The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

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We at Shotem and Caughtem know why we carry so many different baits in our tackle boxes.  One day a certain bait will out shine another.  As such we try and diversify as much as possible with high quality well designed baits that will work with a variety of species.  Berkley has come out with a new Flicker Shad hard plastic bait that will certainly become a main stay in our tackle boxes.  However, just as we began to run out and test it for Berkley they released the news of a new bait we will be excited to try out as well.  

Anglers have trusted the Berkley Flicker Shad since it was introduced. When it comes to catching fish, beginners and professionals still rely on them whenever - and wherever fun or money is on the line. Well, move over Flicker Shad and make some room for the brand new Berkley Flicker Minnow.

Berkley Pro anglers Keith Kavajecz and Gary Parsons have been a part of the bait-development process from the start, creating the Flicker Minnow that adheres to their demanding standards. Though these ultra-competitive professional anglers would rather keep this bait to themselves, the time has come to share the secret with anglers everywhere.

Berkley's Flicker Minnows are tournament proven. Utilizing the same strict development standards from the Flicker Shad, the Berkley team created a line of minnow baits that dive deeper with maximum flash and action. The bait's body design and impressive dive curve gets anglers to the fish quicker.

My hat is off to the Berkley team for interpreting Keith and my thoughts to create this new design, said Gary Parsons. I've never seen a bait outperform other baits like this one, and overall the Flicker Minnow is the most productive crankbait Iíve ever fished!

Constructed with increased internal weight for bullet-like precision casting, the Flicker Minnow has a unique swimming action and flicker that mimics a fleeing baitfish. The body is more elongated than its cousin the Flicker Shad, and is available in 12 pro-selected colors. The larger bill with a steep pitch creates a deeper retrieve than other baits.

The Size 7 (2.75 inches) Flicker Minnow can be trolled in the 14- to 17 -foot depth range, depending on line choice and speed, with a dive curve that is unmatched by similar minnow baits. The bait is also castable, especially when paired with Berkley NanoFil. The Size 9 (3.5 inches) model can easily reach the 18 to 23-foot zone (Precision Trolling at 100í back with XT and Fireline) when cranked while both sizes of the Flicker Minnow feature a big, aggressive roll when retrieved or trolled.

The Size 7 model has a casting weight of 1/4 ounce while the Size 9 Flicker Minnow has a casting weight of 1/3 ounce, with both models featuring an internal rattle as well as Mustad Ultra-Point treble hooks. The Flicker Minnow is tank and tourney tested, giving anglers the confidence of knowing that the baits are tuned with precision.

Name: Berkley Flicker Minnow
Length: Size 7 -- 2.75 inches; Size 9 -- 3.5 inches
Weight: Size 7 (1/4 ounce); Size 9 (1/3 ounce)
Colors: Black Silver, Chartreuse Pearl, Firetiger, Pearl White, Pink Lemonade, Prime Time, Purple Flash, Racy Shad, Slick Alewife, Slick Firetiger, Slick Green Pearl and Slick Mouse.

MSRP: $5.95

We at Shotem and Caughtem can think of no better celebration to up hold in our passion than Earth Day.  Without our continued support of the hunting and fishing industry our environment and the animals we have the passion to dedicate our time to would not exist.  Hunters and fisherman and women spend much of there off seasons making sure they provide a habitat capable of creating the trophies we hope to one day have the chance to hold in our hands.  

As such we thought we might share some great ways to celebrate earth day and once again talk about how we are our best advocates for just how well we labor to feed our passion.  Small ponds can become unbalanced with the wrong amounts of different fish species.  Too many predators and not enough bait fish and you will find that growth begins to be stunted.  Small antlered deer can continue to reproduce and create an imbalance as well as not be the breed type that will promote the species.

But one of the largest ways we help out passion is through our creation and honing of our habitats.  People who have the land, lakes and passion spend countless hours perfecting the ground we hold dear.  Planting of specific crops, planting of trees for cover, creating brush for fish to spawn and survive around, all these things not only celebrate Earth Day but help promote it's core beliefs.

So we honor our members and supporters for helping us to promote Mother Nature and all she provides!  Here's to you and the future of what is in our blood and our passion.

We at Shotem and Caughtem needed a little time in the great outdoors this weekend after spending some quality time with the family.  Nothing can be more frustrating yet calming than sitting waiting to here that most coveted sound than the spring gobble of the Turkey.  We wanted to let you know what the birds seem to be doing so that you might have a more successful spring hunt.

