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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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We at Shotem and Caughtem have heard that the Salmon Fishing is really starting to heat up in spots around the nation such as Michigan and Alaska so we figured it was a good time to throw out some tips and tricks we like to use.

1.  Choose your Rod Well

We find when salmon fishing with a long rod it enables the angler to hold the tip up high and the fish pulling will make a large curve in the rod.  The curve may take up approximately 4-6 feet of slack line and its this 4-6 feet that is the advantage leveraged to the angler.  When a salmon shifts gears or changes direction on a dime, slack line is generated and the angler must quickly reel in the slack to stay on top of the fish.  If the angler does not reel in the line before the rod straightens and the line goes slack, then the hook is not pulled tight and the fish could get off.  So if a long rod may absorb 4-6 feet of slack, a shorter rod may only absorb 2-4 feet of slack.  The longer rod with a greater ability to hold tension gives the angler more advantage and more chance to keep the line tight.

2.  Sharp Hook

Salmon fishing requires a sticky sharp hook to give maximum advantage to the angler. Anglers should check their hooks every time they rig a new bait. Barbless hooks out of the box are typically lazer sharp but it does not take long for these hooks to start to break down. Anglers would be surprised at how dull their hooks can become after catching a few fish or potentially pounding against rocks or driftwood or even seaweed in the ocean. If a hook is really beaten up badly with a broken tip or other damage then the easiest option is to replace it with a brand new lazer sharp hook. If the hook only needs a light touch-up then the angler can use a hook file and lightly touch up the hook.

3.  Pull their Dentures Out

Chinook salmon have reletively tough mouths and a proper hook set is important to ensure the barbless hook has fully seated into the mouth of the salmon. If the angler is using a downrigger then by setting the line deeply in the downrigger clip, the fish will automatically start to set the hook when it rips the line out of the release clip. Once the fish is hooked the angler can grab the rod and give another sharp pull or two upwards to ensure that the hook is fully set in the mouth of the salmon. Once one or two hooksets have been completed additional pulls are not required. Over setting the hook will tend to enlarge the small hole in the mouth of the salmon and this can make it easier for a barbless hook to work its way free.

4.  Keep Your Tip Up And Know Your Drag

Let us know some of your tricks in the comment section below and post your Monster Catches to the Caughtem Gallery and tell us your story.  Happy Fishing!


Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem have had the opportunity to fish for fresh Halibut in Alaska.  When we heard the news that the Commercial Fishing Industry is trying to steal the number of fish allocated by the State for the sporting industry we wanted to be a part of helping spread the word to help fight against letting this happen.  Here are the details.  We hope you take time to help us by writing in protest and spread the word about this attempt on Halibut Sport Fishing.  It could cause the sport fishing industry to take yet another blow in Alaska.

This is the new Halibut Catch Sharing Plan proposed by the Northern Pacific Fishery Management Council.  The plan is designed to reallocate what might have been your second sport-caught halibut to the commercial sector. Under this plan, the "guided angler" must buy the right to catch a second halibut from the commercial fishery.

This is not a conservation plan, as the fishery council claims. Instead it's a grab by commercial interests for more of the available fish. Geez, they take 90 percent of the allocation already.


Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem have talked in not only the discussion board but also blogged about the predator vs prey debate.  It definitely is a heated topic between many groups.  However, many people of Alaska live from the land and need certian animals to sustain their needs.  Moose is definately a large part of the needs associated with feeding Alaska families through the winter.  Due to this reason Alaska wildlife officials are doing their best to try and create a sustainable Moose and Caribou population so that hunters can stock their freezers for the harsh conditions.  In order to try and accomplish this they opened a short window so that they could harvest part of their large bear population.  It will not only benefit the prey populations but the meat was then destributed to Alaskan residents to help feed families.  Here are the details.

A predator control program has resulted in the killing of nearly 90 bears in Western Alaska.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://is.gd/BEAihS) reports that the program designed to increase moose in the area is operating in game management unit 19A along the Kuskokwim River.

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, agency staff shot 89 bears between May 13 and Monday, when the two-year program ended for the year. Officials say 84 black bears and five grizzlies were killed.

