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HIXON, Tennessee -- Christmas is more than eight months away, but for GEICO angler Robert Pearson, it could come early.
Pearson has high hopes in this weekend's Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga in Hixson, Tenn. Despite the fact he hasn't fished this particular body of water before this week, he's spent a lot of time mentally preparing for the event.
"Like right now, I'm thinking about the fact we're getting over the coolness of spring, and that the fish are trying to spawn," Pearson said. "On (April) 18, we'll have a full moon, and that's when they spawn. Four days before that, they're getting ready to spawn. That's when we see some big fish. They're easier to catch. You can see them.
"These are the things I think about."
Thursday is the first day of the four-day tournament, with the field being trimmed to the top 20 for Saturday and Sunday.
In practice, Pearson has seen fish in certain areas, and he casts and casts until he gets bites – and he's landed several, catching more than one lunker. Because of this trend, Pearson is "almost giddy" about his chances in the tournament.
"We hope and pray it comes together for me and Team GEICO," Pearson said.
A storm pushed through the Chattanooga area earlier this week, making fishing more difficult as temperatures dropped at least 10 degrees.
"That pushes the fish off the bank and deeper," Pearson said. "That's what happened Tuesday. When the tournament comes around, everything is supposed to be setting down and (the temperature) is getting back to the high 60s, low 70s. Fishing should be on fire coming tournament day."
Pearson will have to battle other anglers in certain spots, despite Lake Chickamauga having a surface area of more than 36,000 acres.
"It's a big lake, and it's going to fish big, also," Pearson said. "There's a few of us who are probably going to find the same group of fish. But for the most part, it's big enough to handle all of us.
"That's fishing. You can't get around it. But I'm looking forward to a great, great tournament. I had a great practice, and I just hope it develops through the tournament. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you just don't turn it around.
"Hopefully, everything goes as planned. If it does, it could be a great weekend for the GEICO team."