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Geico angler Robert Pearson is preparing for this week's tournament on the Potomac River
NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland -- As the Walmart FLM Tour prepares for this week's tournament on the Potomac River, numerous pro anglers are turning to GEICO fisherman Robert Pearson.
But Pearson, who has extensive experience fishing the Potomac, isn't in a helping mood. Pearson is from Washington, D.C., and has fished the Potomac since he was a little boy, and the other FLW pros know it.
But is Pearson willing to help?
"You want to do your best to help your friends who you travel around with, but there are limits," Pearson said. "They're like, 'What should I do here? Where should I go?' I'm the only one they can ask. The only way they can get local help is through me, and I'm not giving it. Come on, guys. No."
The tournament begins Thursday from the National Harbor Marina in National Harbor Marina, Md., and Pearson hopes his experience pays off this week.
"I haven't fished here in awhile," Pearson said, "so fishing the Potomac is sort of new to me, but I've got spots that I've always caught fish on. I will go to them Thursday and see if they're still good. I'll pray that everything goes well because I've always fished well on the Potomac. Now, it's time to do well in a major tournament on the Potomac."
Pearson hasn't fished competitively on the Potomac for many years, but some of his favorite spots from year's past are still productive.
"I don't have to look for fish, but now I have to find the bigger fish," Pearson said. "That's going to be the primary thing this week."
Pearson and the other FLW pros will battle high tides this week, which can make finding big fish difficult.
"Normally, on the Potomac, you need the low water to catch the bigger fish," Pearson said. "The high water pushes the bigger fish deeper back in the places where you can't get. But guess what? Everybody who's fishing this tournament will have to fish the high water. We're all equal."
Pearson hopes that's not quite the case, as he wants to have a home-river advantage this week.
"I've never experienced it, but it's a good feeling knowing that you're sleeping in your own bed and you're eating your wife's cooking," Pearson said. "I've gotten calls from friends who want me to do well. The phone doesn't stop ringing. It's a good thing, but I was hoping to get some more rest.
"Even the neighbors who never fish want to tell you how to fish now. It's funny. They mean well, so you take it with a grain of salt and say thank you."
Weigh-ins will take place at the National Harbor Marina each day, with Thursday's and Friday's at 2 p.m. EDT and Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m.