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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

Booner panfish, but not many

August 04, 2009 at 03:52 PM

Any plans of an early day of fishing were scuttled by a big storm this morning. But after the rain and wind blew over, my buddy Springer and I got out in hopes of catching enough panfish for a fish fry, along with a few bass.

Actually, it was a working trip, since we were discussing his new Web log, Cockleburs, which will soon join the roster of fine offerings on Prairie State So the storm allowed us to map out his plans over a leisurely breakfast. Springer is mainly an upland game hunter, but he also enjoys good working dogs and he really likes guns. We don’t have those three niches covered here at, so I think it will be a good fit. Look for his blog to start sometime early next week, maybe sooner if the fishing remains this slow.

Unfortunately, the fishing Tuesday left a little too much time to talk business. Despite overcast skies and a good Peoria County location, fishing was tough.

Springer caught some nice bass on a Senko, but not the numbers this place usually produces. And while I caught several bluegill on nightcrawler bits, most were small. I did manage to scratch out a 10-inch redear and three 9 3/4-inch bluegills (two of which are pictured above with me in a bad pose). Those are Boone and Crockett panfish, as Chef Todd would say. But they did not make for much of a fish fry.

This makes two outings in a row with slow bass fishing. Gordon Inskeep and I fished the same lake Monday night and did not catch many fish on top-waters or soft plastics. I think the fish are hanging back in 8-12 feet of water. That’s where we caught our best fish of any species. Not as easy to fish that depth, but might be what is required right now.

NOTABLE: I’m headed to the Illinois River to try to shoot some carp with Jon Sarver and Bill Ludolph, who have started a guide business out of Chillicothe. They have a pontoon boat rigged up with netting so they can shoot safely at night.


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