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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

Watching the boy catch fish

January 31, 2009 at 02:48 PM

We did this drill plenty last spring

Here’s how it goes: Victor, the middle boy, catches fish after fish after fish while I keep busy taking them off his hook, making sure he has bait and then repeating the same sequence again.

The only difference this time was that we practiced the drill on ice while fishing a small pond south of Elmwood this morning with Gordon and Gabe Inskeep.

Seconds after I drilled his first hole, Victor had a tiny bluegill. Then another. And another. Then Gabe caught a bass. Then the four fellows across the ice, who had been there for two hours with just two fish to show for their efforts, started paying attention. Grown men don’t mind being outfished by kids, but still ... Before long they had started drilling holes near us.

I had to alter my strategy some, too. After he caught about another six or so small bluegill, I resorted to putting Victor’s ice jig back into the water with no waxworm. Hey, I wanted to fish a little too. But he’s wise to that move now. And generally, when it comes to fishing, he’s just wise overall. He can catch fish. Now he’s got to learn to get his own fish off the hook. Hey, I want to fish a little too.

Fishing was good enough that Victor was ready to leave after just over an hour.

After we left the bite picked up and the Inskeeps wound up with about 30 small fish, including a few crappie and bullheads. We relied on waxworms and small jigs. Pink seemed like the best color, but chartreuse also produced plenty of bites. Fish were biting anywhere from 6 inches to 2 feet off the bottom.

Though the fish may have been tiny (there are about 13 in the bucket in the picture below), it was still a successful morning.

Illinois hunting and fishing


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