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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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One of our many favorite hunting shows at Shotem and Caughtem is Duck Dynasty starring the folks at Duck Commander.  We even got a brief moment to hand Willie Robertson one of our shirts at this years Shot Show in Las Vegas.  With the new season airing this week we thought we would share our thoughts on the show.  

The new season of Duck Commander started this week with a huge following knocking off its competition with more viewers than ever.  More viewers than even the popular show American Idol.  So we got to asking ourselves what makes this show work.  With only 6% of the population being hunters and fisherman, this demographic would not be large enough to trump other programs in viewing.  So what is the tv shows allure?

Phil Robertson started his career in college as a well sought after quarterback destined for the NFL ahead of even Terry Bradshaw.  Due to the fact that the NFL season interfered with duck hunting season he decided to fore go a career in football.  When he saw a market to create a better sounding duck call, Duck Commander was born.  The company had it's share of ups and downs but has become a huge success.  Phil Robertson brought mostly his family and some friends into the company as the popularity of his calls expanded.   They would share in the work load and the success of the products.  As this success has expanded this struggling 8,000 dollar a year company has turned into a multi million dollar company or a Duck Dynasty.

 

Thursday, 07 March 2013 17:43

Alabama Striped Bass is A Record Breaker

Well apparently someone must have read our recent article that we posted on fishing for Striped Bass in Cold Climates and landed a monster.  An Alabama resident has reeled in a 70-pound striped bass that shattered a 54-year-old state record and could land the angler in the book of world records for the heaviest striper ever caught in a landlocked fishery.  James R. Bramlett, 65, reeled in the behemoth on the Black Warrior River on Feb. 28.  The catch, weighed on a certified scale, exceeds the previous record, set in 1959, by 15 pounds.  The striper measured 45.5 inches long and boasted a girth of 37.75.  The current IGFA record for landlocked stripers is a 67-pound, 8-ounce specimen landed in 1992 in Los Banos, California.  The fight lasted only 20 minutes.  We at Shotem and Caughtem would love to see your monsters on the Caughtem Wall and brag about your story and how you landed that big catch or leave comments below.  Makes us realize its about time for fishing season here in the Midwest!

 

Wednesday, 06 March 2013 16:01

2,000lb Great White Caught off Florida Coast

So this still counts as not only a great Caughtem photo but a little alarming for those who fish and play in the waters off the Florida Coast.  A 2.000 pound Great White Shark was caught in just 25 feet of water just off a popular Florida surfing site this last Sunday.  It is the first Great White to be tagged in the Jacksonville area.  The shark measured 14 feet, 6 inches, and weighed 2,000 pounds. It was given the name Lydia and, after its tag was fitted and tissue samples and a blood work were taken, the shark was lowered from the research vessel's tagging cradle and turned loose.  People can check on the movements of sharks tagged by Ocearch via its website, and receive updates via its Facebook page.  Go to www.ocearch.org to learn more about their efforts to research and help protect these apex predators. 

 

We at Shotem and Caughtem are starting to get things prepped for food plot planting season.  Any experienced hunter knows that a successful food plot can not only help lure game to their property but also provide conservation measures to ensure wildlife populations.  There are many products available that will help to create and manage your food plot, but we have also found some alternative seed sources and practices that might aid in creating a successful habitat source for wildlife on your property.  

First rule of a successful food plot, location, location, location.  All wildlife need the three basics.  Water, food and shelter.  They also like to have all these close to one another in order to avoid predators.  If a person plants a food plot away from any of these three factors it will more than likely not gain you anything when it comes to wildlife.  Therefore pick or clear a spot where your wildlife can take advantage of all three neccessities without having to subject themselves to stress from predators.  A quarter to half an acre food plot per 25 acres seems to be the going rule from what we have learned.  It should be located next to a shelter belt with good cover and close to a water source.

Monday, 04 March 2013 17:02

41st Iditarod Started this Weekend

In a definite test of any outdoorsman or women the 41st Alaskan Iditarod started this weekend with 65 teams.  The 1,000 mile trek across Alaska will test the resolve of not only the dogs but the mushers.

