RICHMOND, Virginia -- GEICO angler Teddy Carr began the Bass Pro Shops Northern Open #1 on a high note Thursday, pulling 11 pounds, 5 ounces of bass out of the James River to tie for the No. 16 spot in the star-studded field.
Fellow GEICO angler Robert Pearson weighed in 5 pounds, 7 ounces of fish to rank 79th overall out of 133 pro anglers that qualified for the event.
"I feel fortunate to be where I am," said Carr, who successfully filled his five-fish limit. "My execution wasn't where it needed to be today and I let a few get away. When the bite is this tight you can't afford to lose fish. I got a little too aggressive with some of them when I got 'em up near the boat and didn't pull them in.
"My decision-making has been right on. I just need to calm down and make the most of my time out there. Either way, it's exciting to be in this position. I have to remember we're only halfway to the cut. We have another whole day out there."
After Friday's weigh-in, which will once again take place at the Osborne Park and Boat Landing beginning at 3 p.m., only the top 12 anglers will fish for the top prize on Saturday.
"I'm not going to change anything I did today," Carr said. "We ran out 50-60 miles and fished the tide all the way back in. I probably made 40 or 50 stops and I'll do that again tomorrow. I even saved a few of my favorite spots to hit. It's fun to think about what might happen."
Like Carr, Pearson drove his GEICO boat a long way to get in position to catch his three fish. Although he didn't get the bigger ones he needed to crack the top tier, he says he's doing all the right things to make a run at the final 12 so he can fish on Saturday.
"I had a great day," Pearson said. "I didn't lose any fish and I was in the right areas. The two guys that finished first and second were within eyeshot of me all day. We were just swapping places. We're all using the same lures and hitting the same spots. They just got the bites. That's okay, maybe tomorrow I'll get the bites and they'll miss out.
"I'm fishing flawlessly right now and making good decisions. If I had just caught my limit, I'd be top 20 right now. If I can get a good limit tomorrow we'll be in good shape."
Virginia-based anglers dominated the field with more than three dozen entries. Both Carr (Locust Grove) and Pearson (Herndon) hail from the Commonwealth.
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