Carden overjoyed at Classic berth

SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. — As Shelby County's only competitor in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic — the Super Bowl of bass fishing happening in February on north Alabama's Lake Guntersville — Coby Carden is reaching a lifelong dream.

"I fished professional from 1999 to 2005, so I've come close a few times but never made the Classic;to be able to finally achieve a dream I've held since I was a little boy was overwhelming," Carden said in a phone interview Monday. "I got really emotional. My family was there to support me. I am blessed to say the least."

The 39-year-old who lives on Lay Lake in Shelby won the Southern Division of the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship on Lake Dardanelle, Ark., in October. His achievement secured his spot to compete in the Classic Feb. 21-23.

"I was just really excited," he said about the accomplishment. "I guess that would be an understatement."

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