[Editor’s note: Remember, the rules have changed for the Monday trivia contest. You are now allowed to win three times per calendar year rather than three times only.]
Alabama angler Coby Carden is headed to his second straight Bassmaster Classic this year, both times via the arduous Federation Nation route. He finished 24th last year, not as good as fellow returning Nation angler Paul Mueller, but 11 spots better than Jeff Lugar, the third member of the anglers who qualified for both the 2014 and 2015 Classics through the Nation.
While he may technically be labeled an amateur, Carden is no newcomer to B.A.S.S. Competition. He started fishing the Opens/Invitationals in 1999, taking advantage of the fact that so many were held close to his Alabama home. Indeed, 8 of the first 14 Bassmaster events in which he competed launched in Alabama waters. Five of them were on Lake Martin, and on the fifth try, the 2002 Bassmaster Southern Open, held in November of 2002, he broke through with a victory. He had come close before, finishing 3rd in the 2000 Eastern Invitational, but in the 2002 victory he left nothing to chance, leading from start to finish on the strength of a strong largemouth pattern.
Carden started off with 17 pounds 5 ounces on Day One and added 11-01 on Day Two to claim an 11 pound lead before ultimately holding off runner-up Michael Johnson by over 8 pounds to claim the victory. He fished primarily in Elkahatchee Creek, which had a healthy stain and lots of shallow wood cover, utilizing a variety of lures and notching the big fish on both the first and second day of competition.
Unfortunately for Carden, he finished 21st in the Open standings that year. Unlike today, at that time there was no “win and you’re in” Classic berth. Instead, the top five anglers from the season-long standings qualified for the 2003 Classic in New Orleans. Carden may still have the last laugh, though – none of those five have won a Classic and none of them will be in the big dance at Hartwell, so he could be the first of that crew to bring home the trophy.
To win this week’s trivia contest, be the first person to correctly answer the following three questions correctly in the comments section below:
- Who claimed the Southern Open points title in 2002?
- What lure did Carden use for most of his second day catch of 11-01, the only double digit catch of the day?
- What is the name of Carden’s current bass club?
The answers and winner will be announced Thursday. Good Luck!