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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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Wednesday, 03 July 2013 15:37

Shotem And Caughtem Independence Day

We at Shotem and Caughtem have been reading a lot of comments on the intraweb these days regarding the bashing of the everyday hunter and fisherman/woman.  We felt this week was a perfect week to add our two cents on the subject.  As many of our members and followers will attest too, the sport of hunting and fishing encompasses much more than the aspect of killing animals for sport.  It involves all the things that this country has to offer in it's freedoms and what many hope to achieve.  

Nothing makes this more evident than the celebration of our Independence.  The freedom of outdoorsmen/women that allows us to enjoy all mother nature has to offer and do it with those closest to us.  A time to reflect on our life and how we are only a small piece of the puzzle.  

We conserve to allow future generations the chance to learn what we have in the great outdoors.  The learning experience that even with hard work and dedication to our sport that challenges and disappointment are all part of what gets us so excited when our hard work pays off.  It is why we created the Shotem and Caughtem site dedicated to helping everyone learn, share and most of all brag!

With all the news out there regarding the genetic altering and medications used in our everyday food why would anyone try to bash those who want to procure naturally fed animals as part of our food source.  No drugs, no extra meds to enlarge animals for higher profit, no pesticides, just what mother nature intended.  A fresh off the land fed piece of meat.  They have a different taste.  Whether it is a well preserved cut of meat or a fresh line caught fish they have a great quality taste.  The thrill of procuring that animal, most of the time, is just a bonus.

We would like all of those who read this to have a fun July 4th celebration.  We hope you have a chance to enjoy all the freedoms many take for granted or sometimes over look.  Take the chance to enjoy this much needed break with those closest to you and have a little fun in the great outdoors.  Take time to thank those who helped us achieve those freedoms and keep them.  Most of all we hope you stay safe and share your fourth of July celebrations in the galleries and share your story.

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So if you are still struggling to find a good fishing opportunity for your 4th of July weekend plans we think we might have a good idea on where to go spend some time.  It seems that should you want to brave through the smoke in different parts of Colorado, the trout fishing might be at a great peak the next couple of weeks.  Here is the information we found.  

Now is the time to hit the ground running to the valley’s many rivers, streams and lakes. The big draw at this time of year is certainly the green drake mayfly hatch. Currently this hatch is taking place along the lower-elevation waters of the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers below Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. This evening hatch provides thrilling and frenzied Dry-fl fishing during the evenings. Locally, this event is called the “lightning round” or “hour of power,” as the final 45 minutes to hour and a half of daylight is when these large mayflies prefer to hatch.

This hatch still is in its infantile stages and historically becomes a full-bore hatch around July 4. Many local fly patterns have been developed to imitate these insects accurately because of the fact that our drakes don’t quite fit the mold of traditional colors and proportions. Some of my favorite drake patterns include TC sparkleduns, BDE drakes, KGBs, pimped-out H&Ls, drake cripples and winged-drake emergers in sizes 10 to 12.

While the Roaring Fork and Colorado yields its best dry-fly-fishing opportunities in the evening hours, the Fryingpan River will fish with dries midday from noon to 3 p.m. PMDs and caddis are common along the lower river, while below the dam, BWOs and midges are the name of the game. Late evenings also give way to decent rusty-spinner falls.

Diehard fans of the Fryingpan will find that the river is pleasantly devoid of its usual crowds as most anglers flock to the bigger rivers to chase the green drakes around. Complex hatches consisting of BWOs, PMDs and caddis can be had. BWOs and midges are the smallest of these insects (size 20 to 24), followed by PMDs (size 16 to 18) and caddis (size14 to 18). In a nutshell, just keep your eyes open if the fish are eating the small fly (BWOs) or the big fly (PMDs/caddis). Often, we will fish tandem fly setups consisting of one of each, enabling the fish to pick their fly du jour.

If you plan on hitting the state of Colorado in the next couple of weeks let us know your thoughts in the comment section below or post photos and tell us your story in one of the galleries.

