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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

August 2: Picture of the Day

August 02, 2010 at 10:22 AM

The top-water bait still has not come together for me.

After a long time off the water, I ventured out again this morning with fishing buddy Gordon Inskeep. And while I caught one small bass on a buzz bait, the top-water action was not very good. The most excitement I had was when a big bullfrog came after one of my scum frogs as I fished it through the slop.

Inskeep, meanwhile, did best on a swim jig and briefly had a big fish on.

We caught a few. But overall it was pretty slow.

Then again, I’m happy this snake didn’t take a whack at my top-water. That’s one buzz bait I would have had to cut off.

Funny thing about this snake. We started fishing at 5 a.m. and at about 5:20, Inskeep pointed to what looked like a very small muskrat swimming across the deep strip-mine lake we fished.

Later, shortly before we left, we saw the same small muskrat. But closer inspection revealed it was this water snake.

Why a snake would need to cross a lake twice in one day is beyond me. Thank goodness he didn’t mind having his picture taken. Had the snake attempted to enter our boat, the camera might have wound up at the bottom of the lake.


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