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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

Powerton plant, fishing on line

January 09, 2008 at 10:08 PM

Illinois Outdoors

The ice is gone on area lakes and ponds in central Illinois and Powerton Lake southwest of Pekin is once again going to become an attraction for local anglers. That’s even more true now since the power plant is up and running again, after having been down for repairs recently (and allowing the lake to freeze over uncharacteristically). With the plant operating, water warming and current pumping out, fishing will only get better.

But today the draw was obviously not all that strong. There were just five anglers out at Powerton today when I showed up shortly after the gates opened at 8 a.m. That one of those anglers left by 10:15 a.m. with a bucket half full of plump bluegill shows you there are some fish to be caught. I also saw Steve Wilhelm of Pekin catch a smallmouth bass (shown above in the act) and a yellow bass.

The big news so far this winter have been blue catfish, though. And shortly before I reached the hot-water ditch, David Blank of Springfield caught an 18-pounder. Blank fishes Powerton a few times each winter for big cats and has even devised his own heavy sinker designed to keep his bait from drifting back to shore. This thing looks like some medieval torture device. Blank swears the prongs on the side come off the rocks easily. Good luck finding something like this in store.

Illinois Outdoors

I’ll have much more on Powerton with a story and video showing up on Prairie State this Sunday. So stay tuned.


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