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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

A beautiful, bassy afternoon

April 02, 2008 at 04:11 PM

Illinois Outdoors

When we first arrived, the wind was gusting and the air was chilly. So my son Victor and I bundled up. But by the time we left the strip mines this afternoon, the sun was shining and the bass were biting well. If only Vic, 5, hadn’t fallen in a lake we might have stayed longer. But wet feet, pants and socks are no fun for a little guy, so we had to be content with six bass—the biggest of which was 19 inches, had a fat gut and had to weigh a solid 3 pounds.

I caught four fish out of a shallow basin attached to a large, deep strip-mine lake. Fish seemed to be relating to a ledge that sticks out into this basin, which already has plenty of green vegetation. The biggest bass, though, came from a shallower pothole lake near the strip mine. I was using a hybrid chatterbait to catch the two biggest bass. The bait has a willow-leaf spinnerbait blade below the hook and jig head. It’s a custom-made bait by Paul Clay of Chillicothe I’m doing a story on for next Sunday (April 13). So check back later for more information on the lure. In the mean time, here’s the big fish of the day. Not a bad picture by a 5-year-old, huh.

Illinois Outdoors


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