Saturday's ceremonial start took place amid a party-like atmosphere. But Sunday's mood was charged with tension as mushers switched to the business of racing - at least among top mushers like defending champion Dallas Seavey and four-time winners Lance Mackey, Jeff King and Martin Buser.

They are among six past Iditarod winners in the running. Mackey, of Fairbanks, is the only musher to win the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod races the same year - accomplishing dual championships not once, but two years in a row. Mackey, a throat cancer survivor, has won both races four times and was hoping for a comeback to his last Iditarod championship in 2010.

Others are in the race for the adventure and never come close to winning, yet there they are, year after year. Among them was Cindy Gallea, of Wykoff, Minn., whose best finish was 33rd among 10 Iditarods so far.

"I love running the dogs, working with the dogs," she said before the start of her 11th race. "I love being in Alaska, being around the beauty."

But even past middle-of-the-packers felt the pull of competition.

Musher and Anchorage funeral director Scott Janssen, known as The Mushing Mortician, said, "Today's game time. Today we're going to rock `n' roll."To reach the finish line in the old gold rush town of Nome, the teams will encounter mountains to climb, and forests and frozen rivers to cross. They'll possibly do battle with fierce winds and temperatures that can plunge to 50 below.

Along the way, they'll stop at village checkpoints for a hot meal, to drop an ailing dog or to sit out mandatory rest periods. Sometimes they'll blow right through after a hasty check-in.

As always, by the time the first musher reaches Nome, some participants will have dropped out of the race. Even the last place finisher knows that getting to Nome is a feat in itself.

The winner gets a new truck and a cash prize of $50,400. The rest of the $600,000 purse will be split between the next 29 mushers to cross the finish line.

For up to the minute stats visit www.iditarod.com and as always post photos of your gear and comment on your adventures.


 

Friday, 01 March 2013 21:30

Early Spring Fishing Tips

So we at Shotem and Caughtem can not wait to start fishing.  With the Midwest covered in snow we thought we might use this time to dust of the tackle boxes and ready the lines and poles for it won't be long and water temperatures will start to rise.  The itch to watch a bass fly out of the water chasing a hoola popper and the beginning of Turkey season means that we outdoors men and woman can come out of hibernation!  With this in mind we thought we would offer some cold water tips and tricks for fishing.  As always leave us your comments below and we can't wait to see what our members start pulling out of the water on our Caughtem gallery in the months to come.

In early spring water temp. is probably the most important factor for me. The second would be water clarity. By asking these two questions I can pick out what part of the lake or river I should concentrate on, in order to locate the most aggressive fish for this given time of year. Notice I said the most aggressive, because you can catch fish on other areas of the lake. I want to find the best area, and then fine tune that pattern to the next step.Water temp is crucial because I have to keep in mind that the bass and its food source is cold blooded. So I want to find the warmest water that I can find. This is where water clarity will play into the picture. Water clarity will let me know how the bass will be able to hunt its prey.

Lets look further into water temp first. If the water temp is 55 degrees then the bass will be moving fairly slow, but not at a turtles pace. So the bass will need either cover or another camoflauge to aid him and off colored water will enable him to be successful. Off colored water will also be warmer this time of year and the reason is because the dirt particles in the water will also collect and hold heat. Lets say if the water temp. is 65 degrees then I may choose clearer water because then the bass would be able to use its speed as an aid in capturing its prey. But in a colder water situation he will use his surroundings in every way possible, a bass will and so will all predators use its surrounding to stay alive but we must learn how and when he will feed depending on the season/ current weather. This will enable us to be much more successful as well.

Depending on the geographic region of the lake, will tell you a lot about the lake itself. I classify lakes in six different categories highland (rocky), midland (hilly), lowland (semi hill with flatland), flatland (usually river type lake), river systems, and natural lakes. I will discuss further into this in an later article, but just be aware of this.

All lakes can be broken down into four sections. The first is the lower section and that is the dam area, the second is the mid section of the lake where the lake usually starts to narrow down and the lake will have more creeks in this area, the upper section is the third area and is where the lake begins to turn into more of a river, and the forth would be where the lakes river runs into the head water, you will have more current here and it is usually present year round.

