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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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Friday, 27 September 2013 21:10

Weekend Project

September 28th which is Saturday is National Hunting and Fishing Day.  As such we only find it fitting that we also celebrate it as National Shotem and Caughtem Day.  

To celebrate our national day of honor we felt it only fitting to give some stuff away.  Our Great Partners at Weston Products, Anglers Choice and Stack-On Products have all chipped in for a great holiday celebration.  

So here are the rules.  On Saturday/Shotem and Caughtem Day, if you become a member and post a photo you will be entered in the random drawing to win either some Weston Spice for Jerky and Sausage, some great Bass Lures from Anglers Choice, or a stack on small handgun safe.  

The cool thing is that anyone who becomes a member and uploads a photo will be contacted so we can send you some free Shotem and Caughtem Merchandise.

So help us celebrate National Shotem and Caughtem Day!

Published in Specials
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 21:31

Hot RedFish Fishing

We at Shotem and Caughtem have learned that a great coastal fishing target right now is the Redfish.  They make a delicious meal and from the reports it is a great time to go out and catch the tasty devils.

When catching bait for the day, the predawn hour is best for getting a mixture of greenbacks and pinfish. The small fry bait that was everywhere a month ago has increased in size. A quarter-inch mesh cast net will fill the live well without having the "Christmas tree" look. By chumming in water around 8 feet deep, larger sardines will also be mixed in. Another option is purchasing the few select-sized shrimp that bait shops have available.

The redfish bite has been very productive just before the full and new moons that have the higher tides. Larger fish in the 30-inch-plus range are showing up in the shallow grass flats to feed before the late-September spawn. These breeder-size fish will hold along the islands of the Intracoastal Waterway with deep water access. Large potholes and ditches will hold a surplus diet of pinfish and small stone crabs that these game fish gorge on. Anglers using a big shrimp or tail-hooked bait under a cork will attract the attention of cruising fish. Copper and gold spoons are great for covering a wide area searching for fish.

Let us know your tricks in the comment section below and as always post your photos to the galleries and tell us your story.

Published in News/Events
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 20:02

Getting Ready for Fall Crappie Fishing

Okay so we have to admit that the Shotem part of the brain has been in high gear lately but we definitely need to pay close attention to the Caughtem part of the brain as cooler temperatures begin to roll our way.  One of our favorite fish to catch and fry up is the small but delightful Crappie.  And fall is a great time to get ready to change some tactics and catch some.

Fall crappie fishing techniques include a variety of things such as knowing what types of baits work the best. Everyone will agree that crappies are most attracted to minnows. In the fall when they are preparing for the long winter months ahead they will be searching for this food source. 

When using artificial lures it is suggested that you stay under three inches in length. In most areas a one or two inch artificial minnow would work the best. You can also catch crappie with worms and crayfish. If you do use live bait make sure you keep it in a cooler and try to keep them as lively as possible for the best results.

You can catch crappie anytime during the day or night but the most productive times are usually at night. This is because the fish feed more aggressively during the late evening to early morning hours. Using an artificial light to draw the crappie to your position is a great technique used for night fishing. The light attracts insects and bait fish that will in turn attract the crappie and draw them in your direction.

If you are fishing in an area where the visibility is low you can receive the best results with lures that make sound. These will cause vibrations in the water that will attract the crappie or you can use something with a strong odor. 

When fishing in clear water crappie plugs, small jigs, bladebaits and spoons work very well. As a general rule jigs and minnows are normally the best to use. Sometimes combining these two together will attract the crappie much faster than using them alone, especially in the fall.

Let us know your secrets in the comment section below and post your photos and tell us your story in the Caughtem Gallery. 


Published in News/Events

As Shotem and Caughtem Seasons begin to cross paths and come into full stride we thought we might impart a little knowledge before the weekend when it comes to the secrets of landing monster catches or trophy sized big game.  As with any sport such as ours, sometimes you might just get a little lady luck thrown your way.  A bit of right place at the right time.  However, if you listen to many pros and individuals who have landed the big ones, the greatest ally many will acknowledge is the hardest one for many of us hunters and fisherman to remember........time.