Biologists shot the bears from a helicopter in a 530-square mile area of state land that is a small part of unit 19A, which encompasses nearly 10,000 square miles east of Aniak. 

The meat was then distributed to local residents.

Let us know your opinion on the subject in the comment section below or on the discussion board http://www.shotemandcaughtem.com/groups-main/viewdiscussion/8-predator-prey-balance-hunting-and-conservation.html?groupid=2.  As always post your photos to the galleries and tell us about your adventure.

Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem reported on the start of the Iditarod in Alaska.  On Tuesday evening of this week Mitch Seavey had won the race, edging second place musher Aliy Zirkle by 24 minutes.  But the reveling will continue as the rest of the remaining mushers - 11 had scratched and one had withdrawn as of Thursday morning - trickle into town over the next few days.  NOME, Alaska is where every musher to finish the race gets a hero's welcome.  The town's sirens blare when each of the more than four dozen competitors is about a mile out, and the mushers are all treated like royalty as they cross the finish line under the famed arch on Front Street, and have their pictures taken with fans.  Once the musher comes off the sea ice onto Front Street a few blocks from the finish, a police car with its lights flashing takes over as the official escort. The weary musher then guides the dog team down the city's business district, sometimes slapping high-fives with fans lining the street.  We at Shotem and Caughtem would also like to congradulate all those that helped and participated in this long standing tradition of man and animal versus the wild.  Comment on your experiences with the wild below or post photos to one of the galleries and brag.


Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 22:19

Salmon Fishing in Yakutat, Alaska

With Valentine's Day being tomorrow (a reminder to those who have not yet got anything for their loved ones) we at Shotem And Caughtem thought we might take the time to remember a trip I took with my father for his 60th birthday.  Though not a Valentines Day gift, it will hopefully remind you that the best times in the great outdoors are spent with the ones we love.  I contacted my uncle who had traveled to Alaska to Salmon fish for many years to see if he could make room for me and my dad on the next trip.  We would spend four whole days on the open ocean trolling for fish, laughing, talking and having a great time.  Though the Salmon run was not what it had been in years past, the weather, conversation and the view could'nt have been better.  We would set out every morning from the lodge situated in a bay just around the corner from Mt. Elias (seen on the left of the mountian line in the photo above) in a 17ft flat bottom boat with a 25hp engine.  I would have to say I was a bit uneasy traveling into open ocean in such a vessel, but while in the bay we were protected from the larger swells (though the cruise ship and humpback whale got a little to close for comfort).  Only on perfectly calm days were we allowed to venture out to the outer rim to fish.  With a heavy duty pole, an open face reel, a line rigged with two single hooks set about a foot apart and baited with sardines, we would troll the ocean back and forth at idle speed and wait for the Salmon.  Once hooked we can tell you that Salmon are not the easiest fish to get into the boat.  A fish that is built to travel against a heavy flowing stream for miles up river makes for one heck of a fight once on the line.  There were three types of Salmon we could catch in the bay (http://alaska.fws.gov/cybersalmon/salmon%20ID%20chart.pdf).  Coho and King Salmon were what we were after.  With a weight around 20-40 pounds of pure muscle, known for their endurance and strength, we would say that it was both a blessing and a curse to have one on the line.  The King Salmon in the photo took about an hour to get into the boat.  It would get close to the boat, see me and then make another 100 yard sprint away from the boat.  Making sure I had enough tension on the line, but not so much that they would break it, began to be the hardest challenge to keeping our prize.  More fish than we would like to admit got close to the boat, breached the surface, spit out the hook and gave us the fin before being taking off into the open ocean.  The Sea Bass in the photo (along with 7 others) were cooked that night for the group and helped renew our spirits from those that were lost.  The remote area of Yakutat, Alaska (http://www.ptialaska.net/~gycc/) made for a great spot to fish.  The four days on the water during prime season were just those from our group and a couple of local Indian fisherman which meant we were not in one of those spots where you are fighting with other large groups for prime fishing territory.  We as a group all made it home with our limit of Salmon.  It was a trip that neither my father nor I have ever forgotten.  We have plans to go back soon and would recommend this spot as a great place to go for Salmon fishing season.  As always post your photos of your favorite trips and tell us your memories in the Caughtem Gallery.