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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 6-22-08

June 22, 2008 at 03:38 AM


Illinois’ rank among U.S. states in terms of total fishing days by anglers in 2006.

Record bighead carp

Illinois has another state record fish reported this spring. The latest is a 64-pound bighead carp caught out of Horseshoe Lake near Granite City by Bryan Short of O’Fallon on June 14.

Short was fishing a deep-diving, shad-pattern crankbait on 12-pound test line when he hooked up with the huge carp. The fish easily bettered the current record of 47 pounds, 12 ounces out of the Big Muddy River from May 20, 2005.

Biologists believe the carp may have migrated into Horseshoe Lake from the Mississippi River during the flood of 1993. The question after this year’s floods is where else will we see invasive Asian carp show up?

BASS tourney flooded

Another cost of this year’s Mississippi River flood is national exposure for the bass fishery in Pool 19.
The Bassmaster Elite Series was scheduled to make its first stop on the Mississippi this Thursday through next Sunday out of Fort Madison, Iowa. That meant
Kevin Van Dam
and the gang were going to be be fishing within a few hours of Peoria.
But flooding forced BASS to move the event to Old Hickory Lake in Tennessee.

Pros visit Evergreen

While top bass pros won’t be visiting the Mississippi River, some familiar fishermen did wet a line at Evergreen Lake last week.

Denny Brauer
Mark Davis
Gary Klein
Mike McClelland
were among a group of bass pros who fished a bragging-rights tourney at Evergreen last Tuesday.
They were in town working with the Web site, whose staff includes
Terry Brown
of Bloomington. Brown topped the elite field with five bass weighing nearly 15 pounds caught on a jig and plastic worm.
‘I was fishing deep, 18-20 feet, and had a limit in 15 minutes,’ Brown said. ‘There are big fish in that lake.’

Busy weekend ahead

Two area festivals should keep outdoors enthusiasts busy next weekend.
In Havana Friday through next Sunday is the Catfish Festival, featuring hunting and fishing vendors, cooking contests, live music, a catfish tournament Saturday (309-543-4156 or 543-6580) and waterfowl calling contests next Sunday, June 29 (309-543-6508).
Also Friday and Saturday is the Jeremiah Sportsmen’s Expo at Normal Community High School and Eastview Christian Church.
Jimmy Houston
headlines the $20 shows with comedian
Brad Stine
Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The expo ($5) features 100 outdoors exhibitors, rock climbing and seminars. There’s also a prayer breakfast Saturday. Visit or call (309) 454-4256.

Tip of the week

Anyone planning a trip to Lake Shelbyville should be aware the lake level is very high and will remain high for much of July. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says lake levels should drop to 610 feet by July 24 — still almost 11 feet above normal summer pool. As a result, beaches and some boat ramps are closed. For a daily report, call (217) 774-2020.

This ‘n that

Several possible instructors emerged to run the Urban Fishing Program at Peoria’s Glen Oak Lagoon. Interviews are set for this week and programs could start in early July. .?.?. Rend Lake and Lake Shelbyville are the top two candidates for the first Illinois high school bass fishing state championship to be held May 8-9, 2009. .?.?. As part of a cost-saving measure,  only two fields of sunflowers were planted for dove hunting at Banner Marsh and Double T. That’s half the usual number of fields.


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