So far it seems from the Turkey movements, getting the big dominant birds to break from the large crowds of hens they are still running with, positioning in the field will be crucial to success.  We were throwing a ton of different calls and tactics and all we seemed to lure to our separate spots were inexperienced Jakes.  Traffic in our area was very good.  As a matter of fact just driving around it seems like there are more birds in our area than years past.  We are sure that the drought has definitely had its effects but in certain spots the birds seem to be thriving.  Most of what we found in our birds was a combination of corn from the feeders that are on the property and wheat.  The only depressing thing we noticed were with the birds still henned up there were not a lot of vocal birds around.  We can not wait to get back in the field and listen to them taught one another.

Let us know how things are doing in your area in the comment section below.  We hope that you will help others to have a successful visit in the field when they take their first adventure into the outdoors for Turkey season.  

We at Shotem and Caughtem love this time of year.  Though the climate has been working against us recently with massive temperature swings our favorite time of year is here.  The turkey's are beginning to become a prime target as well as the pre spawn for fishing.  As such we felt it was once again a good time to share what we need from you are members and what we are doing to help make Shotem and Caughtem better.

First let us talk about what we have in store for you, this our second year, as a website.  The most exciting thing for us is that we took your comments to heart and have emptied out our penny jars and began work on an app for both the android and iphone.  We hope to release as soon as we can but it is out of our hands right now.  This will allow our members to more easily access all Shotem and Caughtem has to offer direct from all devices with ease.  Second, we are excited that we have hooked up with some great manufacturers to help bring you our opinions on some great new products from suppliers such as Weston Products, Anglers Choice, Berkley fishing, Stack-On Products and Bering Optics.  We are actively seaking out more and more suppliers to review and any suggestions of what we can do to expand your experience with the website are always reviewed in any comments you our members send or spend the time to write in our comment section or emails.  

Most of what we need from you our members is your activity.  The more active you are on he website the easier it is for us and you to attract more people and more interaction.  As you set up your own groups, tag other members in your picture posts and share your experiences to the discussion boards and ask questions the website will grow and bring more and more people to the fold.  As the website accrues more vital information to our passion the more relevant you and we will become in this industry.   We are still trying to launch the Shotem and Caughtem of the month but have been lacking in those who want to be apart of excitement.  You will also notice the points section above your profile.  We will use these stats to help us identify those who want this site to grow and we will reward your efforts with awesome prizes.  The more you help us grow at Shotem and Caughtem the faster we can focus all our efforts on the site itself and begin to pull away from other social networks, which we are using to draw members.  

Have a blog you want to bounce off of Shotem and Caughtem?  That is why we are here.  To help share all we experience in the great outdoors.  We all can not sit behind a computer when the outdoors is constantly drawing us away.  We try to do as much as we can but we are nothing unless we are able to share this burden with you are members.  

Let us know how we can help you in the comment section below.  Continue to do all you have already done for this site in the first year and help us make our second year even bigger.  Thank you from all of us at Shotem and Caughtem for all your help and efforts.

We at Shotem and Caughtem have been waiting for turkey season.  Across much of the United States the season is here or will be here shortly.  As such we took a look at the weather to see how conditions might be for our opening weekend.  We were a little surprised that though tomorrow is going to be gorgeous across most of the area that sunday would bring a grab bag of different weather.  Some look to be cloudy and windy, some will have rain and some might even see a bit of snow.  So how does this effect the turkeys that seem to be on the move and starting to spread out from their winter packs?

Turkeys can be called in all types of weather, but certain conditions are more challenging. In windy weather it will be hard for the gobbler to hear and hard for you to hear him. You should used a higher-pitched call with more volume, like a pan friction call. During windy weather turkeys will tend to move to open fields where they can make better use of their two main lines of defense--their eyes and ears.

In rainy weather a turkey's lines of defense are also reduced due to the lowered visibility and heightened surrounding noise level. Turkeys will again move to more open areas and a higher volume call will be needed to cut through the noise created by rain. In addition, a rain-soaked turkey requires a longer runway in order to get airborne and escape predators. This will also drive turkeys into more open areas. You may find that gobblers and hens spend more time on the roost during a rain because they are reluctant to leave the security of a protected tree.

Snow is a third weather condition affecting some spring turkey hunters. Snow and cold can make turkeys very quiet so they could come to a call without gobbling. If possible, hunt mid-day because the snow may mean that gobblers leave the roost later. Finally, hunt south-facing slopes, which will receive the most sun and will be the warmest areas. These areas may also be the first to lose their snow cover, attracting birds looking for food.

