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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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Tuesday, 28 May 2013 20:34

Fishing at Table Rock Lake

Though we at Shotem and Caughtem did not get any bragging photos from our weekend excursion to Table Rock Lake this weekend we did make some observations that might make you adventure more eventful than ours.  We went out several different days at different times.  During most of our adventure we witnessed a large amount of bait fish in the water.  The shore lines and many of the docks were riddled with hundreds of small bite sized fish.  Off our lines many of the strikes either felt on the line or observed from the top line of the water came from small over aggressive fish trying to eat way more then their mouths would allow.  I watched as many of my top water baits were heckled by fish too small to fit the bait they were trying to engulf.  

Many of the fish we hoped to see at the end of the lines would come right up to shore or close to the dock or boat only to shy away at the last minute.  The water was impressively clear all weekend long, up to 15-20ft in some places.  We feel like the impressively clear water and the high amount of bait fish created an environment where the fish could stand to be picky eaters.  When ever this has been the case in the past we probably should have switched to live bait, a hook and a bobber.  Unfortunately since our weekend also consisted of a little rest, relaxation and some drinking with friends we kept forgetting to get the minnow trap in the water.  For the next couple of weeks at least with the lakes in the Midwest we would recommend only using live bait until the weaker bait fish have been eaten and the large fish get a little less picky.  Now admittedly we were not after bluegill which were more than willing to eat anything we through in the water.  

Hope our research helps you post some photos to the Caughtem gallery and let us know how your experiences went this weekend in the comment section below.

Published in On Location

Another great bass fishing spot here in the Midwest is Grand Lake in Oklahoma.  It was the first lake hit by the BassMaster tournament this year and will be a spot many head to for this Memorial Day Weekend.  We at Shotem and Caughtem did a little fishing homework for you.  

The Crappie spawn is about over which means that it is about ready to be prime crappie fishing.  Crappie have been hitting on live bait and shallow spinners.  Weather conditions look to be nice in the mid 80's but a chance of rain Sunday and Monday.  Fish seem to be biting early mornings and mid evenings with a small window right after lunch.  Lake levels are good and reports show that many areas are clearing up.  Catfish have been hitting on Shad.  Bass have been hitting on worms, shad and top water baits.  Bass fishing has been spotty but what bites have been happening have been well worth the wait.  Water temperatures are hovering in the mid to low 60's dependant on time of day.  

Let us know how your fishing trip goes this weekend in the comment section below and as always post photos to the Caughtem Gallery and tell us your story. Most of all have a safe and fun holiday Shotem and Caughtem weekend!


Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem are doing a little self indulgence by doing a fishing report for Table Rock Lake since that happens to be the spot we will be heading to this weekend.  The bass fishing is one of the best in Missouri at Table Rock lake and we can't wait to get our lines wet for the first time this season.  Water levels have risen to just above normal levels and we hope this has woken up the predators. 

Reports say that the Shad have begun to spawn in the graveled areas off points and along shallower coves.  Top water baits have been doing well in the lighter colors around depths of 5-20 feet.  Weather looks to be hit and miss with scattered thunder storms all weekend and highs in the mid to upper 70's.  The lake as of this past week has been relatively clear making the lighter color baits more noticeable and seem to be the preferred color baits.  

St. James River trout will be enjoying the cooler lake temperatures which seem to be in the high 60's.  As always we recommend a small hook and some Jolly Green Giant canned corn as bait.  Always seems to work.  

If you are headed out this weekend to any Lake we hope to see your Lake or River Monster photos in the Caughtem gallery and share what is working for you.  As always leave comments in the section below.


Published in News/Events

When we at Shotem and Caughtem were young our Dad took us to Aspen Colorado for Memorial Day Weekend.  While we were there he had planned a trip to one of Aspens great trout fishing lakes.  We hope that some other Dad's out there will be making the same kind of trip this Memorial Day Weekend.  Aspen Colorado has some of the best fishing lakes and streams in Colorado.  As we reported earlier last week it is a perfect time to go trout fishing with the recent caddis hatch and we wanted to give you a fishing report. 

To match the recent hatch it looks like the weather will be perfect for spring trout.  Temperatures all weekend look to be in the low 70's making some of the hikes needed to get to the best lakes and areas very comfortable.  Also, it will bring the fish closer to the shoreline during the mid day so the fish can warm their bodies and hunt.  

