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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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Great Gifts for the Hunting and Fishing Community

We at Shotem and Caughtem know that shopping for the hunter or fisherman/woman in your life can seem like a daunting task.  Fortunately, though you might think we have every one of our needs met there are still some things we ight not have that are great things to have in the field so we thought we would list our top ten picks for great gift ideas. 

Great clothing ideas as gifts

We have been hunting and fishing for over a decade and always need or want extra clothing.  Whether it be thermal clothes for the winter, extra colors of camo for different times of the year or just replacing our favorite clothes to wear in the field, anyone who hunts and fishes can always use extra clothes.  If you ever wonder what someone might need listen to what we complain about when we get back from the outdoors.  Whether we tore our favorite pants climbing over a barb wire fence, or commented on our feet getting soaked while out on the water there is a clothing need that can be met and some great products to meet those needs.  Heck you might even have someone who has thought about duck hunting or ice fishing but has not tried it since they do not have the appropriate clothing yet.  Want to save a little money, wait until a particular season is over and watch the clothes get marked down over 50%.  Winter clothes go on sale in the spring months and spring/summer clothes go on sale during fall. A perfect example is this waterproof coat 

Trail Cameras, GoPros, Cases and Mounts for Cell Phones

The technology now available to the hunting and fishing community are vast.  Those who hunt and fish and want to share their adventures can always use the new technology to document either the fields they hunt or the adventures they go on and want to capture.  There are a variety of mounts and rigs that allow you to mount your cell phone or go pro and capture some great angles.  Trail cameras can be a great way to see what is walking through an area.  The new cases allow even those who hunt public land to secure their camera to help detour theft.  This trail camera is almost 100 dollars off right now 

Lures, Poles and Tackle 

We have never made the comment while out on the water "WOW I think I have too much tackle."  No fisherman has said these words nor will they.  Whether it is having other colors of their favorite lure or some they have never tried there are some great lure and tackle options for the fisherman/woman in your life.  There are some great companies who are already apart of Shotem and Caughtem you should check out.

Pole tap Smart rod 

Great lures from some of our members: http://www.berkley-fishing.com/ and http://www.thrownthunderlures.com/ and http://www.anglerschoice.ca/

Hunting Decoys, Calls and Accessories

Whether you have a dove, turkey, upland bird, big game, small game or migratory bird hunter in your life they always need more supplies.  No matter the animal there is a call, decoy or piece of equipment we have either worn to the bone or want more variety.  The guys we duck and goose hunt with say you can never have to many decoys.  There are a variety of different sounds or calls a hunter can see in the field to either scare away the prey we don't want around or attract the ones we do and there is a call for them.  Whether it is extra lanyards, holsters, backpacks or cases those who hunt or fish can never have to much stuff.  As a matter of fact we feel it is a matter of pride to complain about how much stuff we do or don't have.

Great decoys :  www.mojooutdoors.com  


Optics and Fish Finders

There is no better gift to those who hunt or fish than added vision.  Whether it is the latest and greatest fish finder, gps, rifle scope, spotting scope or binoculars enhancing your outdoorsman/womans vision can be a great gift.  Whether it is enhancing their ability to see in low light, extending their range or tracking even the deepest depths there is an answer to your gift idea.     

Cabelas is running a sale right now on Nikon Scopes 

Have some ideas on some other great options for your wish list and want to be included then we hope you comment below and let us know or become and member and show us why your gear should make our favorite christmas list.

Tuesday, 04 November 2014 21:56

Duck Hunting Gear Tips

Thinking about going on your first duck hunt?

So we at Shotem and Caughtem went on our very first duck hunt.  Let us first say it was a blast.  Think of it kind of like dove hunting only a lot colder and requiring a way more stealthy and gear heavy approach.  As such we felt like the best place to start talking about the experience would be discussing the gear needed for a successful duck hunt.

