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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


A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Illinois hunting and fishing

Monster muskie from Michigan

October 07, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Check out this monster muskie from Michigan. Kyle Anderson of Rapid City, Mich. (left) caught this 50-pound, 8-ounce muskie on Sept. 27 in Torch Lake near Traverse City. Also shown helping to hold the fish is his friend Alex Lafkas.

Anderson’s fish is the new Michigan state record, topping the old mark by 2.5 pounds. Anderson, 30, was fishing before work and landed the fish at 7:50 a.m.

Click here to see more of David Rose’s pictures on the Field & Stream Web site and to learn more about this huge catch.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Story and comments
Illinois hunting and fishing

The Black Knight of Evergreen

June 30, 2009 at 10:31 AM

During the recent muskie recovery effort below the dam at Evergreen Lake, staffers rescued this rather unique fish.

Dubbed The Black Knight by Chef Todd, this nearly black muskellunge was released back into Evergreen Lake. Most observers on hand, nearly all of them long-time muskie anglers, said they had never before seen a toothy critter with this type of coloration.

Park operations supervisor Brad Wood holds the dark-colored muskie prior to its release.

Story and comments

Muskie are biting

May 04, 2009 at 03:12 PM

I have no pictures as proof and no idea what lures were working best. But muskie anglers have been reporting multiple-fish days in the past week.

Two hotspots I’ve heard plenty about lately are Lake Storey and Snakeden Hollow. Snakeden is a bit of a late starter in terms of its muskie, but McMaster Lake appears to be in full swing based on last weekend. Chad Jordan of Elmwood caught four fish, including 47- and 42-inchers.

At Lake Storey Chef Todd missed a big fish that spit his lure (who knows what it was) on Sunday. Only problem was, there were anglers everywhere. “Dude, it was a nightmare. Everywhere I looked people were catching crappie and walleye,” he said.

So I guess last weekend was the prime time to get out. I just didn’t realize the toothy critters would be biting, too.

Story and comments

Netting muskies is hard work

April 02, 2009 at 06:39 PM

Spent the day at Evergreen Lake Wednesday and I learned new respect for fisheries biologists. Hauling fat-bellied musky into a boat all day gets tiring. Impressive, but tiring. Unfortunately, we didn’t net a state record. But we saw some impressive muskie and a few fat saugeye. Here are pictures from the day. Prominent in many of them is the camo-wearing, bearded Chef Todd. Also present was biologist Mike Garthaus, bass angler Loren Peters and lake honcho Mike Steffa.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

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Monster Lac Seul muskie

October 15, 2008 at 11:17 PM

Yes, we have muskies in Illinois. But not like this. Not yet anyway. Check out this video of Neil Michelin’s monster muskie, caught and released Aug. 2 on Lac Seul on a Shumway Flasher. Alderman Clanin brought it to my attention and I had to listen to the whole story, which is worth listening to whether you like muskie or not. The video is up on

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