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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, 24 April 2013 20:09

Tarpon Fishing along the Florida Coast

The spring fishing season has started to kick off along the Florida Coast.  After watching this past weekend of River Monsters with Jeremy Wade, apparently Tarpon season is in full swing along the coast as they migrate to spring spawning locations.  Here are some tips to landing your own River Monster should you be in the area or thinking about making a fun fishing trip.  Let us know about your experiences in the comment section below and share your photos of your River Monsters in the Caughtem gallery section and tell us your story.

Tarpon are making their presence made from down in the Ten Thousand Islands to off Fort Myers Beach. These are the big fish on the annual trek up to Boca Grande, and then offshore to spawn.

Fish are being hooked up that range from 80 to 180 pounds, and the two favored methods are live bait or cut bait. One of the most effective cut baits is the lowly catfish.

Catch a few catfish, cut off the head and the tail, and put the chunk on an 8- to 10-ought circle hook. Put the bait out in a likely area, and then place the pole in a holder. Sit back and enjoy a cold one while you wait.

When one of the large silver-side monsters picks up a bait, you quickly will understand the power these fish can put out. Make sure you use appropriate tackle. While it is nice to use lighter tackle, it can really stress out the tarpon. A well-worn-out fish also makes a great target for a huge shark. Get your fish to the boat quickly and take a picture with the fish in the water, and then safely release the fish for another day.

The linesider snook are also in the mix, and they are really starting to bite well. With spawning months of May through June just ahead, the fish are more than eager to eat an offered bait. Artificials work well early in the morning and later just before dark. For the rest of the fishing day, live pilchards are the best bait around.

When the water is somewhat high, make sure to get your bait well under the branches. While we are seeing a good number of slot-sized fish, a lot of us don’t think that there are enough to warrant the reopening of snook season this fall. There are a lot of snook, but not enough of the large breeders when compared to the year before the big freeze back in 2010. Please carefully release all snook.

Large trout continue to fill out dinner menus for area anglers. Some of these fish are so large you will think you have latched onto a good-sized red. Remember that these trout don’t freeze well. Keep only what you will eat in the next day or so. Trout are hitting live bait, shrimp, and a variety of artificial baits. Look for them anywhere from the passes to the grass flats.

Pompano are to be found around the passes, and especially on the flats adjacent to those passes. If you are running on plane over one of these areas, it is not uncommon to “skip” some pompano behind the boat. If that happens, make a big loop, shut down and fish that area where you saw the fish. Bright-colored jigs that are tipped with shrimp work well, but sand fleas are hard to beat.

Red grouper are on the feed in offshore waters. Fish in the 30-inch range are being boated by area anglers. Live bait or cut bait will work well on these guys. If you don’t have some “numbers” for a fish-producing area, use your bottom reader to find some hard bottom, and try a drift or two over the area to find the fish. Once you get a hook up, hit the man-overboard feature to instantly mark the location. You then can go back and anchor up to see if the area will produce numbers of fish. A little chum will help.

Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem can not support enough the hunting of Wild Boar as not a paid expense but a necessity to curb hog populations around the United States.  Luckily, Florida has adopted a good way to curb this population.  Check out the regulations below and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 16:01

2,000lb Great White Caught off Florida Coast

So this still counts as not only a great Caughtem photo but a little alarming for those who fish and play in the waters off the Florida Coast.  A 2.000 pound Great White Shark was caught in just 25 feet of water just off a popular Florida surfing site this last Sunday.  It is the first Great White to be tagged in the Jacksonville area.  The shark measured 14 feet, 6 inches, and weighed 2,000 pounds. It was given the name Lydia and, after its tag was fitted and tissue samples and a blood work were taken, the shark was lowered from the research vessel's tagging cradle and turned loose.  People can check on the movements of sharks tagged by Ocearch via its website, and receive updates via its Facebook page.  Go to www.ocearch.org to learn more about their efforts to research and help protect these apex predators. 


Published in News/Events
Monday, 18 February 2013 21:29

Florida Python Hunt Ends with a Release

We at Shotem and Caughtem just heard this news and had to report on it.  Not sure why they would think this would work but let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

A new prize in the Florida Python Challenge has been announced and everybody wins.

The two men who caught the giant Burmese Python collected a $1,000 prize. The giant snake was released back into the Everglades And Florida wildlife experts expect the python -- outfitted with a pair of transmitters -- to show them where to find the thousands of snakes hiding in the wild and lead them breeding females.

Two other pythons were also implanted with transmitters and sent back into the wild.

"It's breeding time and females attract males and we have three eager young lads sitting out there with radio transmitters on them who can lead us to the breeding female and we can catch her," Frank Mazzotti, professor of wildlife at the University of Florida who helped organize the challenge, told ABC News.

The Florida Python Challenge ended on this weekend with the round up of a mere 68 snakes. Officials held the snake hunt because the pythons have multiplied into the thousands in the Everglades and have become a threat to native species.

Published in News/Events
Friday, 08 February 2013 14:42

Python Hunt Ends in the Florida Everglades

This Sunday marks the end of the well publisized hunt for the Burmese pythons that have over taken the Florida Everglades which started Jan. 12th.  Unfortunately, leading up to this weekends close only 50 snakes have been captured or killed out of a population that is said to be well over 150,000 animals.  Wildlife biologists say the troublesome invaders, which are notoriously evasive and have no known predators in Florida, have become a major pest and pose a significant threat to endangered species like the wood stork and Key Largo wood rat.  The state wildlife agency was offering prizes for the Python Challenge of $1,500 for the most pythons captured or killed as part of the hunt and $1,000 for the largest python. The prizes are due to be announced at an awards ceremony set for Feb 16.  A Burmese python found in Florida last year set a record as the largest ever captured in the state, at 17 feet, 7 inches. The snake weighed nearly 165 pounds (75kg).  We would love to see some of the catches posted to our Caughtem wall so that we could start a dialogue about your experience on the hunt.  
Published in News/Events