Duck Hunting Gun, Choke and Ammo Tips

Of course the best place to start would be the proper gun, ammo and choke.  We realize that the only place we could agree to disagree would be the choke.  Between 10 guys in the blind only two of us were using the same gun.  Many were shooting steel shot number 2, however, we had received a choke from www.kicks-ind.com  to try out so we thought we would do a review based on how the choke did firing 3, 4 and 5 as well.  As many hunters know the lighter the load the cheaper the cost per shell.  So if you can successfully strike your target with a lighter load due to choke performance than you are saving money.  We were shooting 3in shells and found that our Kick's choke at the tip of our remington 870 allowed us to pretty much shoot any appropriate size duck load with success.  Though the heavier loads allowed us to reach out further with greater success, at 30 yards and closer our performance did not change.  The choke held a magnificent pattern at 35 yards and the four birds we knew we shot dropped right away (ten guys firing at once kind of distorts performance overall).  As a matter of fact out of the 10 guns 7 were using Kick's Chokes.  

Proper Hunting Waders for Waterfowl

Next top gear need for duck hunting would be waders.  These can make or break a successful duck hunt.  If you don't have a dog, your waders will be one of the few ways you will be able to retrieve your birds and not freeze.  We suggest purchasing these on sale if possible.  We got ours during dove season in the bargain cave of Cabelas and got last years waders for 60% off regular price.

Hunting from a Duck Blind 

A good duck blind can be your best asset.  Whether you spend the big money and purchase a blind our blind was made with what we like to call midwest ranch scraps.  You would be amazed what you can build with some hedge limbs, cedar trees and old rotten hay.  All this appropriately stripped together provided great cover, and a four foot wide lane to perfectly hold 10 guys with a dog at each end to retrieve.  

Duck calls.  Every hunter in the stand had at least 8 different calls on their lanyards and they all require practice.  We will hit this topic again later since there is definitely an art to that science.

Duck Hunting Decoys for First time Hunters

Last but not least would be decoys.  Here is the expensive side of things.  Lucky for us we were able to go on our first hunt with guys that have been doing this for a long time and had acquired a lot of money in decoys over time.  I think we had no less than a couple thousand dollars in the water.  I think this is why duck hunters love to hunt in packs.  I think it is to share the burden in costs for decoys.

Let us know your tips on the best gear for your duck adventures in the comment section below.  As always share your adventures and experiences to the Shotem wall.


Monday, 09 June 2014 22:19

Berkley Fishing Havoc Boss Dog Bait

We at Shotem and Caughtem got to run out an enjoy the nice weekend and test out some new baits sent to us by Berkley fishing.  With the clear water conditions and the amount of bait fish we saw by the shore line we choose to grab the Boss Dog bait they sent us to try out first.  Lucky for us we made the correct choice.  Bass in our area always seem to have the taste for lizard and this bait does not disappoint.  

The difference between many of the lizards we have fished within the past is Berkley changed the tail to add a little more eye appeal.   Not only does the bait come in a variety of colors for the right water conditions, but the tail construction adds similar effect to the swim motion that you find in many worm baits.  Needless to say we and the bass seem to be big fans of what the bait has to offer.  

We definitely will continue to have this bait in our tackle box for years to come.  We not only enjoyed its look but the single bait we had weather more than a dozen hard hits from 3-4.5lb bass and is still ready for the next trip out.  It seem to hold up very well to not only the strikes but to consistent re-hooking to our weedless approach.  

Let us know your experience with Berkley baits in the comment section below.  We were lucky enough to get several of their baits to test and hope to receive more that we might be able to distribute to our members for posting their photos.  Continue to check in and see what else Berkley gave us to try this season and see how it faired in our area of the world.    


Tuesday, 03 June 2014 22:05

Angler's Choice Flappin Weasel

We at Shotem and Caughtem got out this weekend to do a little fishing with some baits sent in by our good friends at Angler's Choice.  We thought we might pass off our initial thoughts on the baits which is a story that will continue.  As anyone that fishes know the reason we carry around so many different baits is because what colors, shapes or sizes that work one day, might not work as well the very next day.  As such we like to make sure we don't give any of the products we review a one and done kind of review.  

