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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

Recalling ‘paralyzed pencil jigs’

February 16, 2008 at 03:32 PM

Back in the day when I was still a young cuss in Decatur, one of my jobs at the Herald & Review newspaper was to compile the weekly fishing report. Being lazy, I used to enlist the help of some of our part-timers to make the fish calls.

That was not always a good idea. One of our clerks, Creston “C Note” Watters (a rapper by trade who picked up a few extra dollars by answering phones at the Herald & Review), filled in now and then. C Note was a fine clerk, but often had difficulty understanding one of our fishing guides. That was Walter Lee Watts, a Lake Shelbyville crappie catching legend who still speaks with a hint of a Cajun accent (and calls himself “an old coon-ass).

Anyway, Walter loved to fish with Bob Folder’s jigs. Not just any jigs, either. “Crappie are biting on pearlized tinsel jigs,” Walter said, probably 43,000 times.

Well, one week C Note did the fishing report and managed to type in that “Crappie are biting on paralyzed pencil jigs.”

(I just googled Creston Watters and found he was working as DJ C Note as of 2007 at WFUN-FM, a St. Louis hip-hop station.)

Why mention this? My old running mate Les Winkeler wrote a column on Friday about Bob Folder of Springfield, who is still in business and traveling across Illinois. Click here to read Winkeler’s column.

Here’s a small excerpt:

“I used to do a lot more shows, maybe about one every weekend,” Folder said. “We’d do three solid months. That’s enough for anybody.”

And, how many lures has Folder sold over the years? He has no idea. He wouldn’t even hazard a guess.

“We will do a million in three months, and that’s no exaggeration,” he said.

That’s a lot of “paralyzed pencil jigs.”



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