We at Shotem and Caughtem have a great trick for those of you that have never tried trout fishing in lakes.  Especially the ones that are rarely fished because they require a bit of a hike.  Just an hour hike can get you to some great lakes around Aspen.  Here is the tip.  With a small rod and reel, a handful of small hooks and weights, a couple of light weight bobbers, and a can of Jolly Green Giant Corn you have all the gear you need for fishing.  I was able to fit all this plus some survival gear in a small backpack weighing about 10 pounds.  

If you know of a great Aspen Colorado fishing lake and have some tips and tricks you use for trout fishing let us know in the comment section below.  As always share your Memerial Day catches in the Caughtem gallery and share you story.  Please check with local laws and regulations before your adventure.  


Published in News/Events

With Memorial Day weekend coming up which is the last weekend of Turkey season in Kansas we figured that many will grab their rods and reels and head to the lake.  This week we will be blogging about different lakes and giving a little fishing reports from lakes we feel people will be hitting here in the Midwest.  Though we don't want to leave out those to the east and west there are only four days to fit these reports into so we cheated this time and went with the lakes we know that are top fishing destinations here in the Midwest.  First we will look at the conditions that are predicted for Lake Texoma.  This lake sits close to the Texas and Oklahoma boarder and is known as one of the best lakes for striper fishing here in the Midwest.

Luckily for those that are traveling to this lake over the holidays it looks like it will be prime fishing weather.  Reports we read from the lake say the stripers are in full spring swing.  Many guide services from the lake said they we having trouble keeping up with all the catches happening in their boats.  Weather looks to be perfect in the mid to high 80's all weekend with only a 30% chance of rain on friday.  Monday and Tuesday this week will come with some high probability of severe weather but if it does not rain on Friday that means water should be clearing up for the start of the weekend.  Guides said that with the clearer water conditions last week they were having great luck using top water baits in shallower areas along the rocky banks of Lake Texoma.  This means you will get the kind of action we love when fishing for stripers.  There is nothing more excited than watching air striper hitting your lure!  Something to watch for is areas that have bait fish leaping out of the water trying to avoid being caught by the waiting stripers below.  It will be a good sign that the predators are in that area.  As always with the warmer temperatures many were having the best luck early morning and late evenings.  

If you plan on traveling to a lake this Memorial weekend and would like for us to do a little research on the subject leave us a comment in the section below. As always post your photos this Memorial weekend in the Caughtem Gallery and tell us your story.


Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem love finding good deals when it comes to hunting and fishing gear.  Lucky for us we recently became aware of a site dedicated to our wants and needs and thought we would share our good fortune.  Buck Stone Creek is a website dedicated to flash sales of a host of hunting and fishing products.  Though you never know what the sales might include, they do work with an impressive amount of hunting and fishing gear providers.  They last for 3-4 days and after watching several sales can offer you anywhere between 10-40% off most comparable offers we were able to find on the world wide web.  As with many products it seems that the higher the retail value of the product the more they are able to save their members.  This is the catch with getting access to deals that they offer.  Membership is free for a limited time but you must provide your email address they can notify you of when sales become available.

Buck Stone Creek like us is fairly new to the scene but is dedicated to helping their members get great pricing and customer service.  They have worked with companies such as Bushnell, Pulsar, Wildgame Innovations, Carbon Express, Coyote Eye wear and Gorilla Gear to name just a few.  Their next flash sale will begin on Monday so we recommend you head over and become a member so that you can take advantage of the sale.  There is only a limited number of products available to sell at this price so if you see something you need take advantage quickly.  

We have given some helpful tips to Buck Stone Creek to share in their newsletter so let us know how you like them should you become a member.  Let us know if you have purchased something from Buck Stone Creek in the comment section below and post photos of your favorite gear in the gallery and tell us your story.      


Wednesday, 15 May 2013 18:42

War Veterans find Peace while Fishing

We at Shotem and Caughtem have read the reports that Veterans coming home from the war are beginning to find piece through programs that take them fishing and we thought we would add our two cents.  We have also been reading the twitter feeds that have had a lot of people talking ethics behind the recreational sports of hunting and fishing.  We think these two issues are somewhat intertwined.

