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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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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.


Published in News/Events
Friday, 22 February 2013 16:03

Huge Marlin Caught off Ascension Island

With fishing season just around the corner we saw this article and thought we would share.  Something tells us he was not using 100 pd test line to reel in this monster.  Post your photos of your huge catches to the Caughtem wall and brag though we are sure that fish like this will be few and far between.

UK angler Kevin Gardner landed his first blue marlin on Monday and it was a doozy. 

Fishing off Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean, a destination known for its "granders," aka 1,000-pound marlin, Gardner boated one of the biggest blue marlin ever caught, an incredible 1,320-pounder.

It was said to be the second-largest blue marlin taken at Ascension Island, behind a 1,337-pounder landed in 2002. By comparison, the IGFA all-tackle world record for Atlantic blue marlin is 1,402 pounds caught off Brazil in February 1992. The all-tackle Pacific blue marlin is 1,376 pounds.

By any standards, the fish was huge.

"In the distance, we saw her lunging and she looked promising," he wrote. "After three surface runs she went a bit deeper and for the last 90 minutes Kevin fought her [into the] sunset." 

Gardner got the fish to the boat four times and four times wireman Emil Ruud had to let go of the leader. Finally, after three hours, Ruud, wiring his first marlin, managed to leader the fish, and it was gaffed.

The scale master reported the fish weighing 1,320 pounds and measuring 149 inches from the tip of the lower jaw to the inner fork of the tale with a girth of 83 inches.

Published in News/Events
Thursday, 21 February 2013 18:53

Survival Kit for the Outdoors

With the Midwest covered in at least a foot of snow our thought went towards survival.  Since many of the locations that are prime for hunting or fishing involve being in areas that are not inhabited by many humans, we at Shotem and Caughtem found out what the Navy Seals use in their Survival Kits and thought we would pass the information along.  Though some of the tools in this backpack might not be needed by many, we felt that if these guys go into areas where they are the hunted, what they would bring for survival should keep the average person well equip if stranded, lost or hurt.  You never know when you might need this extra little bag.  Let us know what you like to bring in the comment section below should you think something has been missed.  They report all these items should fit in a 4x2x1in bag that weights 6 ounces.


Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 18:54

Striped Bass Fishing in Cold Conditions

With most of the Midwest getting covered in snow and hunting season coming to a close we thought we would focus on cold weather fishing.  Though we recently wrote about ice fishing, we in the Midwest have not had many days when ice has covered the waters.  So what fish likes cold water should we want to venture out to grab some good bragging photos.  After a little research we learned that the Striped Bass still thrive even when the water is cold.  There are many lakes throughout the Midwest that have Striped Bass populations such as Lake Texoma, Grand Lake, Table Rock, Beaver Lake, Lake Hamilton and the Colorado river to name a few.  Here are three potential methods that will help you land a fish.

Casting: Look for fish near points, flats, drop-offs, submerged islands and bridge pilings when using this technique. Also watch for stripers boiling water on the surface as they tear into hapless baitfish. You can use a variety of lures, including lipless crankbaits, deep-diving minnow plugs and Sassy Shads. But none can compare with the plain white bucktail jig, preferably with a single saddle hackle tied along each flank. The best weight is ¼-3/8 ounce. You can add a plastic twister tail to this if the water is stainy, but usually the jig by itself is best.

Cast this lure out to the structure described above and reel in slowly and steadily. It may seem boring. But it won't be when a 10-or 15-pound striper nails the lure. If strikes are slow in coming, try pausing halfway back during the retrieve and letting the lure sink down, like a wounded shad running out of gas. This often draws jarring strikes.

Trolling: This is another good tactic for winter stripers in the state. This method puts your lure down in the 15-30 foot range where stripers often hang out during cold weather. And it keeps it there constantly as you slowly motor over likely holding areas. Good places to troll include the mouths of tributaries, river and creek channel edges, humps, steep bluffs and near bridges.

