Braylon Carden signs to fish at the next level

Published 3:51 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Braylon Carden has proved himself to be one of the best fishermen in the area over the course of his high school career at Beulah. Now Carden will continue proving his pedigree as a fisherman as he signed with Catawba Valley Community College on Wednesday. 

Carden’s dream since he was a kid has been to fish at the next level. Carden earned that dream through long hours on the water, and he wants to continue chasing his long-term dreams while in college. 

“It means everything to me because I’ve always wanted to have an opportunity to go to the next level,” Carden said. “My dream since I was a little kid was always to be able to fish in college and go further after. It means a lot.” 

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Carden’s journey to become the fisherman he is today has been a total family affair. Carden’s parents have supported his goals every step of the way. His father, Brandon Carden, has been in the boat with him as the captain every step of the way. 

Carden also credits Gene Flournoy for helping him to improve his skills on the water and get to the point where he is today. 

“Mr. Gene Flournoy is one of the biggest supporters that I’ve had,” Carden said. “One of the guys that taught me how to fish. Another one would be my father because he’s been my boat captain for the whole time I’ve done this.” 

Carden has been fishing at a high level for about five years. Along the way, Carden has fished more trails than most people could even name.
Along with those trails have been a plethora of accolades. Carden has totaled 30 finishes in the top 20, 20 finishes within the top 10, 15 finishes in the top five and he has amassed five state qualifiers. Carden also placed 11th in the BassMaster High School Combine, which includes 100 students from across the United States. 

Carden has undoubtedly put in the hours to get this opportunity. Lack of sleep and missing school was something Carden had to overcome along the way, but he would not have it any other way. 

“I have missed numerous Fridays and Thursdays,” Carden said. “There’s a lot of work that goes into it, especially for fishing state. Sometimes we get four hours of sleep and 14 hours on the water. It’s a lot of work, and it’s a lot of hard work that goes into it, but it pays off in the end.” 

Going to college on a full-ride scholarship for fishing has not been something that has always been available to even the best fishermen. 

Carden is thankful for this opportunity, and he hopes that his accomplishment can pave the way for more excellent fishermen at Beulah High School. 

“It’s important because it shows the younger group that they can do it,” Carden said. “A lot of them are a lot younger, and they have a lot longer than me. Me and my partner are the only high school team here. It’s important to me, and it’s important that I’m able to show them.”