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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

There are still big bass at Banner

October 20, 2008 at 02:23 PM

No matter what you hear, there are still big bass at Banner Marsh. Despite tons of tournament pressure and plenty of meat-angler pressure, Banner still turns out nice bass like the 21-inch, 5.5-pounder hoisted above by Bryan Estes of Tremont. While Estes has hooked some big bass in his day, this fish came on an electrofishing survey with staff photographer Flathead at Johnson Lake (accessed via the Main Access). And yes, this is Flathead’s Picture of the Week. Any day now he’s going to quit for the fall and start deer hunting, so we’d better savor these photos while we can. We like to call Flathead the Ansel Adams of fish biologists (as you might guess from that, most fish biologists don’t take pictures).

Anyway, Flathead writes: “This fish was collected by night electrofishing during the annual IDNR fall fish survey. The fall electrofishing surveys are completed at night to dramatically improve the collection of sportfish in the clear water with high mineral content. This particular bass also had a very unique tail. It appears the tail was split earlier in its life, and grew back with a curl toward the rest of the tail fin. As you can see from the picture, the “curled tail bass” was not having any trouble catching its next meal!”

Illinois hunting and fishing

Overall Flathead said there appear to be plenty of fish just under 18 inches. Hmmm. Wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that anglers can keep anything longer than 18 inches? Not everyone practices catch and release, and that’s OK. Just worth noting.


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