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Man vs. Catfish " />
As told to Catherine DiBenedetto:
Editor's Note: This photo first came to our attention when it was sent in to our Game Faces contest.
Ben Stamm, the guy who owns the boat rental place on Yellowstone Lake, had told us that there was a huge muskie out there. He had actually netted it while helping the DNR remove carp. You know, you hear stories like that all the time--some guy who saw a big monster fish that's still lurking in the lake--but no one really believes them.
My best friend, Lou Benavides, was just two weeks out of brain surgery. One morning in late spring I had showed up at his house to pick him up to go fishing, but I had to rush him to the hospital instead. The doctors told us he had terminal cancer--a tumor growing on the part of the brain that controls speech and motor skills. Nonetheless, that Sunday, June 11, he wanted to get back on the water. We got up at four and drove about 25 minutes from my home outside Madison to the lake. It was a great day. We landed a 35-inch northern, and some catfish. By early afternoon we were ready to head home, but just before we left, we decided to throw out a line at the spot Ben had told us about.