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.

Illinois Outdoors
 

Scattershooting

A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Bass slow, but spring is here

March 19, 2008 at 03:49 PM

Spring is here. Not technically, since that happens Thursday. But trust me, spring is here.

On the way to go fishing today Gordon Inskeep and I saw flocks of robins. Not a few birds, entire flocks, feeding through Knox County strip mine land on their way to places north. While on the water we saw muskrats, a big beaver on shore and a pair of Illinois OutdoorsCanada geese getting set to nest. We heard frogs singing nearby. Unfortunately, the only part of a fine spring day we didn’t encounter was excellent bass fishing.

Oh, we managed to catch two small fish—both on a Strike King Red Eye Shad. Nothing else yielded bass: not a Rogue, not a Chatterbait, not tubes, not a black and blue jig, not Senkos and not salt craws. The strip mine we fished is not exactly loaded with big numbers of bass. But there are several large fish, including the two biggest fish I’ve caught (5- and 6-pounders, both released). So on a good day, you don’t expect to wear yourself out. On a chilly pre-spring day, two bass is better than nothing.

Besides it was good merely to get out this afternoon to fish a little and catch a little and to see a lot.

Spring is here. The critters know it. Now it’s time for Mother Nature to convince the bass the same thing.

WORKING ON:
Getting ready to speak tonight at 7 p.m. at the Pekin Public Library. Topic is fishing in Illinois. I’ll have free samples so come on out.

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