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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

Ice fishing reflections on a cold day

January 27, 2009 at 08:42 AM

I learned something Monday morning. Sharp auger blades are nice, but they can also be a problem.

The nice part is obvious, particularly when fishing a strip-mine lake with 12 inches of hard stuff. That made life much easier for The Farmer, Gordon Inskeep and I as we fished a Peoria County lake on Monday.

But maybe it was too easy. While I realize it’s important to move and move frequently, part of me thinks we moved too much. Sometimes you have to be more patient in fishing. Or not. Just one reflection today as I sit here sorting e-mails and keeping warm.

The other is that this is a real, full-fledged ice fishing season. Chef Todd said people were driving vehicles on the ice on Saturday at the Big 25 Club. That was, until Jeremy Crew hit the ice with his truck and set off a series of cracks and booms that had people scrambling. Even with that, Chef and his brother Chris managed to finish third in a tournament that was won by Howard the Duck, the Eureka ice fisherman we featured earlier this year, and his partner Tod Todd.

Anyway, no matter how full-fledged we get, we still won’t be northern Wisconsin. Thad Hinshaw spent four days fishing near Minocqua in mid-January and sent in the following pictures of his trip. Hinshaw is shown with the first northern pike and said “fishing was a little bit slower than what we were used to, but we still managed to catch some nice pike.” No argument here.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing


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