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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

Ice fishing stunk today

January 12, 2010 at 04:39 PM

The good news today was that I had 40 pounds of cat litter in the back of the truck. Thanks to the cat litter, Gordon Inskeep and I were able to navigate my truck out of a snow drift that I drove into as we left a lake we had ice fished.

The bad news was that was about the highlight of the day in terms of excitement.

Bites were few and far between today in 3 1/2 hours of ice fishing at three different {Peoria County lakes.

The first was a smaller lake near a sod farm. We caught several small (tiny) bluegill and Gordon hooked into one small bass. When nothing big materialized we headed for another, larger lake. Action was actually slower. I caught the 13-inch bass pictured above. Gordon had a big fish that he lost. That was it.

Then we headed for one last small pond, caught a bass and left.

Yes, we were fishing in the afternoon. Yes we had to leave before the prime time just before sunset. No, I still don’t have a Vexilar and I still don’t have a jug of homemade wine (which, by the way, is illegal at Emiquon so don’t try bringing it out there).

Even so, it seems we should have caught more fish on such a sunny, warm, gorgeous day. Right now I am a bit frustrated with ice fishing so far. And I need to buy some more cat litter.

But we’re going to try a few more lakes Wednesday afternoon along with a Journal Star video crew. Let’s hope the fish are more cooperative tomorrow.


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