Nation members bound for Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Six B.A.S.S. Nation members qualified to compete in the 2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro more than three months ago at the 2013 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.

And now, their moment to shine is here.

Some are traveling from the far corners of the United States — Tim Johnston all the way from Montana and Paul Mueller all the way from Connecticut — and one, Coby Carden, practically doesn't have to leave home to get to the Classic. He lives in a distant suburb of Birmingham, Ala., and calls Lake Guntersville his home water.

Johnston, who dropped his boat off in Alabama several weeks ago, flies in today, and Mueller is getting acclimated to the South by spending some time on Tennessee's Chickamauga Lake. However, with all the ice and snow the South has been getting, Mueller joked that he must brought the Connecticut weather down here with him!

Mark Dove is making his third trip to the Bassmaster Classic, heading down from Indiana. He's the only Nation angler who's not a Classic rookie.

And Doug Thompson and Jeff Lugar are traveling from Arkansas and Virginia, respectively, to make it to the Big Show.

Get to know each one of your B.A.S.S. Nation representatives to the Classic in the following articles, and root for these guys, who all hold regular jobs and are taking time off work in hopes of a big payday.

If you doubt for a second they have a chance, look to Brandon Palaniuk and Mike Iaconelli, both of whom made it to the Classic via the B.A.S.S. Nation and subsequently launched stellar careers. And no one knows how far Connecticut B.A.S.S. Nation member Bryan Kerchal could have gone in his pro bass fishing career if he had lived to defend the Classic title he won in 1994.

Follow all six in the Classic Live Blog.

Here are your contenders:

Jeff Lugar, Virginia

Coby Carden, Alabama

Mark Dove, Indiana

Tim Johnston, Montana

Paul Mueller, Connecticut

Doug Thompson, Arkansas

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