CARLYLE, Ill.--The best fish stories out of the IHSA bass championship had nothing to do with bass fishing. How about gar, gar, gar, a 42-pound flathead and a 15-pound channel cat.
We'll start with the Regina Dominican team, the only all-girls school to enter the tournament. They reached state level by finishing third at the tough Skokie sectional.
Boy was I glad they were there. In my line of work, Natalie Hogan 9right) is a godsend. She spoke in complete sentences and knew what she is saying. I made sure to talk with her every day.
Coming off the ramp on the final day, I asked if they had any fish. Her answer was to the point: ``We caught gar, catfish, carp, everything but bass.''
That may have summed up the overall experience of the world's first statewide high school bass fishing championship. There was a lot of fishing, but the best of it wasn't necessarily for bass.
We begin with the best of those stories from Josh ``Schnagg'' Stagg.