Time spent on the water or in the field is one precious thing that many of us do not have the luxury of acquiring in the large amounts.  We started Shotem and Caughtem just after the end of last years deer hunting season.  Since then our time spent on the water or in the field has been limited.  We try to get out as much as we can but we have not been able to dedicate the time it takes to truly track, map, maintain and lure in the monsters.  Even more frustrating sometimes is the inability to hunt your own place.  Because hunting has turned into a pay to play game many must rely on public lands to hunt and fish.  Once again this also makes it hard to set up things like feeders, cameras and food plots.  So you need more time scouting these locations to track movement or figure out the under water topography.  

Time is a resource that is limited for most.  As we sit watching shows on the Outdoor Channel, Discovery or Sportsman Channel we fail to remember that many of these hunters and fisherman/woman spends days or weeks in these areas in search of the right animals.  Many use outfitters who know when certain animals poop.  They too many times come home empty handed.  They too wish they had more time, better weather or sometimes just better luck.  It is why we love the sports so much.

So we feel that everyone should remember that we all sometimes just need more time.  Do not get discouraged.  You will never meet someone who considers themselves a great outdoorsman/woman that does not have as many glory stories as they have mishaps or nothing to show for their efforts.  It is why they call the sports hunting and fishing and not shooting and catching.

The one thing we always seem to remember from our times on the water or in the fields is the beauty of mother nature and time with our friends and family.  It is what takes out time and time again.  

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and we hope when you do land even the small ones you post your photos to the galleries or start your own gallery and share your adventures with your friends and family.  Remember your time spent outdoors is what you should brag about, big or small.  It is why we are so proud of what Shotem and Caughtem has to offer for our members.  Have a great Shotem and Caughtem weekend!  We all hope you find more time!


Published in News/Events
Thursday, 05 September 2013 19:20

Fall Makes for Great Fishing Weather

Though we at Shotem and Caughtem definitely have Dove Hunting on the brain we would be remiss to not remember that fall is also a great time for fishing.  With the cooler temperatures headed for the nation the fish will turn to bulking up prior to the winter freeze.  Many species of fish will begin to eat everything in sight in order to gain the weight needed for the lack of food sources during the winter.  

Whether you are fishing for walleye, pike, trout or bass many species of fish will need plenty of nutrients.  This makes for great fishing.  Also the hot days cause fisherman/woman to constantly change depths to find cooler water and fish.  Fish should be lining the banks looking to pick off any left over morsels or quality baits that happen to come around as the water and air temperatures drop.  We have been having some great luck catching fish with some of the lures provided by Angler Choice baits.  We have been giving them a thorough review to help let our members know more about their products.  Should you want to learn more about them before the review is complete check them out at www.anglerschoice.ca.  

Either way we could not be more excited that Shotem and Caughtem season is here in full effect.  We have been excited about all the great new members and activity that we have been receiving about our new website and hope you continue to let us know your thoughts in the comment section below or by sharing your stories in the galleries and discussion boards.   

Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 19:47

African Safari Hunt on Your Bucket List?

We at Shotem and Caughtem were a little excited when Mara decided to become a member of our website.  She has lived and been apart of a conservancy for most of her life in Africa.  With that we were ecstatic when she decided to help us out a little with informing more of our members about opportunities and possibilities in Africa.  She has also started her own discussion so others can ask her direct questions about Africa, their services and her personal experiences.  If you would like to join the discussion visit www.shotemandcaughtem.com.  Here is a little more background about her organization. 

Maroi Conservancy:

Maroi is situated in the Limpopo Valley on the banks of the mighty Limpopo River in South Africa. Maroi was established in 1993.

Maroi Conservansy caters for the hunting of a wide variety of game and game birds for the local and International hunter. We also cater for deep see fishing at our lodge in Mozambique, in the unspoilt waters of the Pomene area.

Maroi Conservancy focuses on sustaining the environment and the beauty of Africa for many generations to come, hunting is very important to us in order to manage population numbers as the animals can not be relocated due to foot and mouth disease along the border line. 

