MABELVALE, Ark. — Drew Thompson knew the time his dad spent working on lures would pay off in a big way.
Arkansas angler Doug Thompson recalls a prediction his son, Drew, made one day during a conversation with his mother.
“My brother, Kevin, lives next door to me and we are constantly making baits and painting lures,” Thompson said. “Drew asked my wife (Joyce) where I was one time, and she said I was up at Kevin’s house messing with those silly baits. He told her those baits were going to make us money at the Bassmaster Classic.”
Drew’s prediction came true as Doug Thompson qualified for the Classic as the Central Division representative of the B.A.S.S. Nation.
“For a weekend guy, making the Classic is something that I thought would never happen, even though I have been trying to do it for the last 10 years through the Nation,” said Thompson. He joined the Natural State Bass Anglers club in 2004 and, since then, has competed in three B.A.S.S. Nation divisionals.
Thompson took some vacation and comp time off from his job at Acxiom Corp. to make three trips to practice for the Classic at Lake Guntersville.
“My company allows me to go 40 hours in the red, so I used all my vacation time plus an extra week,” said Thompson, who will use another vacation week during the Classic.
Making the trip to the Classic with Thompson will be Joyce, Drew, Kevin and some in-laws. His son Matthew, 21, has to work that week and will be unable to join them.
Because Drew aspires to be a photographer, Doug bought him a “high-dollar” SLR camera to take to the Classic. “I told him his job was to photograph everything,” Thompson said.
Thompson said he thinks the fishing part will help relieve him of any case of the jitters in his first Classic appearance.
“I think I will be more comfortable on the water than I will on the stage or during the media day,” he said.