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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

One fish short of glory

May 19, 2008 at 01:42 PM

If you are a tournament angler, you’ve probably been where I wound up Saturday night: One fish short of glory.

Fishing in the coveted Lake Harold Invitational against nine other teams that included the likes of Whopper, Larry Dozard of Larry’s Fishing and others, partner Gordon Inskeep and I had our hands full.

The fact that I was running the trolling motor on a windy day did not help our cause any, either. Still, we managed to catch bass. Not big bass and not as many as we needed. Because while we brought five bass of 12 inches or longer to the weigh-in, we could have added one more fish to our sack. Had we caught that fish, I could have retired from tournament fishing happy.

As it stands, I’m still hungry. Because our 4.96 pounds (don’t laugh, it was a gin clear lake on a sunny day with wind making finesse fishing tough) ranked just fourth. Sadly, first place went to Harold and Scot Jehle of Elmwood (five bass, 5.26 pounds), owners of the lake. I don’t mind losing to Harold, but if you’ve ever met Scot you’ll know why it was tough to see him win. Again. Enough about that.

Second went to Larry Waughop and Chad Jordan (six bass, 5.1 pounds) and third went to Fred Lantz and Ed Glover (three bass, 5.0 pounds). Both those last two weights are guesses. We had a few beers after the weigh-in and all that matters is they were ahead of us but not ahead of the winning weight.

Oh well. As for the fishing, the best action came on Senkos. I caught nearly all mine on Senkos but did catch one on a blue Paul Clay Mad Willow chatterbait. Inskeep caught his fish on tubes mostly. Ed Glover said the big bass (a 3-pounder) hit on a Senko. Scot Jehle claims he used a spinnerbait to catch 12 of his 13 bass. Not that I believe him.

One more dang fish. Ugh.


  • Feeding cricket frogs.
  • Sorting through files of story ideas to get ready for summer.
  • Watching the rain and smiling, since I had to be inside today anyway and would have hated to see sun shining.
  • Getting ready to go fishing Tuesday and Wednesday. For work, of course.
  • Preparing the house for little Walter’s baptism. You’d think he was the Crown Prince of Elmwood the way we’re working to get ready.



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