Collinsville, Oklahoma
September 17, 2009
Derek Thurman: Bass Fishing Pro

17 Year Old CHS Senior Qualified
To Fish at Bassmaster Regional
In Louisiana This October
Could Use Your Support

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Derek Thurman has qualified to compete as a professional at the 2009 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series South Central Regional Championship which will be held at Alexandria, Louisiana, in mid-October. To qualify for the prestigious fishing tournament Derek had to finish in the top 40 of a field of 200 professionals competing throughout the year from the South Central region of American Bass Anglers. In October Thurman will be competing against pros from Texas SouthEast, Texas East, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. The top 50 from that competition advance to nationals.

Official practice days for the regional are Oct. 12-15 with the tournament begining at safelight Friday, October 16th and Saturday, October 17th, 2009. Weigh-in will be held at 3pm both days.

A 17 year old Collinsville High School senior, Derek Thurman says, "I want to represent Collinsville in a positive way." He also stated he "would like to be an example for other kids and that no matter how young you are, if you try 100% you will accomplish your goals." Being a representative of Collinsville, Derek is hoping for community support to help with trip expenses. He would appreciate donations and offers advertising opportunities for local businesses. Contact Derek at if you would like to help.

Derek's reply to several questions this week are listed below:

When did you decide you wanted to be a pro fisherman? How did you get started? --
"I decided that I wanted to be a professional fisherman probably the third summer we went to Grand Lake. We stayed at a place called Red 11 and the tourney weigh-ins would be held at their marina. My Dad would take me down there and watch. I was 5 years old. When I was 6 and went back, every morning before the sun came up, I had my whole family up and I had my gear ready. Now at age 17, I think I'm at the most pivotal moment in my fishing career. I not only have to prove to my competitors that I'm a contender, but prove to myself that I'm a matured enough veteran fisherman to handle the pressure. I push myself just as hard, if not harder, than any professional athlete."

"This is my goal in life ... and I put all the pressure I can on myslf to become one of the best ... and youngest ever. I look at my good friend and idol Edwin Evers, and not to follow in his shadow but to make my own path and hopefully be just as successfull as he is in the professional fishing world, and be half the man he is about everyday things ... and be as calm and collected."

"I've made 3 regionals now in 2 years also, another big accomplishment for me. Last year I fished in BFI (as a co-angler) at Lake Ouachita, Arkansas. and the other (as a co-angler) in BWS fished on Lake Dardanelle, Arkansas."

"The top boaters and co-anglers ... will be in the 2009 Regional" -- Are you a boater or co-angler? --
"I will fish as a boater 'pro'. We draw at the tournament meeting for a co-angler. We both fish separately. He fishes against all the co's and I fish against all pro's. The boater is in charge of how the day unfolds, the co is a non-pro, the co is along for the ride and has to fish where we take them."

How often do you fish? --
"I get asked this question more than I get asked 'how I'm doing'. I fish or try to fish every single day whether it be river, pond, city lake, or a reservoir."

"Every weekend I'm not pre-fishing or in a tournament I go to a lake I've never laid eyes on and challenge myself to catch a 5 fish limit of 14 inch fish, just like in a tournament. I do this to make myself versatile and able to adjust to any condition I'm faced with on my tour."

Any conflicts with still being in school while being a professional? --
"No!, I have agreat suport system of teachers that back me 100%. Rusty Poindexter, my assistant principal, not only cheered me on, but pushed me to be focused and a good role model while I'm at CHS. He is a great teacher figure and motivator."
Additional comments on what it took to qualify:
"I've told myself since I started fishing tournaments that I'd rather be a very consistant angler and always catch fish no matter where I am. Rather than swing for the fences every tournament and throwing up a Hail Mary on a not so solid big fish pattern. I'm not saying I don't fish for a winning fish, because I fish for 1st ... any place other than that is not a winner athlete in my eyes ... but if I don't win I want to be in the top 30 every tournament. So far I've accomplished that goal almost every tournament.
Additional Comments:
"I want to represent Collinsville in a positive way and be an example for other kids and that no matter how young you are, if you try 100% you will accomplish your goals you set. I want people that are curious about our sport to come up and ask me questions. I will answer them and with a smile, nobody needs to be shy. If they see me somewhere like a football game, basketball, etc. or email me Especially any kids interested in getting into the (fishing) sport. I will take time out any day and sit down and discuss it."
Derek Thurman
Derek Thurman's
"Fishing Industry" Sponsors:
Ted Note: This link did not appear to be active the past few days whilw working on this page for Derek.
Previous Coverage:
Tulsa World Links on
Just a sample of other CHS photos that will appear next spring on all CHS seniors pages. -- Ted Wright -- (more info)
Bass Tournament Update: My tourney was changed from the Red River to Lake Sam Rayburn on Tues. 3 days before the event, so I had to start all my research over and I ended up struggling the first day and doing better the second. I finished just a few pounds out of nationals cut. -- Derek (10/27/200)