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We at Shotem and Caughtem have had the opportunity to try noodling.  We can only say it is a humbling experience to say the least.  Nothing is more un-nerving than swimming down in merky water that limits your vision down to inches and then sticking your hand in a hole where you know you are probably going to get bitten.  So when we heard that the Champion of the annual Okie Noodling Festival was a 19 year old girl we thought it was note worthy.

Lucy Millsap, 19, of Quinlan, Texas, took first place Saturday at the Okie Noodling Festival in Pauls Valley with her 72-pound flathead catfish. She was among 200 hand fishermen who competed for the prize.  Contestants had 24 hours to catch a catfish with their hands and bring it back alive to Wacker Park in Pauls Valley by the 6 p.m. Saturday weigh-in.  While the crowd waited for noodling teams to arrive, kids feasted on catfish in an eating contest.  What began as a film promotion experiment with a crowd of 500 has turned into an annual summer festival that draws about 10,000 people from across the country.  

Lucy also happens to be a part of an all woman Noodling group called Bare Knuckle Babes.  What seems to be becoming a trend, like the queens of camo, these women are hand-picked, fearless, beautiful women who want to bring world-wide notice to the sport of Catfish Noodling, fishing, and hunting as well as the WOMEN involved!  These ladies want to inspire other women and girls to join exhilarating outdoor sports.  If you want to learn more about the group visit www.bareknucklebabes.com 

We hope if you have ever experienced noodling that you might share your stories in the comment section below or share to one of the galleries.

Published in News/Events
Friday, 21 June 2013 16:45

How to Make A Homemade Minnow Trap

We at Shotem and Caughtem recently found ourselves without live bait and our artificial baits just weren't catching any fish.  We were fishing an area where trying to dig up worms was pretty much a lost cause.  So we decided to do a little quick work and make ourselves a homemade minnow trap.  Luckily for us we are still in early spring and there are a ton of small bait fish in the water to make this quite an effective way to procure live bait.  We thought we might share how we made ours so that you might have the same fortune of getting yourself some free bait from good ole mother nature herself.  It acts as a better bait anyway since they are fish from their natural habitat.  

What you need:

1 clear 2 Liter bottle, some small rocks, piece of hot dog or pet food and a sharp knife. 

1.  Cut the bottle where it starts to narrow. Lay the bottle on a flat surface to keep it from slipping. Better yet, get someone to hold the other end. Use a utility razor knife or Exacto knife if you have either available.

2. Place the cut top inside the remaining bottle with the narrow part down. Use the duct tape to secure the two together. This makes a funnel that the minnows will swim into but won't be able to get back out. Place some pebbles inside the bottle to weight it down. Make a small hole near the top of the trap and fasten a string about 15 feet long.

3. Place some dry dog food, a hot dog or bread into the bottle and fill with water. Toss the trap into the stream in a calm, deep section. Check it in a couple of hours to see the minnows you have caught.

Let us know what you might use to catch your fresh bait in the comment section below and share your adventures in the galleries.




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We at Shotem and Caughtem read the story about a community showing their support of their military men and women's service by hosting a fishing tournament and we felt it was worth repeating.  We have a soft spot in our hearts for supporting our men and women for their service since many of our family members served and currently have brothers and cousins who are serving as we write this blog.  We even order much of our merchandise through the TSAF organization which supports fallen Army Rangers families.  Here are some of the details surrounding this New York community.

Paying tribute to members of the American military for their honorable and selfless service to our country takes many forms. Members of the outdoor community have embraced that patriotic practice, and one of the most remarkable and enduring of such recognitions is the annual Soldiers on the Sound Fluke Fishing Tournament, organized by the Smithtown Bay Yacht Club and supported by VFW Post 395 from St. James. The event, held last Saturday, is one of the most popular activities to be conducted along the North Shore.

A total of 110 servicemen and servicewomen from four branches of the military turned out for the event. Those in attendance represented the Army, Navy, Marines and the renowned 106th Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard based in Westhampton Beach. Many of the soldiers had recently returned from deployment abroad. The "106" had the most robust turnout of personnel since it has the longest standing partnership with the tournament.

