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Jeff Lampe
Jeff Lampe

Jeff Lampe has been outdoor writer at the Journal Star in Peoria for 12 duck seasons. He lives in Elmwood with his wife Monica, sons Henry, Victor and Walter, and Llewellin setter Hawkeye. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he is an avid fan of the Bills and still has mental scars from four consecutive Super Bowl losses. Outside of hunting and fishing, Lampe's main passion in Illinois was Class A boys basketball (which sadly no longer exists). Former publisher of the Class A Weekly newsletter, Lampe is a co-author of "100 Years of Madness" and "Classical Madness," both books focusing on prep basketball in Illinois.

Illinois Outdoors


A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Illinois hunting and fishing

Emiquon not always amazing

August 18, 2009 at 07:55 AM

It’s hard to imagine that one week ago today I was fishing with my father at the Emiquon Preserve near Havana. The past week has flown. Every week flies any more.

What’s even harder to imagine is that the fishing last Tuesday for us was not amazing. Prior to that outing I had never been to Emiquon without catching bass almost at will. So I figured that would be a perfect place to take my father, who was visiting from Buffalo, N.Y. and doesn’t get many fishing opportunities.

Though we didn’t get on the water until about 9:30 a.m., I figured we’d still have no problem catching 50-60 bass. And things started out fine. Dad hooked into a nice 15-incher on his third cast (with a Senko). Then we had a double. Then I took a picture of him with this weed-bass. Then the wheels fell off.

In almost three hours on the water we managed to boat just 12 bass and an 11-inch crappie. Several other anglers we talked to in the shallower water had similar difficulties. And the creel clerk said other anglers he’d spoken to were also wondering, “What happened to all the bass.”

Since then I’ve heard better reports from Emiquon. So maybe it was a one-day slowdown. Maybe the fish moved deeper. Maybe we needed to show up for the early morning bite.

Whatever the case, I told my father we’re going to make a return visit next spring when he’s back. And next time, he’s going to get worn out catching fish.


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