Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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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.

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Scattershooting

A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Illinois Outdoors

No muskie at Shelbyville

December 19, 2007 at 10:22 PM

Normally this time of year, we could have expected to see at least one fish caught today.

But in a morning of fishing at the Lake Shelbyville spillway today, we saw nothing. None of our group caught a fish and nor did the other seven anglers who showed up at the most reliable muskie-producing spot in Illinois.

In fact, that makes three days with no known muskie catches in the Shelbyville discharge, the most angler-friendly spillway I’ve ever seen.

Chef Todd, Todd “Alderman” Clanin of Washington, Randy Kakara of Streator and Mike Cooper of Washington all fished the spillway from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. with no luck. We saw a few fish surface and slash at bait, but none took a lure.

“Usually you come here thinking you’re going to catch a fish,” said Clanin, who has hooked up to seven toothy rascals in one day below the Shelbyville dam.

Not this time around. But at least we’re not alone. Guide Steve Welch spent all day Monday in the spillway and wound up with no fish either.

Still, that’s atypical. Normally this time of year muskie are biting in the spillway. More typical is last Saturday, when cloudy skies helped anglers rack up more than 15 muskie from the spillway. Nine of those went to Ryan Jozwiak of Dalton City.

I’ll have much more on the muskie fishing in the spillway and our outing in Sunday’s Journal Star newspaper.

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