CLEWISTON, Floridas -- GEICO bass angler Robert Pearson has practiced on Lake Okeechobee and has been studying weather charts ahead of this weekend's FLW Tour Open. Now all he needs to do is formulate a game plan – or two.
"I think I'm already up to Plans E and F," said Pearson, a native of Virginia who arrived in Florida early to test the waters. "Right now, I'm catching them pretty good. The bass are supposed to go back on their beds, but I'm hoping they won't. Overall, practice has been pretty good."
It's spawning season for bass in Florida so the fish will tend to sit on their beds to protect their eggs, making the bass tricky to catch. However, Pearson said any number of weather factors can change that in an instant, which is why he said he's going to be ready for anything.
"We have been off the water here for 13 days," Pearson said. "Sunday was the first day back on the water. Everything has changed and now we have to go find the bass again.
"The new moon is coming Thursday, which should put them back on beds. I hope it rains so they don't do that and I won't have to do any sight fishing. We've got a front that is supposed to bring clouds with it, but we'll have bluebird skies up until then."
Pearson said each day of the tournament will bring its own set of circumstances and challenges, and if all else fails Pearson said he and the other anglers will just play to their strengths.
"Trying to predict the weather does make you crazy at times," Pearson said. "The only thing you can do is do what you do best. If you are a flipper, you are going to try to flip. If you are chaser, you are going to try to find the most aggressive bass you can and hope the fish cooperate.
"I've found three areas that are holding some good fish, but that could all go south in a second."
In addition to the excitement that comes with the start of the season, Pearson said the field will be stacked with some of the best angers in the game, which adds a little extra electricity to the event.
"All the big dogs are out here right now," Pearson said. "We've been out here earlier making sure all the equipment works right. Now we're fishing against the best of the best. Everybody who is somebody is fishing here this weekend.
"The situation might not be the best, but we're going to see what the best of the best are going to do."
Takeoff for all four days of the tournament is at 7 a.m. EST. Weigh-in on Thursday and Friday will be at 3 p.m. at Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina & Resort on the lake. Saturday and Sunday's weigh-ins will be at 4 p.m. at the Walmart on 1005 West Sugarland Hwy in Clewiston.
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