Downriggers will allow you to troll any lure for stripers. If you don't want to fool with them, use large deep-plunging plugs such as the Storm Big Mac, Hellbender, Mann's Stretch and Deep-diving Rapalas. These lures dive 12-25 feet when trolled and often tempt jumbo stripers.

To make them even more effective, tie an 18-36 inch leader to the center hook of the front treble and then attach a ¼-ounce white jig or grub to this trailer. The stripers often are attracted to the large wobbling plug, but actually strike the smaller trailing jig.

Live Bait: Nothing can tempt a lethargic winter striper like a live baitfish. Shad are best, but if you can't catch them with a throw net, jumbo shiners sold at bait shops will work almost as well. Use 10-20 pound line and a size two hook. Attach a leader of two-to-four feet and the hook after threading a one-half to one-ounce egg sinker above it on the main line. Alternately, you can simply squeeze a few large split shot onto the line.

Hook the baitfish through the lips or lightly through the back and lower the offering down to the level where you find stripers on the depth finder or suspect they are holding. Drifting is a good tactic if there is a light wind or you can anchor out over a particularly inviting piece of structure.

Drop a buoy on the spot if you hook up, since there might be a whole school of stripers there. And if you do find a pack of voracious stripers, I'll bet you probably won't even remember how cold the air is!  As always post photos of your big or small catch to the Caughtem Bragging wall and tell us your story. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2013 18:40

2013 BassMaster Classic in Tulsa, Ok.

Well here comes the start of the fishing season and the Bass Master Classic to be held on Grand Lake in Oklahoma.  The fun and free event that will be held this weekend at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Ok. will host the weigh-ins from the tournament and also will also have vendors showcasing the latest fishing products and services.  Here are the details for the event. 

B.A.S.S., and the Tulsa Sports Commission have announced its selection of Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees and the Tulsa metro region as the site and host of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 22-24, 2013. It is the 43rd edition of sport fishing's greatest championship and the first to be hosted by the state of Oklahoma.

Grand Lake marks the farthest west site for the Classic since the 1979 championship on Lake Texoma. It is the sixth time that B.A.S.S. has held a professional event on Grand Lake, which was the venue for three Invitational tournaments in the 1990s and Elite Series events in 2006 and 2007.

The BOK Center will hold daily weigh-ins and the Tulsa Convention Center will hold the Classic Outdoors Expo. Competition boats will launch from Grand Lake O' the Cherokees' Wolf Creek boat launch in Grove, Okla.

Published in News/Events

It's Presidents day and we at Shotem' and Caughtem' thought we might put together a list of presidents who loved the great outdoors as a tribute.  These are the past presidents who loved to hunt and fish.  As you can see, although hunters and fisherman only make up around 10% of the population here in the United States we tend to elect those who love being one with nature. 

President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-09) is the undisputed leader of sportsmen in the White House, and he had lots of followers: Half the presidents in the past 50 years were avid hunters. Those same leaders loved to fish.

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-61)

Ike began hunting in his youth, managed to arrange a partridge hunt in North Africa during World War II, and shot quail in Georgia nearly every February during his eight-year presidency. He loved fishing even more, for trout, muski and northern pike. Constituents sent lures, hooks, even fish. White House gift files contain some 200 entries for flies.

John F. Kennedy (1961-63)

An experienced sailor, JFK is known to have fished one time, when he caught a sailfish - off Acapulco on his honeymoon. He hunted once as well. As historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. recalled it, Lyndon B. Johnson "liked to impose tests of manhood, of which the most notorious was bringing politicians to his ranch and insisting that they kill deer. John Kennedy, filled with deep distaste, had killed his deer after the 1960 election."

Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-69)

A 1964 article headlined "LBJ - Outdoor Sportsman" recalled Johnson flying on Air Force One to Texas during a storm, his brows furrowed until he returned from the cockpit relieved that the pilot would "have us on the ranch in time to see the deer before dark." Johnson was known to go after only the biggest racks; dove hunting was his favorite blood sport. His lakes were stocked, and Johnson spent hours catching grasshoppers for his daughters to fish with.