Angler's Choice was kind enough to send us a nice array of the baits they offer.  On this particular day the one the could not resist was the Flappin Weasel(far right in photo).  We ran through almost the entire bag of these soft baits due to the fish hitting them so hard.  Overall, all the baits they sent down are all made with a pretty nice consistency for being hand made.  As with any soft bait, with aggressive fish they sometimes don't last as long as we would like.  Construction of the baits however was solid and what we would expect from a bait of this kind.  Action of the baits in the water portray a bait that many fish will no doubt be able to refuse striking should they be presented in their path.  

We were fishing a nice old farm pond.  Water was clear with visibility about 4 ft in depth.  Water temperature was in the mid 70s while outside temperature when we started was in the low 80s and finished in the mid 70s.  We did have a thunderstorm the following evening so it was prime fishing weather in our opinion.  

As we said this is an on going review as is the case with all our products we review.  We like to find out which conditions seem to be the best and which do not.  We would like to thank those at Angler's Choice for their patience and the opportunity to review their product.  As is the case with many of those who send in product we like to make sure our members get a chance to let us know their thoughts on baits as well.  So we would once again like to extend the chance to our members.  Send us your best Caughtem photo to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to enter and when a nice little fishing package from our friends at Angler's Choice.  As always leave your comments in the section below and let us know your thoughts on their baits so we can pass along the information.

Caught a lot of bass on this bait


Thursday, 24 April 2014 22:07

Berkley Fishing Flicker Shad

We at Shotem and Caughtem know why we carry so many different baits in our tackle boxes.  One day a certain bait will out shine another.  As such we try and diversify as much as possible with high quality well designed baits that will work with a variety of species.  Berkley has come out with a new Flicker Shad hard plastic bait that will certainly become a main stay in our tackle boxes.  However, just as we began to run out and test it for Berkley they released the news of a new bait we will be excited to try out as well.  

Anglers have trusted the Berkley Flicker Shad since it was introduced. When it comes to catching fish, beginners and professionals still rely on them whenever - and wherever fun or money is on the line. Well, move over Flicker Shad and make some room for the brand new Berkley Flicker Minnow.

Berkley Pro anglers Keith Kavajecz and Gary Parsons have been a part of the bait-development process from the start, creating the Flicker Minnow that adheres to their demanding standards. Though these ultra-competitive professional anglers would rather keep this bait to themselves, the time has come to share the secret with anglers everywhere.

Berkley's Flicker Minnows are tournament proven. Utilizing the same strict development standards from the Flicker Shad, the Berkley team created a line of minnow baits that dive deeper with maximum flash and action. The bait's body design and impressive dive curve gets anglers to the fish quicker.

My hat is off to the Berkley team for interpreting Keith and my thoughts to create this new design, said Gary Parsons. I've never seen a bait outperform other baits like this one, and overall the Flicker Minnow is the most productive crankbait Iíve ever fished!

Constructed with increased internal weight for bullet-like precision casting, the Flicker Minnow has a unique swimming action and flicker that mimics a fleeing baitfish. The body is more elongated than its cousin the Flicker Shad, and is available in 12 pro-selected colors. The larger bill with a steep pitch creates a deeper retrieve than other baits.

The Size 7 (2.75 inches) Flicker Minnow can be trolled in the 14- to 17 -foot depth range, depending on line choice and speed, with a dive curve that is unmatched by similar minnow baits. The bait is also castable, especially when paired with Berkley NanoFil. The Size 9 (3.5 inches) model can easily reach the 18 to 23-foot zone (Precision Trolling at 100í back with XT and Fireline) when cranked while both sizes of the Flicker Minnow feature a big, aggressive roll when retrieved or trolled.

The Size 7 model has a casting weight of 1/4 ounce while the Size 9 Flicker Minnow has a casting weight of 1/3 ounce, with both models featuring an internal rattle as well as Mustad Ultra-Point treble hooks. The Flicker Minnow is tank and tourney tested, giving anglers the confidence of knowing that the baits are tuned with precision.

