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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

Crappie moving shallower, biting

September 16, 2008 at 10:43 PM

The final stop provided the news for this morning. After fishing three strip-mine lakes this morning, Chef Todd and I made a stop at a fourth lake. Which is why I am writing this blog. Because in six casts I caught six crappie. All of them were at the end of the dock, just waiting for the jig and waxworm to fall when they inhaled the lure and bait. All were 10-12 inches. All would have been keepers had I been keeping fish. As it was, we were in a hurry to leave and I had no intentions of keeping fish.

But the week is not over. The crappie can only get more cooperative. Fall patterns are still coming. That means for those who have not yet hung up the rods and reels, now is a good time to get back out.

And don’t be slowed by the recent rains. The strip mines we fished today were in excellent condition. Sure the water was higher, but it was not dirty. We did see some high-banked mine lakes that looked dirty. But the smaller, older, more protected lakes should offer good water and good fishing. Between the Chef and I we caught several bass, with the largest going 3 pounds (on a shaky head worm). Chatterbaits, crankbaits, top-waters and shaky-head worms all yielded fish.

Even so, the news of the day for me was the crappie.


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