Ethical hunting is also very important to us, all the game including 3 of the big five are free roaming and wild, the success of a hunt is determined by the patience and enthusiasm of the hunter, our trained professional hunters and game trackers are always there to motivate and ensure a successful hunt.

Hunting in Africa is hunting on its own level, one can not compare it to anything else, mainly because every story you hear of Africa is different, some good, some life changing, therefore I can only tell you that much about hunting or fishing in Africa, the rest is your story to tell.

Visit our website for more information on Maroi Conservancy: www.maroiconservancy.co.za



Published in User Spotlight
Thursday, 29 August 2013 18:51

Shotem And Caughtem Season is Here

Yes ladies and gentlemen it has finally arrived.  Since we at Shotem and Caughtem will be preparing our gear and equipment tomorrow for the weekends festivities this will be the last blog till we come back from the field next week.  We will be headed out for our favorite hunting season which is the kick off to the rest of the hunting bragging season, Dove Season Baby!  It is also still warm enough in our area that fishing season is still decent but is quickly going to start winding down.  

Dependent on where you might be heading this weekend the fishing should be decent.  It is definitely towards the end of catching season but the fish still seem to be biting.  Reports we read from around the nation point to pretty slow fishing with the majority saying their catches are coming in very early in the morning or close to dark.  However, most reports show that their catches are down to about 35% of what they were during peak season.  Major lakes of course will be busy with the vacation traffic so back coves and untouched streams will offer the best fishing versus main channels.

Hunting season will begin Sept 1 and go into full swing through the next couple of weeks.  Teal season also opens at the end of next week in most places as well as snipe and rail.  Waterfowl season as well as deer bow season are also quickly on their way.

This should give most outdoorsman and woman a great reason to get out and enjoy the weather as fishing season comes to a break and hunting season turns full swing.  We hope you share your hunting party photos to the gear galleries and your trophies to the Shotem gallery and share your stories.  As always you can leave us a line in the comment section below.  Happy Shotem and Caughtem Labor Day to all!

Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 22:15

PoleTap Gaining Speed

It seems like just yesterday we had the opportunity to review the new Tackobox Poletap Smartrod design.  As a matter of fact we were one of the first to know it was in existence.  You might remember the article http://www.shotemandcaughtem.com.  So we were delighted to hear that not only had they been featured in the latest issue of Popular Science in the Cool Tech section but that they also had used some of our product photography for their article.  We felt it was a good opportunity to do a little self back pat and to tell PoleTap congratulations.

We were told that the product has already been picked up by Dicks Sporting Goods and by Field and Stream and they are in talks with Walmart.  Though they could not confirm a definite availability date we were assured that the rods will be available nation wide before the beginning of fishing season early next spring.  We wish them the best and hope to have some of their product in our catfishing hands soon. 

Keep posting your fishing glory in the galleries and tell us your story.  Once you start to see the Poletap fishing rod available in your area let us know in the comment section below. 


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
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 21:53

High School Fishing Clubs Win Great Prizes

We at Shotem and Caughtem learned of a great new program presented by Berkley fishing tackle to help get high school students out to enjoy the great outdoors and learn. They have launched what they have called the first International High School Fishing Club Challenge. A contest for high schoolers from both the United States and Canada.  Beginning August 15th, high school fishing coaches can register their school to participate in the program. The program lasts through the school year and offers numerous fishing related opportunities, rewards, product samples and prizes.

The ultimate goal is to win the Berkley High School Cup. The winning team receives $4,000 in prizes for that fishing team. Berkley will also be awarding 2nd place, 3rd place and honorable mention finishers. This program is not just about catching the biggest or most fish; it’s about learning fishing skills, nature conservation and creating a lifetime hobby.

Fishing clubs do not have to be sanctioned by the local board of education, but must be a part of the high school, just like the debate or math clubs.

For more details and to sign up team coaches (only one per school) register at http://www.berkley-fishing.com/high_school_registration

We also hope that the students extend their bragging rights by starting their groups and posting to the galleries right here on Shotem and Caughtem.  We think this is a great competitive way to get more of our youth in the great outdoors.  

Published in News/Events
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