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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

Wild Things 01-03-10

January 03, 2010 at 01:43 AM

Dreaming of summer

Frigid cold weather is a good time to start planning for summer fishing trips, like the one enjoyed by the Sutter family during a fly-in trip to Ontario, Canada in June of 2008.

Pictured above are Jonathan Sutter of Germantown Hills and son Joel, 11, who combined with oldest son Jesse, 15, to catch and release this 42.5-inch pike that hit a 1/16th-ounce jig. The Sutters fought the pike for 45 minutes on ultra-light spinning gear with no leader.

“My reel was shot, the line was fried and we each took turns fighting the fish, chasing it with the boat to avoid being spooled and passing the rod around the boat to avoid having the line caught on the boat as the fish dove under the boat,” the elder Sutter wrote. “It was an epic battle.”

Nowadays many anglers rely on the Internet to line up remote trips. But when it comes to traveling north of the border, the best option to meet guides and learn more is the All-Canada show.

From Friday through Sunday the All-Canada show visits the St. Charles Convention Center near St. Louis. From Jan. 14-17 to the show is at Pheasant Run in St. Charles, Ill. Visit to learn more.

Did you know?

More than 5,000 species of freshwater fish have been discovered in the past 30 years according to the International Game Fish Association.

Fee increases ahead

Anglers and hunters are reminded that the Department of Natural Resources is increasing the cost of licenses in Illinois for this year.

The cost of a resident fishing license will climb to $14.50 from $12.50. Deer permits, which have sold for $15 each in recent years, will now sell for $25. Hunting licenses go from $7 to $12. The DNR hopes to generate an additional $3 million with the increases.

There is no word yet on proposed state park entry fees.


Cost in dollars for a resident fishing license in Wisconsin.

Hall of Famers

Regular Journal Star fishing report correspondent Al Hayden of Galesburg is one of four named to the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame. Also tabbed for the March 13 banquet at Pheasant Run in St. Charles were John “Jack” Jaydel of Wilmette, Denny Sands of Shabbona and Mary Jo Trimble of Carterville.

Hayden was honored for his work promoting the outdoors, in particular for his many years of involvement in youth events.

For banquet information visit or call (217) 785-2003.

Critter corner

In the wilds of Illinois in January ...
Squirrels, beaver, opossums, coyotes and foxes mate.
Bald eagles roost and feed along the major rivers in Illinois.
White-tailed deer bucks begin to lose antlers.
Red-tailed hawks perched along highways looking for field mice.
Wild turkeys split into flocks of hens, gobblers and juvenile gobblers.

This ‘n that

On Monday the DNR will start accepting mailed reservations for campsites, cabins, group campsites and picnic shelters. Phone or in-person reservations can be made starting Feb. 1.

... Scooter Lenover of Eureka had the biggest flathead catfish caught at South Carolina’s Santee Cooper Lake in 2009, a 40-pound, 8-ounce fish that hit on gizzard shad.

... The Chicago Tribune has added Don Dziedzina has an outdoor writer, filling a position that had remained absent for several years.


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