Richard M. Nixon (1969-74)

Nixon was so ill-at-ease in nature that he walked on the beach in a suit and dress shoes. He was never known to hunt (although he did occasionally fish in the Bahamas with Robert Abplanalp and Bebe Rebozo). A search of the National Archives turns up a number of hits, such as this tape-recorded meeting with counsel John Dean on March 21, 1973, the height of the Watergate scandal (Dean has suggested he might go to jail to spare Nixon):

President: Sometimes it's well to give them ...

Dean: (Sighs)

President: something, and then they don't want the bigger fish then.

Gerald R. Ford (1974-77)

Although Ford's father and two brothers were big on hunting and fishing, the president's alpha male was expressed mainly through football and basketball. A complimentary Pennsylvania fishing license is in his White House files. Contacted recently, he had no memories of either.

Jimmy Carter (1977-81)

"I had a fishing pole in my hands as early as I can remember, and would go hunting with Daddy long before I could have anything to shoot other than a BB gun," Carter wrote in his memoir of growing up in the South. He hunted everything from possum to deer to duck, and has fished around the world. He helicoptered from the White House to Spruce Creek, Pa., where he still flyfishes every year.

Ronald Reagan (1981-89)

Known more for riding horses and chopping wood, both in Hollywood and as president at his Santa Barbara ranch, Reagan did recall fishing the Rock River as a boy. But biographer Lou Cannon wrote that he "was so caring of the wildlife at Rancho del Cielo that he had rattlesnakes near the ranch trapped and carted away, instead of following the usual ranching practice of simply killing them."

George H.W. Bush (1989-93)

Bush learned to hunt as a boy visiting his grandparents' lodge in South Carolina. His first love is the fishing of his Maine childhood. Equally at home on the ocean or by a stream, casting from a boat or on shore, he missed the 1992 Democratic convention and Ross Perot's ending of his third-party bid while by a creek. "The joy of fishing with your son in a river in Wyoming, I'll tell you, it's hard to compete with anything," he said upon returning to civilization.

Bill Clinton (1993-01)

In Clinton's rural Arkansas, deals are sealed over a duck hunt. He did go, both as governor and president, but friends said his heart wasn't in it. "He loves people, loves doing what people are doing," recalled a longtime friend and hunting buddy in Little Rock. "The actual going out there and seeing how many ducks you can kill is not part of his nature. The camaraderie part is." Clinton is not much into fishing, either.

George W. Bush (2001-)

The proprietors of the lodge where Carter flyfishes in Pennsylvania's Huntingdon County said No. 43 was rumored to be interested but a visit never materialized. Bush loves the bass fishing of his native Texas, and likes to spend New Year's Day hunting quail with his father (and high-powered family friend James A. Baker 3d) in south Texas. "I think I shot five," he told reporters on Jan. 1, 2004.

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.


Wednesday, 06 February 2013 19:28

Drought Conditions Report

As is the case with many areas around the United States we are in the midst of a wide spread drought.  Low lake and river conditions are going to cause major problems for much of Mother Natures children.  Here in Kansas we have already seen a huge reduction in many bird species and our low lakes and streams will have an effect on our fish populations.  Low water conditions have made it hard for many species to survive and reproduce.  It will undoubtibly have an effect on the spring fish spawning season since many of those habitats no longer have water.  It will be more important than ever to make sure all hunters and fisherman adhere to restrictions.  We will be dealing with a population decrease throughout many species.  All the different lakes have been recording record low conditions.  Table Rock Lake, Mo last spring had water flowing over it's dam due to record amounts of rain.  Today the lake is 10ft below normal levels.  Beaver Lake, Ar. is down 13ft.  Even Lake Huron and Lake Michigan have diverted cargo ships due to the low water levels.  Across much of the Midwest these conditions can be seen in even smaller lakes and streams.  Around our area lakes, ponds and streams on many farms and ranches have not gone dry like this since the dust bowl.  Texas has seen a decrease in not only the population but in the size of their deer.  Pheasant hunting was non exsistant this year in much of Kansas.  Hopefully rain will come before it has drastic effects on the fish population since they have not yet recovered from the record high water temperatures seen last year.  We will keep you posted on how the Wildlife and Parks department feels the spring spawn went and whether or not you should be more concious about catching, taking a photo and posting it to ShotemandCaughtem and releasing your catch or enjoying your hard work in a perfect meal.
Published in News/Events
Tuesday, 05 February 2013 00:09