As most of us dedicated hunters and fisherman and woman have known all along, mother nature can provide some great therapy.  Whether sitting in a stand, blind, dock or boat, moments with friends, family or with one's own thoughts.  Add being surrounded by mother nature and this can allow people a way to escape/cope.  In a world of constant stimulus the sports can allow those of us the time to unplug and reset our minds and bodies.  Some choose yoga, excercise or a massage.  We choose the outdoors.  I can remember some of my best times being outdoors.  Just last week I sat alone with my thoughts.  It gave me a chance to unwind.  After a little while with my thoughts I watched a couple of red tail hawks fight over territory, an armidillo tear up part of my field and a couple of turkey vultures play in the wind.  It gave me time to appreciate the things I have at my disposal.  The fact that I had a place to go and not think about work, my job, my family and all the stresses of life in general.  While watching those animals I realized that life can just be made simple.  Sure there are fights, things that could cause you to twist an ankle but at the end of the day a little time playing in the wind is all one needs.  I did not see or hear one turkey the entire day but I could not have left the field happier.  

I think this is what many find in these sports.  Many fail to realize the sports are not called shooting and catching.  Many a day is spent in the field or on the water to return with nothing but a smile.  Sure we run to these places in hopes we will return with that monster fish or trophy animal but most of the time we run to unwind and as a bonus we hope we get something to brag about.  This is why you will see many in the gallery with fish the size of minnows and a huge grin or a photo of hunters in their favorite gear, no dead animal but a grin on their face.  We always have a story even if we don't have an animal to go with it.  

These sports should be supported just like any other.  Respondsible hunters and fisherman/woman realize that inorder to have the outdoors we must respect and take respondsibility to make sure we have these places to go.  It is why we plant food plots, build ponds, plant tress and spend time off season creating habitats for all species.  We just love that therapy.  The fact we get to take a photo with a wall hanger is meerly a great bonus.  We at Shotem and Caughtem are pleased to hear our Veterans have found a way to unwind while enjoying the sports we hold dear.  We hope as the website continues to grow that we will be capable of connecting more and more people, those that want to learn more and the veterans of the sport that have so much to teach.  Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and keep bragging about your own Shotem and Caughtem life in the photo galleries. 


We at Shotem and Caughtem read the news that spring Small Mouth Bass fishing Season has been halted in Pennsylvania and we thought we would pass along the news.  Many fishermen and woman love small mouth bass fishing throughout the United States.  Noticing conditions that have caused the problems in PA might help other states react faster to not cause this type of cancellation in other states.  If you have witnessed some of your catches showing signs like the ones in PA please advise your state Wildlife and Parks division.  Noticing these types of signs early might help prevent declines or transfer of a potentially harmful disease to other fish species.  Let us know if you have had similar occurrences in your area as many states have fought algae blooms due to the recent drought conditions in the comment section below.  

Over the past decade, the decline of one of the most prized freshwater sport-fish species -- the smallmouth bass -- has puzzled anglers and scientists.

Populations that once thrived throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed -- including the lower Susquehanna River -- have experienced fishkills and perplexing illnesses, according to a recent report from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

The problems include lesions, blotchy skin, shorter lifespans and abnormal sexual development in which males grow eggs in their testes, said Harry Campbell, the foundation's Pennsylvania executive director.

A myriad of influences are coming together to threaten the smallmouth bass, Campbell said. Phosphorus and nitrogen pollution have been linked to spring algal blooms that create low-oxygen conditions that stress fish.

"These algae blooms occur when our smallmouth fry are most vulnerable to infection," said John Arway, executive director of the commission in a conference call hosted by the foundation.

Younger populations of smallmouth bass are dying at "unprecedented rates," Campbell said.

With shorter lifespans for adults and juveniles not living to adulthood, the overall population is feared to be near collapse, he said.

The loss of this species will have serious environmental and economic impacts, Campbell said.

In the Susquehanna River, smallmouth bass populations have plummeted, with catch rates of adults falling 80 percent between 2001 and 2005, according to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Subsequent studies by the commission have found that populations have not recovered.

This decline prompted the state agency to impose emergency regulations that prohibited fishing for the species in much of the river from May 1 to June 15, 2012, and again this year.

Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem, like many, are getting to the tail end of our ability to Turkey hunt.  With spring hunting season coming to an end the Shotem and Caughtem life will begin to shift focus from the Shotem side of the brain to the Caughtem side.  Luckily for us this weekend marks the start of the spring hatching season for caddis and mayflies.  What does that mean for us?  It means that the predator fish are going to come to the surface to gorge themselves on the little bugs.  This means it is fishing season.  So dust off the fly rods and the fishing gear cause the trout will be in full attack mode.  So take advantage of not only the hatch but the fact that nothing says happy mothers day better than some quality time in the great outdoors.  Here are some fly tricks and tips to aid in your adventure.  As always leave your comments in the section below and post your catches in the Caughtem Gallery or start one of your own to share with others.

What is the secret? Efficiency. The principle is simple; the actual attainment of it is not. Many anglers flail randomly, their fly occasionally crossing those areas where vulnerable insects concentrate, catching fish only when their fly is in a prime area. The expert, however, changes his tactics as the prime areas change, and keeps his fly for as long as possible in the productive zone.

The key to anticipating, or “ambushing,” a caddis fly hatch requires breaking the common notion of what it is. Too many fishermen only recognize the peak of the action, the frantic surface feeding coinciding with the heaviest concentration of insects on or under the surface film, but these fishermen miss out on fishing before or after the peak — fishing that is sometimes even better.

The first time an angler encounters heavy insect activity, he cannot anticipate it. It is a blind situation — he is unprepared for the ensuing feeding spree. He fumbles in his fly box for some kind of a matching fly and casts to the rising trout with various techniques. If he fails to find the right combination with his hasty attempts, he probably ends up frustrated and fishless.

Even a regular on a stream, lacking an understanding of entomology, cannot fully master such a situation. He might have enough experience with a particular insect to use proper flies and tactics during the main hatch, his methods worked out by past trial and error, but he can still only take advantage of the activity he sees, the hour or so of actual surface feeding. He cannot take advantage of the subsurface activity he does not see.

The fly fisherman who understands the typical life cycle of stream caddisflies, however, knows the vulnerable subsurface stages. He discovers where, when, and how the concentrations occur during an emergence, which allows him to anticipate and prepare for the appearance of the insect. This knowledge also allows him to take full advantage of the predictable daily feeding schedule of the trout. Such an angler is not a member of a scientific cult, but simply a fly fisherman who is prepared to match his tactics and flies to the changing concentrations of insects. There are three areas in which caddisflies concentrate during a hatch.

1.  Usually, hours before the main hatch, some caddisflies begin popping out. The first of these random emergers often reaches the surface safely because trout are not conditioned to the occurrence, but soon fish take notice of the hatch. Even when they do start feeding, however, the trout seldom rise to grab a natural from the surface.

2.  Once out of the silk-lined, stone or vegetable cocoon, drifting freely in the stream, the swimming caddisfly emergent begins inflating its surrounding skin with gas bubbles and beating with hair-fringed legs, both of these actions lifting the insect up through the water. At the surface the adult hesitates, pushing against the underside of the meniscus (surface film) and struggling to shed the pupal skin.

3.  When the peak hatch is over and the surface of the river is blank, most anglers quit fishing, or at least stop trying to match caddisflies but there is still an hour of so of very exciting action left. There is one more concentration of insects that pulls fish, often the largest, into specific areas of the stream.

Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem have noticed that throughout the fishing world it is peek season for the Take your Kids Fishing Programs.  There seem to be a plethora of different events and programs throughout the United States geared and stocked to get the fishing world to grab a child and get them outdoors.  We could not be happier and more supportive of any program that involves special things to get them out and teach them about the great outdoors.  All of us hunters and fisherman/woman remember our childhood and our times with friends and family in the great outdoors.  These programs have either done some extra stocking of rivers and lakes or have set up some fun filled events surrounding fishing and the great outdoors.  We hope that many of our readers will look into the different programs in their local area and take advantage of these events to help train and educate the next generation about the great outdoors.  If you find any great events in your area post them to the events section in the caughtem gallery or tell us about yours in the comment section below.  Most of all post your monster catches with your kids to the Caughtem Gallery and brag about your adventure.  Here are just a few of the tips if you happen to be taking advantage of these great programs.

Published in News/Events
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