Members of the Smithtown Bay Yacht Club, private charter captains and mates volunteered their boats, time and fishing expertise to make this the most expansive and successful fluke tournament thus far. About 50 boats participated in the tournament and hosted teams of angling military personnel. Many other behind-the-scenes folks volunteered their time and skills to coordinate event logistics and a magnificent clambake and buffet.

Tell us about events you might be having in the events section or share your comments below.  

Published in News/Events
Tuesday, 18 June 2013 23:43

Pike County Kids and Great Fishing

We at Shotem and Caughtem could not be more excited when we hear these three words.  Kids, outdoors and competition.  So when we read this story we felt it was worth repeating.  We only hope that some of our younger ones will take apart of sharing their bragging rights here on Shotem and Caughtem in the galleries.

Girls took the top prizes in all three age divisions at the 2013 Pike County Kids’ Fishing Day at Clay Hill Farms and they did so with flair and style.

The winner in each age division was determined by the total weight of their stringer of fish.

Autumn Adamson won the five to seven age division with 10 fish weighing 16 pounds. Brianna Adkinson caught nine fish that weighed 12 pounds to take the prize in the age eight and nine division. The age 11-13 division champ was Haley Middlebrooks with 10 fish at 13 pounds.

Pike County Conservation Officer Jerry Jinright congratulated the winners of the fishing competition as well as all of the boys and girls who came out to participate. He also expressed appreciation to the parents and other adults who spent a morning fishing with the children.

“We had a very good turnout for the free Kids’ Fishing Day this year,” Jinright said. “We had 68 kids who caught 170 catfish with a total weight of 223 pounds. The fish were biting and everyone seemed to have a good time.”

Let us know your comments on sharing the great outdoors with your children in the comment section below or share to the bragging walls.

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We at Shotem and Caughtem are very excited about the new changes coming to the website which should increase our members love of this already great Hunting and Fishing Social Network.  

The first change has already been made which is the addition of the Shotem and Caughtem of the month.  This will be a monthly contest where the winners will get an entire months worth of bragging rights being featured with your story on the main page as well as some great prizes.  We will be hooking up with a wide variety of different sponsors to offer new prizes every month.  We will post these prizes for the following month on that months winners page so visit often to find out what you might win.

Contest rules are pretty simple.

1.  Email your prize winning photo to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2.  We will take your photo and add our logo to the picture so that people know who has entered that month.

3.  Contest winners will be decided prior to the end of the month by which logo photo in the Caughtem or Shotem Gallery has the most likes and comments.

4.  We will then e mail you to get the full Bragging rights story to add to your award winning photo that will be posted in the appropriate section.

5.  At the end of the month those who had entered their photos will be taken down and we will start fresh so as new members come to the site everyone has a fair shot.

6.  The last week of the month all contest photos will be removed and re-posted and the process starts all over again.  We will correlate photos based on when they arrive in that month and let you know when to expect your photo to be posted and which month your contest entry will start.  We will only have contests for the Shotem and Caughtem of the month when we have enough support so tell your friends.

7.  Don't let the fact that you have entered multiple times or with photos taken from way back in the day stop you from entering.  

8.  Their is one unbreakable rule however, we do not support false braggers.  Should you be selected as the winner we will ask that you provide some addition photos from other adventures to verify you as the appropriate bragger so no cheating.   

So get bragging and we will let you know as soon as we have enough entries when our very first Shotem and Caughtem Contest will start and the cool prizes that will be available.  

Stay tuned for some more great changes that will be happening to the website soon.  We think it will help us solidify ourselves as the Best Hunting and Fishing Social Network on the World Wide Web.  


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Sunday of this week is Fathers Day and we at Shotem and Caughtem thought we would dedicate this week to great gift ideas for those men who help in our appreciation for the great outdoors.  Whether you have a hunter or fisherman as a father or a father you know that needs a great gift we thought we would start with gift idea number one, TIME.  One thing we realize, as we not only look back on our own time with our dad's but also with the kids we have watch grow up, is that time goes by too fast.  Many feel in order to celebrate their dad's achievements that they need to go out and buy him something.  Many fail to realize that grabbing the fishing rods or rifles and spending the day outdoors can be one of the best presents.  Those eight hours alone with you and your dad can actually mean more than any gift you could ever buy off the shelf.  As a matter of fact many of the lakes and rivers in various states are being stocked with fish to help celebrate the day.  Food plots can start being prepped for fall planting.  Or just taking a drive out to one of the parks, dropping the tailgate on the truck with a case of beer, a grill and some steaks could mark an absolutely great gift for any Dad.  

