

The duo already participates in deep-sea fishing and deer hunting, but now, bass fishing is something they want to add to their list of father-daughter outdoor adventures.

“It’s really fun getting to spend time with my dad and catch a lot of fish,” Amber said. “Anytime we go out, we have fun. Just us two.”

Mitch said he enjoys taking his daughter out and doing things that most 10-year-old girls never get to do. But he still thinks she’s too young for some of the activities he has in mind.

“In the future, I’ll take her down to South Louisiana and go fishing,” Mitch said. “She just needs to get a little older before we do that.”

Until then, Mitch and Amber are waiting for deer season to roll around. Amber has killed more than 10 deer since she started at age 7, some of which were more than twice the size of her.

Amber Scroggins, 10, shows off the bass she caught at Lake Mary Road in Wilkinson County. (Submitted Photo)
Amber Scroggins, 10, shows off the bass she caught at Lake Mary Road in Wilkinson County. (Submitted Photo)

She killed a nine-point, 223- pound buck at age 8.

“That’s a trophy for a grown up, and that was just her third deer,” Mitch said.

Mitch remembers his first time taking Amber hunting at Anna’s Bottom. He said he was raised to use guns with precaution and respect, so once he taught Amber, he didn’t feel nervous about his 8-year-old carrying a deer rifle.

“We started her off with a BB gun and worked our way up from there.,” Mitch said. “She practices with a .22 rifle and then advanced to a deer rifle when we go out and hunt.”

But Amber was more nervous than he expected.

“The deer came out and she was shaking so bad, I had to wait a few minutes and she calmed down as I told her to remember what I told her,” Mitch said. “I always told her to get a good stance, breath and to squeeze the trigger, not pull it.”

Mitch said since her first trip, Amber has advanced in her hunting ability.

“She has shot deer down from 200 yards out, there’s a lot of men who can’t do that,” Mitch said.