Bow Fishing for Asian Carp

Something caught our eye this weekend while we were thinking of things to inform our readers about.  We felt that so far on Shotemandcaughtem we have focused on a lot of hunting related news stories and not enough on fishing.  Then we found stories of Bow hunting Asian carp in the North American rivers and thought it would be a great article to combine the two things we love to do, hunt and fish.  Nothing would be more fun than channeling your inner senses to concentrate on shooting an object, with little to no warning, out of the air with a bow and arrow.  Sounds like a blast to us!

The best time to target shoot the Asian Carp is between June and August preferably not when the rivers are high but the temperatures unfortunately are.  Slow your boat down to a speed in the shallow parts of the river til you find the best motor sound that gets the fish a flyin.  Draw your bow back and keep a watchful eye on the surface and wait til you get your shot.  Many of the fish will reach heights of five feet above the surface of the water giving you little time to make your perfect shot.  It combines all the things we love to do.  Its like skeet shooting with a bow at live targets.  Don't feel bad since this invasive species has pretty much taken over the rivers in the upper Midwest and you will be doing Mother Nature a service. This will allow the natural habitat to gain back a little ground.  Most importantly we would love to see your photos or videos on our bragging walls and hope you might give us some pointers on the best places to go.  We even found a video to help spur your interest in giving it a try http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc-e8EGkLMo.

Published in News/Events
Friday, 01 February 2013 23:02

Ice Fishing at Pathfinder Reservoir

Recently we at ShotemandCaughtem got the opportunity to go ice fishing for the first time with some experienced ice fisherman and thought we would share the trials and tribulations of our adventure.  We traveled to Pathfinder Reservoir just outside Casper, WY.  Being a native Kansan we had never been ice fishing and felt a little out of our element, but were reassured that we had people along that knew exactly what we needed.  First were the size of the fishing poles.  The ones we pulled out of the truck almost made me laugh since they looked as if they would snap in a New York minute should they hook into a Kansas Flathead.  Then came the "pop ups" that I had never used before.  The pop up works by having a spring loaded flag so that when you get a bite the flag pops up.  Something totally different than the bells we use here in Kansas but a nice visual cue non the less.  We started by drilling 24 holes in the ice since in Wyoming you can have 6 poles per fishing license and drilled thru 10-15 inches of ice (Note:  2 gas powered augers, a total necessity, otherwise we would still be hand drilling weeks later).  Next we set up a couple of clam shelters with chairs and a heater (www.clamoutdoors.com) along with a case of beer for warmth since the temperature at the time was -10 degrees.  Finally came the fun part.....fishing.  

Our objective was to catch delicious rainbow trout.  We loaded our poles with shiners and shrimp and set our pop ups.  We thought the adventure would take some time due to the weather conditions and the fact that we would wait hours for a catfish to hit our line.  Fortunately for us the fish were active.  We still giggle at the site of one another screaming fish-on and running across the ice like deranged Sasquatches due to the 27 layers of clothes needed to stay warm.  To sum up the trip was a blast!  Even though the time it takes to get set up is a little more intense than just baiting a pole and throwing it in the water (why we tend to fish in more in warmer temperatures) we would definitely go out again.  Thanks to Fred, Dustin and Perry for making this a memorable experience and most of all for helping me land this wonderful five pound trout which we are having smoked and I can't wait to try. Let us know how a ice fishing experience went for you by posting a photo to the Caughtem Wall and starting a discussion.

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