If you plan on taking your Dad out for a Sunday adventure or have a suggestion we hope you leave a comment in the section below.  As always we hope you will post photos of your adventures in the galleries and tell us your story.  


Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 13:02

How to Filet a Fish Tips and Tricks

With fishing season starting to be in full swing we at Shotem and Caughtem thought we would do a quick line on the steps it takes to appropriately fillet a fish.  As any outdoorsman/woman knows the best food we eat is that which comes straight from the water or field to our plate.  This definitely holds true with fresh line caught fish.  When procured from a good habitat the taste of fresh fish does not have the tastes that store bought net fish have with a slight exception for bottom feeders.  

Bottom feeders such as catfish, halibut, etc. take a little more time and care should you want the best tasting fish.  For these fish we recommend having a tank or horse trough filled with clean water and a an aerator.  This is not always the case and you can usually tell by the color of the fish as to whether it will need this extra step.  If pulled from a clean/clear lake or stream they will have their bright clean colors.  However, when pulled from a muddy or dirty river or stream you will notice that the color of the fish is also muddy or off.  For these fish a trip to the tank can provide you with the clean tasting fish you are craving.  You will notice after the fish couple of hours the color of your tank water will start to change as the fish cycles out the toxins and muddy water from its body.  We usually have to change the water out a couple time to achieve the right color on our fish.

Before starting the steps below we recommend finding the sharpest set of knives you have and not just one.  As with any animal, when it comes to skinning or filleting their tough skin and scales can make quick work on even the sharpest knife.  Make sure you have a knife sharpener.  Also a fish cleaning board or something that will allow you to nail the tail end or the fish to the board will help you make a nicer fillet but is not required.  


Here are some steps to follow when filleting your fish:

Step 1 - Put the scaled fish on a chopping board and, using scissors, trim off the fins by the head on each side, and any fins that run along the top and on the underside of the fish.

Step 2 - With the tip of the knife, pierce the stomach of the fish using the small hole by the tail as a guide. Run the knife from the tail to the head, cutting open the stomach. Clean out the contents of the stomach and rinse the fish in cold running water or by dipping it into a bucket of clean water.

Step 3 - Return the fish to the chopping board and make a long cut around the head and just below the gills on both sides: remove the head.

Step 4 - Tail towards you, run the knife down the spine to the tail in a gentle slicing - not sawing - action, working the blade between the spine and the flesh. Repeat until the fillet begins to come away - lift the fillet to see where you're working.

Step 5 - When you get to the rib bones, let the knife follow the shape of the fish and slice over the bones. Once you've removed the fillet, set it aside.

Step 6 - Turn over the fish and repeat with the second fillet, this time starting at the tail and working towards the head. Be careful - the second fillet may be a little trickier to remove.

If you have any tips or tricks you think we missed add them to the comment section below.  Most of all post your photos and tell us about your adventures in the galleries.  

Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem noticed that many states across the nation will be conducting free fishing days throughout the first week in June which starts tomorrow.  This creates a perfect chance for those would be fisherman/woman such as kids, friends or family to go out and give the sport a try with little to no investment.  It creates a perfect draw for those that know people who are dedicated to the sport to tag along and see if they like the experience before investing the money needed to have a decent set up and purchase a fishing license.  We can think of no better way to get newbies out to the great outdoors, test the sport and see what they have been missing/feed a new addiction.  We hope that many take advantage of the free chance to explore the sport of fishing dependant on your states rules and regulations.  Visit your states Wildlife and parks website for more information on dates, rules and tournaments being held at different lakes and streams in your community this weekend/week. 

Share your experiences with your new found fishing partner in the Caughtem gallery or leave comments in the section below.

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