ROGERS, Arkansas -- As frustrating as a missed three-foot putt, GEICO pro angler Robert Pearson ended his experience at the Walmart FLW Tour stop at Beaver Lake just three ounces out of the money with a two-day total of 12-pounds, 7-ounces.
Fighting chilling temperatures, rain, and blustery winds, the gathered pros had to call on all their fishing prowess to pull any bass on board. Pearson started with three fish totaling four pounds on Thursday then rallied to add 8-pounds, 7-ounces Friday with four more fish.
"I had another one on the line that would have put me over the top but lost it," Pearson said. "It was still a great day and I'm not going to get down about catching more than eight pounds of fish. To go from earlier in the week and not catching any fish at all in practice to having a day like today is a big gain. I'm happy. The money would have been nice -- we need it to compete -- but the fishing is what keeps us smiling."
Pearson was hoping his catch of the day, a 3-pound, 8-ounce monster, was the one that was going to lift him onto the pay sheet. Although it was just a fraction too light, the story attached to the whopper was worth telling.
"My new title sponsor this year is GEICO and the fellas hired a photographer to get some action pictures out on the lake today," Pearson said. "When they pulled up near us the guy apologized in advance and said that normally when he's trying to get action pictures the anglers he's photographing never catch anything. I told him we'd be just fine. Then just like that -- bing, bang, boom -- that big one hit the lure and it was on. I think I'm more excited about seeing those photos than anything else."
Shad Schenck of Waynetown, Ind., is the leader heading into the weekend with a total catch of 28-pounds, 7-ounces. The final angler to make the cut weighed-in with 19-pounds, 12-ounces. The last person in the money had 12-pounds, 10-ounces.
"My wife had been following along and when I pulled in I called her and she said, 'It's going to be close but I think you're in the money,'" said Pearson, who hails from Herndon, Va. "I guess a few people snuck by us there right at the wire. It's okay. We learned a lot and we had some great friends from GEICO here cheering us on and that was exciting."
Pearson will now shift his attention to the Fan Expo at the Hammons Center, which begins at noon Saturday and Sunday. Pearson will sign autographs and meet with fans at the event. Tournament weigh-in also will shift to the Hammons Center and take place each day at 4 p.m. All of the action from this weekend's event will be shown on Versus.
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