Saturday, November 8, 2014

2014 Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Championship Day 2: Carden Remains Leader

Despite engine problems and changing conditions Carden continues to excel. 
bass press release
MONROE, La. — Coby Carden took a gamble on Day 2 of the 2014 Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Championship on Louisiana’s Ouachita River, and it paid off.
“I did something completely different today,” said Carden after the Day 2 weigh-in. “Because I was near the front of the takeoff line, I thought I could be one of the first ones to Bayou D’Arbonne.”
Canadian Doug Brownridge moved up to 6th with 17-7.
Unfortunately, two other Eastern teammates rank higher.
(Photo: BASS)
His spot on Day 2 was nowhere near his Day 1 area, where he caught 11 pounds, 8 ounces and took the lead of the tournament.
But he knew he couldn’t count on getting that one big-fish bite in his primary area and wanted to cement his lead in the championship and earn back-to-back Bassmaster Classic berths.
It was a good call. Carden caught 11 pounds, 12 ounces in the bayou. Then, at 10:45, he was heading back down the lake. He found a great fish and got her to bite three times, but he couldn’t get her to commit.
He decided to move on, and that’s when his motor started acting up.
“My high pressure fuel pump had gone out,” said Carden. “I could prime the bulb and run for a quarter-mile, but then I’d have to stop.”

He called the tournament director and eventually the service crew for help. It took him almost the rest of the fishing day — three hours and 15 minutes, to be exact — to get his boat in.
“The service crews got me fixed up, and I got to go back out for 15 minutes, really just to be sure it ran fine. Then it was check-in time.”
It was frustrating for sure, but luckily for Carden, he already had enough fish in his livewell to keep him afloat for the second day in a row.
Carden has set himself up in prime position to score tops in his division, if not overall for the championship. He’s got 23 pounds, 4 ounces, and the runner-up in the Southern Division, Raleigh Todd of Tennessee, is 6 pounds, 4 ounces behind.
If Carden wins the Southern Division, he receives an automatic berth in the 2015 GEICO Bassmaster Classic in February.
He qualified to compete in the 2014 Classic and earned 24th place among a field of the world’s best bass anglers.
Each year, the B.A.S.S. Nation sends six anglers to the Classic. Interestingly, four of those six from 2014 are in line to go back.
Tim Johnston of Montana leads the Western Division, Jeff Lugar of Virginia leads the Mid-Atlantic, and Paul Mueller of Connecticut leads the Eastern.
The leaders in the other two divisions, the Central and Northern, have never been to a Classic before. Teb Jones of Mississippi leads the Central, and JJ Patton of Iowa leads in the North.
Despite his 6-plus-pound lead, Carden will not rest on his laurels on the final day for a potential Classic qualification. “I need 15 pounds to feel comfortable,” he said. So his plan for Day 3 is to repeat his Day 2 performance — minus the multiple-hour break for boat troubles.
“I’m going back up to the bayou tomorrow,” said Carden.
How Day 3 will play out, though, is anyone’s guess. Day 2 was decidedly different than the first day. The water was down on Day 2 — by a foot according to some anglers — and it prevented several of them from getting to their spots, or at least made it much more difficult.
The numbers of fish were down slightly, too, as were the number the limits. But the size of fish increased 1/10 of a pound on average — which doesn’t sound like much but definitely appeared that way on stage.
Only three bags heavier than 10 pounds crossed the stage on Thursday, but eight hit the scales on Friday, including one sack, caught by Arizona’s Steve Lund, weighing in at a whopping 13 pounds, 8 ounces.
Lund also caught Day 2’s biggest fish, a 4-5. Still, Carden holds the lead in the Carhartt Big Bass competition for the 4-10 he brought in on the first day.
As the Day 2 leader, Carden wins the Livingston Lures Leader Award, worth $250.
Watch the exciting finale on Friday at The Day 3 launch takes place at Forsythe Park in Monroe, La., at 6:15 a.m. CT, and the weigh-in is in the same place at 2:30 p.m. CT.

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