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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

Wild Things 4-26-09

April 26, 2009 at 06:41 AM


Weight in pounds of the new Lake Shelbyville record bass caught last Sunday by guide Chuck Ditto.

Deer deadline nears

Firearm deer hunters are reminded that the deadline to apply for the first lottery for permits is Thursday. To apply visit or visit to print off a permit application.

Striper record nearby

Biologists have shocked up another record fish in central Illinois, this one a fat-bellied hybrid striped bass at Spring Lake near Macomb. Earlier last week Dr. Tim Spier of Western Illinois shocked a fat fish that weighed 22 pounds, 8 ounces.

That would top the state record 20-pound, 0.32-ounce fish caught at Lake of Egypt by David Gjelsvik on June 20, 1993. That fish was 33.7 inches long and had a girth of 24 inches.

Then on Wednesday the Department of Natural Resources netted five hybrid stripers weighing between 10-14 pounds at Spring Lake, otherwise known mostly for its catfish and stunted crappie. If you make the trip to the McDonough County lake, consider fishing around the dam, where most of the stripers tend to congregate.

Monster muskie

Hard though it may be to fathom, Wisconsin anglers are favoring a 54-inch minimum length limit for muskie to be caught and kept from the waters of Green Bay and the lower Fox River. The current limits is 50 inches.

Deer scoring manual

The Boone and Crockett Club has published an updated edition of its official scoring manual for 38 categoried of big game in North America. The book sells for $29.95. Visit or call 1-888-840-4868.

Did you know?

The greatest number of fishing trips in Illinois are spent seeking largemouth bass (25 percent), catfish (17), crappie (15) and sunfish (11).

Muskie at McMaster

A review of muskie creel surveys from 1987 to 2008 shows McMaster Lake in Snakeden Hollow SFWA as the most productive lake in the state in terms of muskies over 36 inches captured per acre. That’s one of several facts unveiled by Illini Muskies Alliance head Ray Thompson. Incidentally, Evergreen Lake ranks eighth in terms of productivity list.

The top three bodies of water overall for muskies reported from 1987-2008 are: Kinkaid Lake — 21 percent, Fox Chain O’ Lakes — 19 percent, Lake Shelbyville — 16 percent.

Kudos corner

By scoring 275 of a possible 300 points, Adam Schmillen of Metamora was the top shooter in the junior high division at the National Archery in the Schools Program state tournament held in Springfield. Schmillen is an eighth-grader at St. Mary’s School and has qualified for the National Archery Tournament May 8-9 in Louisville, Ky.


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