 

We at Shotem and Caughtem have been busy little bees.  With spring quickly approaching our need to be outdoors has been great.  Due to these reasons we have not spent much time (our apologies) keeping you a breast of what is happening around the world in the hunting and fishing industry.  So we decided to see what had been written recently around the inter web.  We felt what a great way to start a debate than finding this article about the hunter turned away from the industry because of shooters.  To read the whole article before a short intro to it below and our thoughts check out http://www.spokesman.com/outdoors/stories/2014/apr/03/guest-column-shooters-spoiling-the-sport-of/ 

Here is a brief intro to the article:

Hunting got some scrutiny in this newspaper at last. Washington State has lost more than 16,000 hunters in the last five years, Thomas Clouse noted. On the same page, Rich Landers lamented that we fail to “curb poaching problem.”

Ethical hunters driven from the field by shooters make the two stories converge.

My distinction here, between hunters and shooters, rests on the reverence extended toward game animals and birds. True hunters, indigenous or otherwise, honor prey in various ways. They obey state laws, care for the meat, enhance habitats, and maybe even mumble a prayer.

Shooters, though, they care more about rocking the world off its axis with the firepower they wield.

Environmentalist and author Aldo Leopold characterized the shooter’s impulse as “trigger itch,” a simple craving to blast away. Leopold regretted his trigger itch when he shot a wolf with pups and watched the “fierce green fire” die in her eyes. His honesty endeared him to millions of readers since his “Sand County Almanac” came out in 1949.

To make a full disclosure, I am a born-again non-hunter. I swung guns and drew a lethal bead for thirty years. Finally, though, my heart began to grate and brim over with tender empathy for the dead.

During my spell as a hunter, game habitats shriveled and crashed, an upshot of the human population’s pressures in Washington State where I came of age. I felt my pastime added to the wreckage of sensitive and dwindling species, as shooting had for dodos, bison, passenger pigeons, prairie chickens, sharptail grouse, sage grouse, and so on. But the greatest turnoff came from run-amok shooters.

Shooters deploying technology irresponsibly change the stakes of fair chase. At the same time when wildlife officials are desperate for ways to curtail poachers and their impact on wildlife, manufacturers are enhancing the chances that shooters might score in the great outdoors no matter how unfairly.

Here are just a couple of things we would like to point out that might help bring the author back into the fold.  Hunting and Fishing promotes conservation at its core.  Through the purchasing of tags, licenses and related gear we support an industry that protects what drives us outdoors.  Money is used by these industries to protect wildlife, fuel habitat efforts, reintroduce animals to areas that have lost them, and on and on.  Half the reason the wolf, cougar, bison, elk, antelope and the list continues have began to come back in parts of the United States is through the Wildlife and Parks departments and different non-profit organizations based on different species.  These organizations would not have the means nor the funds without the money we as hunters and fisherman/woman spend.

Many of the reasons the hunt has been burned by shooters we believe is due partly from the lack of access.  More and more land has been taken over by our cities, farming and ranching efforts.  Add into the fact that hunting properties that use to be accessible through relationships have now become cash cows for those doing guided hunts or leasing their ground for an insane amount of money to those hunters from out of state.  

Most of all we want to hear our members comments in the section below so that we can help spread the word.  It is part of the reason we started Shotem and Caughtem.  We want to provide a large community the opportunity and the ability to speak as a whole.  Our mission is to hopefully build a base that gives us the means to continue and support all these great organizations.  So continue to help us build a thriving community of those who hunt and fish!

With much of the United States feeling the cool days of winter starting to loosen it's grip we felt it was a good time to talk about the best time of year to wet a line.  Typically though we have not had much of a March when it comes to warmer weather, things seem to be on a warming trend.  This means that most fish species are starting to rise from their slumbers.  This year might offer a shorter time to reap the rewards of very hungry fish before they head to spawn around mid April, but there is no better time for fishing.

The spring months offer more than just hungry fish.  The mild temperatures offer a longer fishing time period throughout the day though the dawn and dusk hours are always the hottest times.  This allows most fisherman and woman the ability to not have that mid day heat which usually drops the amount of bites.  Shore lines will offer good fishing as the smaller bait fish find the warmest water through the suns heat.

