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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

Ever seen a grass pike before?

November 04, 2008 at 08:36 PM

Flathead is sure getting into this photography stuff. Now he’s even got a fish tank set up to take pictures. Here is the result, the latest Flathead’s Picture of the Week.

This entry is of a Grass Pickerel (Esox americanus). Writes Flathead:

“It is the very small family member of the Northern Pike and Muskie. A very big grass pike would be 12 inches long. The grass pike is still common in Illinois, but confined to quiet pools of streams with aquatic vegetation and clear water. The grass pike still exists in North Spring Lake, even though the muskie population enjoys eating them.”

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I’ve caught grassy pickerel out of a small pond in southern Missouri we camp at.  I never put much thought to it, so I didn’t realize that 12” is very big…I’m sure I’ve them close to that length, 10” at a minimum.  As far as I can tell the pickerel are the big dogs in that pond, there are not even any bass to speak of.  That would explain why they can get big there. Normally i fish for blue gill, but maybe next year I’ll focus on catching a monster pickerel!

The pond is cold, very clear with plenty of cabbage and is fed by a spring and stream…just like Flathead said.  Guess I’ll have to start taking him seriously smile

It may not seem like much to most, but this post got me excited.

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