Wild Things: Everything's bigger in Texas -- even the bass

Jeff Lampe


11-6 -- Weight in pounds and ounces of a walleye caught April 4 on the Rock River below the dam at Oregon.

Bass record smashed

Feeling good about your latest bass tournament? Ponder this. Last weekend Paul Elias of Laurel, Miss., finished a four-day BASS tournament at Falcon Lake in Texas with a record 132 pounds, 8 ounces of bass.

That's an average of better than 6.6 pounds per fish out of the Rio Grande reservoir. "I have never, in 22 years of bass fishing, been on a lake this good," pro Mark Davis said.

Overall six anglers topped the four-day record of 122 pounds, 14 ounces. Hmm. It's time to schedule a business trip to Zapata, Texas.

Additional CRP acres

Parts of Tazewell County are also open for the new Conservation Reserve Program sign-up mentioned in this space last week. NRCS district  conservationist Tim Malone in Pekin said parts of Spring Lake, Sand Prairie and Malone townships are available for the CP-38 program. Contact your local NRCS office for details in your county.

Wild on the Web has added a youth section, a weather page, fishing forums and site search to aid users of the fishing Web site. Site manager Kevin Patton of Washington also plans to offer more prize drawings for fishing photos and fish recipes in 2008.

Birding bits

Beck's Petrel, known only from two specimens collected in the 1920s, has been rediscovered in the western Pacific Ocean. An ornithologist has photographed more than 30 of the birds, including recently fledged juveniles, according to Birder's World.

Gearing up

Every man loves a multi-tool, and when it comes to fishing, I'll admit particular lust for my new Sheffield Angler 17-in-1 Multi Tool.

Time will tell if the tool is as rust-resistant as advertised, but the pliers works well and at just 9 ounces and 4.5 inches when folded, the whole thing tucks nicely into a carrying case that clips onto a belt. Now I'll no longer lament not having a pliers when the kids deep-hook a bluegill.

The tool sells for $26.99 and includes line splicers, a hook sharpener, a filet blade, scissors, a hook remover, a file, wire cutters, an awl, screwdriver heads and a can opener. Might be a good Father's Day option.

You speak

"Wildlife Prairie Park is a doorway to adventure -- trails, exhibits and celebrations of past and present life on the Illinois prairie."

-- Elva Miller, Peoria, winning entry in a 1987 contest to describe Wildlife Prairie Park in 25 words or less

Kudos corner

Yikes. Somehow we forgot to praise photography winners in the annual Outdoor Illinois contest. Local honorees included Journal Star editor Matt Buedel, Tammy Wilkinson of Wyoming, Ray King of Metamora, Ashlee Werkheiser of Kewanee, John E. Weidman of Peoria, April Casey of Putnam and Cathy Parsons of Canton.

This 'n that

Anglers weighed 15 limits of sauger at last weekend's Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League event on the Illinois River. Princeton native Troy Nelson, now of Lombard, won with 11 pounds, 15 ounces. . . . Shimano representative Kyle Danhausen will visit Presley's Outdoors in Bartonville from 4-8 p.m. Friday to discuss Shimano products. . . . A few area bluebird nests now have eggs, but most birds are holding off on laying, says Herb Unkrich of Edwards. . . . Three lakes at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex near Sparta will open to anglers Monday after delays due to wet weather.

Jeff Lampe is the Peoria Journal Star's outdoors columnist. Write to him at 1 News Plaza, Peoria, IL 61643, call (309) 686-3212 or e-mail