The best part about this time of year is that fish need plenty of energy for the spring spawn.  As such they need food.  A lot of food.  Good baits to use are the live ones this time of year especially.  However, the good thing about this time is a gross lack of pickiness.  This time of year most baits in one's tackle box will be good baits.  We are especially excited to test out the baits sent to us by both Berkley and Anglers Choice.  We feel this time of year will be an awesome time to test out what they provided us.

Let s know your early spring tips and tricks in the comment box below and as always come brag wit us in the Caughtem Gallery.

 

Very few outdoor experiences can compare with spring turkey hunting. The sport can, to say the least, be challenging, exciting and in some cases almost addictive as we at Shotem and Caughtem can attest. When a gobbler sounds off up close, or he’s strutting just out of range, even the most experienced hunter’s heart tends to pound uncontrollably. This is because a wild turkey’s senses are extremely keen. Its eyesight and hearing are among the best in the woods. I’ve often heard it said, “If a turkey could smell, you’d never kill one.” Due to a turkey’s nature to flee at the first hint of danger, one errant move can cause a gobbler to seemingly vanish like a puff of smoke.

Good calling and knowing when to call are often critical keys to success in turkey hunting. Hunters typically imitate hens to call a gobbler into gun range. Hens make a variety of calls: yelps, clucks, cuts, purrs and whines. The best way to learn to call is to practice with an experienced turkey hunter or to purchase an instructional video or audio cassette and then practice the calls taught by the instructor. It isn’t necessary to become an expert in each of these calls to have success in turkey hunting. Gaining a good command of yelps and clucks will be of most benefit to new turkey hunters.

As with camo, guns and shells, a number of different types of calls are used in turkey hunting. The most popular styles include box calls, slate-type friction calls, wingbone and trumpet calls, diaphragm calls, push-pin and tube calls. Beginning hunters should normally consider box calls, slate-type friction calls and push-pin calls for their ease of use.

On a given day any of these calls will work. Each style call has its own distinctive sound. A gobbler will sometimes answer one call but not the others. So, carry several calls and take turns trying them. If one call doesn’t get a response, another one might.

When calling turkeys, less is better in most cases. Don’t over call. The more you call, the more likely you’ll hit a sour note or that your movement will be seen by an alert gobbler or hen that has quietly moved in to check you out.

Once you locate a gobbler, the next step is to move in close and call him into gun range. Your goal is to slip as close as possible without spooking him. Then you “set up” and attempt to call him close enough for a shot.

Remember: when approaching a turkey, if he spots you, he’s gone! Be careful not to be seen. Terrain and foliage normally dictate how close you can get before setting up. Veteran hunters rarely approach inside 100 yards. They may set up as far away as 300 yards if the ground is flat and there is little foliage to conceal their movements.

Use the terrain to your advantage as you approach a gobbler. Stay behind hills, thickets or other features that will screen your movements. Walk as quietly as possible in the leaves, and don’t break any sticks.

When setting up, pick a location that offers the gobbler an easy route to your location. There should be no creeks, gullies, fences, thick undergrowth or other barriers between you and the bird. Also choose a spot that is on the same contour or slightly above the turkey’s location. Don’t try to call a gobbler down a steep slope. Pick an area that provides you with a good view of your surroundings.

Sit against a tree, stump or other object that is wider than your back and taller than your head. It will hide your outline and protect your back from a hunter who might move in behind you. Face the turkey’s direction with your left shoulder (for right-handed shooters), this provides you with a greater mobility of your gun when aiming. Above all, keep your movement to a minimum as you call. If the gobbler is working toward you, then goes silent, don’t move. Sometimes gobblers will sneak in quietly.

If you set up and a gobbler answers your call but won’t come, you’re going to have to change your game plan. You may need to circle around and call from another location. You might change to another call. If you’ve worked him a long time and he’s still hung up, you might leave the gobbler and come back in a couple of hours and try again. Many hunts require several moves and/or strategy changes.

Once you get a bird working to you, get your gun up on your knee pointed in his general direction with the stock against your shoulder. When a gobbler finally walks within range (inside 40 yards), wait until he steps behind a tree or other obstacle to move your gun. When he reappears, aim carefully at his head/neck junction, and then squeeze the trigger. When a gobbler struts, the neck (spinal column) is compressed and the head is often partially hidden by feathers, making for an even smaller target. If the gobbler is strutting, wait until he extends his neck to shoot. A clean, one-shot kill should be the goal of every hunter.

