The biggest fish caught in this bass tournament haven't been bass. Other species always appear in a bass tournament. While they aren't the main story, they're at least a sidebar. Steve Kennedy and Jay Yelas couldn't help but relate their tales of two muskies Friday.
Yelas' came first. It was an early morning strike when he was quickly reeling in a Chatterbait, looking the other way in preparation for his next cast.
"I haven't caught a muskie in decades," said Yelas. "That thing hit it, and it just about took the rod out of my hands. You haven't lived until you've had a muskie about rip the rod out of your hands like that. I didn't realize how big their teeth are. I wanted to get my bait back. I did, but you can rip your hand apart on one of those fish."
Yelas estimated the muskellunge was 4 1/2 to 5 feet long and weighed 20-plus pounds.
Kennedy's came later in the day. He tied on a one-ounce swimbait to get a lure deeper in the water column. On his third cast, the fight was on.
"It took me at least 15 minutes, maybe 20 to get it in," Kennedy said. "I could not get a hold of that joker. I was scared to death of him. I'd reach under that gill plate, and he'd take off again. He never did quit."
Kennedy estimated its length at 50-plus inches. The weight? He had no idea.