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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

Top five Pickwick smallmouth lures

May 13, 2008 at 06:54 AM

Roger Stegall has caught thousands of smallmouth bass out of Pickwick Lake and he’s probably used hundreds of different lures.

Here are the top five smallmouth lures for Pickwick Lake in the arsenal of Stegall, the well-known smallmouth bass guide. Illinois Outdoors

SPINNERBAIT: A large three-quarter ounce spinnerbait with No. 5 blades. Best for February and March and fishing ledges in the summer.
TUBE JIG: Usually a 3.5-inch Pro Model Strike King jig, with green pumpkin the top color and chartreuse used for dingy water.
JERKBAIT: Wild Shiner and others.
CRANKBAIT: Series 3 or Series 5 Strike King crankbaits
CAROLINA RIG: “The old ball and chain is what we call it,” Stegall said. He uses the Carolina rig throughout the summer to catch fish on gravel bars and deeper ledges. Stegall uses a 6.5-foot leader, which is longer than most. “If you’re going to use a real short leader, I figure you might as well use a Texas rig,” he said. He also prefers a fast-retrieve reel (7 to 1 gear ratio) to retrieve slack line fast.

HONORABLE MENTION: Shaky head worms and football head jigs (with Rage Tail trailers). Also, after a few hours of using a Shad-A-Licious swim bait, Stegall had become enamored of the soft plastic bait (which caught the 4.5-pounder shown at right).

On another note, the video we promised in Sunday’s paper is done, but due to uploading problems has been delayed. At some point we will post the video of Roger Stegall and Pickwick Lake. If you take time to watch the video, you’ll notice a fellow catching largemouth bass throughout. That is Darrell Moon of Corinth, Miss., one of Stegall’s guides.


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