It’s a great moment when a long beard answers a hunter’s call. This is when all the scouting and preparation pay off. It may not always result in bagging the bird, but that’s part of the challenge and the memories. If you listen to a veteran turkey hunter, you’ll note that the hunts most often remembered are those where the gobbler, and not the hunter, won.




 

 

 

Very few outdoor experiences can compare with spring turkey hunting. The sport can, to say the least, be challenging, exciting and in some cases almost addictive as we at Shotem and Caughtem can attest. When a gobbler sounds off up close, or he’s strutting just out of range, even the most experienced hunter’s heart tends to pound uncontrollably. This is because a wild turkey’s senses are extremely keen. Its eyesight and hearing are among the best in the woods. I’ve often heard it said, “If a turkey could smell, you’d never kill one.” Due to a turkey’s nature to flee at the first hint of danger, one errant move can cause a gobbler to seemingly vanish like a puff of smoke.

Good calling and knowing when to call are often critical keys to success in turkey hunting. Hunters typically imitate hens to call a gobbler into gun range. Hens make a variety of calls: yelps, clucks, cuts, purrs and whines. The best way to learn to call is to practice with an experienced turkey hunter or to purchase an instructional video or audio cassette and then practice the calls taught by the instructor. It isn’t necessary to become an expert in each of these calls to have success in turkey hunting. Gaining a good command of yelps and clucks will be of most benefit to new turkey hunters.

As with camo, guns and shells, a number of different types of calls are used in turkey hunting. The most popular styles include box calls, slate-type friction calls, wingbone and trumpet calls, diaphragm calls, push-pin and tube calls. Beginning hunters should normally consider box calls, slate-type friction calls and push-pin calls for their ease of use.

On a given day any of these calls will work. Each style call has its own distinctive sound. A gobbler will sometimes answer one call but not the others. So, carry several calls and take turns trying them. If one call doesn’t get a response, another one might.

When calling turkeys, less is better in most cases. Don’t over call. The more you call, the more likely you’ll hit a sour note or that your movement will be seen by an alert gobbler or hen that has quietly moved in to check you out.

Once you locate a gobbler, the next step is to move in close and call him into gun range. Your goal is to slip as close as possible without spooking him. Then you “set up” and attempt to call him close enough for a shot.

Remember: when approaching a turkey, if he spots you, he’s gone! Be careful not to be seen. Terrain and foliage normally dictate how close you can get before setting up. Veteran hunters rarely approach inside 100 yards. They may set up as far away as 300 yards if the ground is flat and there is little foliage to conceal their movements.

Use the terrain to your advantage as you approach a gobbler. Stay behind hills, thickets or other features that will screen your movements. Walk as quietly as possible in the leaves, and don’t break any sticks.

When setting up, pick a location that offers the gobbler an easy route to your location. There should be no creeks, gullies, fences, thick undergrowth or other barriers between you and the bird. Also choose a spot that is on the same contour or slightly above the turkey’s location. Don’t try to call a gobbler down a steep slope. Pick an area that provides you with a good view of your surroundings.

Sit against a tree, stump or other object that is wider than your back and taller than your head. It will hide your outline and protect your back from a hunter who might move in behind you. Face the turkey’s direction with your left shoulder (for right-handed shooters), this provides you with a greater mobility of your gun when aiming. Above all, keep your movement to a minimum as you call. If the gobbler is working toward you, then goes silent, don’t move. Sometimes gobblers will sneak in quietly.

If you set up and a gobbler answers your call but won’t come, you’re going to have to change your game plan. You may need to circle around and call from another location. You might change to another call. If you’ve worked him a long time and he’s still hung up, you might leave the gobbler and come back in a couple of hours and try again. Many hunts require several moves and/or strategy changes.

Once you get a bird working to you, get your gun up on your knee pointed in his general direction with the stock against your shoulder. When a gobbler finally walks within range (inside 40 yards), wait until he steps behind a tree or other obstacle to move your gun. When he reappears, aim carefully at his head/neck junction, and then squeeze the trigger. When a gobbler struts, the neck (spinal column) is compressed and the head is often partially hidden by feathers, making for an even smaller target. If the gobbler is strutting, wait until he extends his neck to shoot. A clean, one-shot kill should be the goal of every hunter.

It’s a great moment when a long beard answers a hunter’s call. This is when all the scouting and preparation pay off. It may not always result in bagging the bird, but that’s part of the challenge and the memories. If you listen to a veteran turkey hunter, you’ll note that the hunts most often remembered are those where the gobbler, and not the hunter, won.