Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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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
 

Scattershooting

A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Wild Things 2-15-09

February 15, 2009 at 01:57 AM

44

Hours per week on average that American children spend in front of an electronic screen: TV, video game or computer.

Muskie time at Spring

Guide Dan Vinovich of Pekin (pictured above with a 38-inch muskie) started the 2009 open-water fishing season at Spring Lake in style last Tuesday. Vinovich and Chuck Hart of Morton caught six muskies up to 38 inches long in five hours of fishing.

Action was much slower for the rest of last week, as strong south winds stirred up the lake. “We had six inches of visibility on Thursday so I cancelled my Friday guide trips,” Vinovich said.

Even so, when sediment settles out, Spring Lake will again be a prime destination for anyone interested in hooking a hungry toothy critter.

Lead sinker ban?

One downside to the end of political gridlock in Springfield is legislators returning to work. Consider the bill introduced by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) that would create the Lead Sinker Act.

Her Senate Bill 1269 would end the sale or distribution of lead sinkers and lead jigs in Illinois. The bill would also prohibit using lead sinkers or jigs in water over which the Department of Natural
Resources has jurisdiction.

While a lead-ban has been anticipated, most thought restrictions would be eased in over time. Not so this far-reaching bill. Stay tuned.

Did you know?

While U.S. boat sales were down 28 percent overall last year, outboard sportfishing boat sales were particularly hard hit — plummeting 40 percent according to the Bellweather Report from Info-Link Technologies.

Tip of the week

Powerton Lake opens to boats today from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For those who haven’t fished Powerton yet this winter, you may be pleasantly surprised to encounter numbers of what appear to be white bass. Those are most likely hybrid striped bass, which the state stocked last June. Anglers can keep 10 stripers or white bass per day with only three over 17 inches.

Wild on the Web

Southwick Associates’ annual survey on anglersurvey.com showed the following brands as most popular among fishermen: rod — Shakespeare Ugly Stik; reel — Shimano; fly rod — Sage; fishing line — Berkley (Trilene, Fireline, Big Game or Vanish); hardbait — Rapala; softbait — Zoom; spinnerbait — Strike King; sinker — Bullet Weights; GPS — Lowrance; tackle box — Plano; fishing knife — Rapala.

Kudos corner

The National Wild Turkey Federation has awarded the Western Illinois Longspurs chapter from Galesburg an outstanding chapter award. In its 15 banquets, the Western Illinois Longspurs chapter has netted $201,163, has generated 2,605 NWTF members and 933 jake members.

This ‘n that

Red-winged blackbirds started showing up across the state on Thursday.

... Tickets are still available for the Illinois Conservation Foundation’s banquet Feb. 28 at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles. Bill Guerrini of Spring Valley is one of this year’s inductees. Call (217) 785-2003.

... New research in the journal Science shows songbirds can migrate more than 300 miles per day.

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