For a quick run down on how I will begin fishing the lake in the early spring and on into late spring. I will focus on the second section in early spring on most lakes. The reason is this area will have some off colored water that I spoke of earlier and the water is a little shallower as well and this will help in warmer water. (the deeper the water the longer it takes for it to warm up.) I will look for the main river or creek channels that will swing in close to a bluff wall or channel bank and I will want it to have some type of cover on it rock, gravel, or stumps. I’ll fish a crank bait or a rattle trap in a crawfish pattern until I locate some fish. It would appear that I would be fishing fast, because I would keep my boat moving but at the same time I would be fishing my bait fairly slow. One of my favorite technuqes for this time of year is to fish a rattle trap and hop it or yo yo it off the bottom like a crawfish trying to escape.

I will fish these channel banks moving from one to the next until I locate a school of fish, and once I did that I should be able to go to the next creek and fish the same section/location of that creek and duplicate the pattern. (note that I will keep fishing several creeks until I have eliminated all of them in this section of the lake.

As the water keeps warming I will be able to go to the third section of the lake and repeat the same thing all over again, then I’ll move to the river section and finally to the dam area. This process will last for about three to four weeks depending on the size of the lake.

What I am doing here is keeping myself in the prespawn stage and this will be the easiest fish to catch in the spring.

Friday, 01 March 2013 14:23

Helicopter Rescues Deer from Frozen Lake

We at Shotem and Caughtem just learned of an amazing rescue of a stranded deer by a quick thinking helicopter pilot and wanted to share.  The Nova Scotia Resources helicopter pilot due to the thin ice on the lake used the down draft of the helicopter blades to push the deer to safety.  Watch the video below as it is pretty amazing.
Thursday, 28 February 2013 16:45

Cliff Pace wins BassMaster Classic

We at Shotem and Caughtem reported on last weekends Bass Master Classic at Grand Lake in Oklahoma last weekend and wanted to do a follow up.  Cliff Pace won a 500,000 dollar prize with his 54 pound weight in Bass to capture the title.  Even though the water averaged around 36 degrees the tournament still posted some pretty big Bass.

Even when it warmed up, it was still in the low 40-degree range. Fish are coldblooded. They don’t move all that fast when they’re that cold. Look at the weights. It’s incredible.

To get a sense of what that’s like, go to your favorite lake or pond, one that you know is full of keeper-sized bass, and try to catch a limit in water that cold. It’s tough, darn near impossible. Yet, that’s what most of the field did on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees out in Oklahoma last week. That should tell you how good these men really are when it comes to finding bass and then making them bite.

It also says something about Grand Lake. I said a week or so ago that the real winner would be the lake, that this Classic would generate new respect for what Grand Lake is and what it’s capable of producing. 

The man with the largest Bass, Mark Pierce, finished 49th in the field even though he reeled in the 7lb 4oz Bass.  

How says there is not any money in the sport of hunting and fishing when you get a look of the results below.  As always post your photos of your big catch to the Caughtem wall and let us know your story.

 

Wednesday, 27 February 2013 14:23

Turkey Hunting with a Partner

We at Shotem and Caughtem can't wait for the start of hunting season with Spring Turkey.  It is the official start of hunting and fishing season for our group of friends.  We found an article from our friends at wildturkeyreport.com and thought we would pass it along since it has many of the tricks we use.  As always when it comes to spring turkey get out the shotgun or bow, your industrial can of tick repellent, your favorite camo, and start honing your skills with your favorite turkey call.  We are just a short time away from Spring Turkey!  As always leave your comments below and when the season starts post your photos of spurs, beards and fans straight from your camera phone and upload them to the bragging wall from the field so that your friends can rejoice your hunting skills.

 

Monday, 25 February 2013 19:25

Whitetail Buck Deer Movements Research

Recently, we at Shotem and Caughtem were made aware of a great article on deer movements and thought we would share.  The article tracked Whitetail deer movements for a year and then discussed the results.  As you can tell by the photos the article picked an area with trees, pasture, water and tillable ground to show the best places to set up food plots, cameras and hunting stands.  As always please comment below on your experiences with deer movement and post photos to the galleries and start a discussion.

 

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