Name: Berkley Flicker Minnow
Length: Size 7 -- 2.75 inches; Size 9 -- 3.5 inches
Weight: Size 7 (1/4 ounce); Size 9 (1/3 ounce)
Colors: Black Silver, Chartreuse Pearl, Firetiger, Pearl White, Pink Lemonade, Prime Time, Purple Flash, Racy Shad, Slick Alewife, Slick Firetiger, Slick Green Pearl and Slick Mouse.

MSRP: $5.95

Published in News/Events
Monday, 20 January 2014 21:35

2014 Shot Show doesn't disappoint

We at Shotem and Caughtem just got back from the 2014 Shot Show and as always it did not disappoint.  As many who have made the trip, there is only so much wonderful merchandise one person can take in and talk about.  The show offers all gun and hunting lovers an unbelievable amount of things to drool over.  We had the opportunity to shake the hands of a couple of celebrities and even more great people from a lot of great companies.  Here are just a couple of the great products we had the chance to handle and learn about and are some of our favorites from the show.  If you had the opportunity to go let us know your favorites in the comment section below.

First, the Benelli Ethos.  For the hunter looking for a ultra sweet, light weight, auto shotgun for the field the new Ethos answers a bird hunters prayers. Though we mainly paid attention to the 12g model we were shocked by its overall light weight design matched with an overall gorgeous look helped us get excited about adding to our collection.  The action flowed nicely and construction looked to be able to with stand quite the beating.  

Next is more for the hunter that likes to also make sure he or she is safe on the streets or in the home.  For the streets Glock has introduced the new Glock 42 380.  Due to the popularity in this round for a carry weapon Glock decided to pack its typical design to fit the caliber.  The best thing we found about this gun was that it kept Glock's reputation for simple yet rugged design with an easy tear down appeal we have not seen yet in a gun of this caliber.  For home defense we went over to the UTS booth to check out the impressive UTS-15 shotgun.  As the salesman said, if you can't get it done in fifteen shotgun rounds, you are officially at war in your home.  

Lastly, we took a look at some of the new night vision optics from our friends at Bering Optics.  They seem to have quite a good grasp on what we hunters are looking for in our night vision optics.  It also does not hurt that the company is from one of the best places to hunt hogs at night Texas to help give them a great in the field testing platform.  We at Shotem and Caughtem might get the opportunity to go out and test some of their optics to give a more formal review which we could not be more excited for the possibility.

As always let us know about your favorite gear in the galleries and tell us your story.  

Published in News/Events
Friday, 03 January 2014 21:21

Stack-On Products Woodland Series Safes

Stack-On Products announced today the addition of a new line of safes and we at Shotem and Caughtem were one of the first to get the opportunity to check out the new Woodland Series.  The new features included in these safes definitely appeal visually to the hunting community so they felt we were a perfect match to do one of the first reviews of the products.  

Stack-On® Products today introduced the Woodland Series of fire resistant safes for firearm storage that feature fully-lined Realtree® Xtra camo interiors, convenient back lit electronic locks, and four-way locking with extra-large, 1.5-inch live-action steel bolts and up to 10 locking points.
“These safes add an exciting new element to Stack-On’s line-up of fire resistant safes, said Shelley Nehrt Director of Marketing for Stack-On. “The Woodland Series of safes, also feature matching factory installed door organizers, carpeted barrel rests and a brown hammertone paint finish which complements the Realtree Xtra interior.”  

The new interior modifications allows owners to maximize their safes storage capacity and the new Realtree interior fabric adds a none slip and non snag composite.  The new gun rests in these series of safes are adjustable which allows the owner to have a rest for even their shorter barrel length firearms.  The additional door storage now included in much of the Stack-On series safes allows a great place to hold and access firearms quickly.  The improvements of adding lighting to the electronic keypad allows quick input of your 3-8 digit codes even in pitch black.  As is the case with many of the Stack-On series, the safes exterior makes it an easy sell and a great addition to any room in the home without bringing too much attention to what it might be holding.  The series comes in three sizes, the Woodland 22, 35 and and 60 gun capacities making it easy to find the perfect size to hold your belongings.  All three of the safes are convertible to hold a variety of items from all guns, all storage to a half storage/half guns setup (as shown in the photos below).  All the safes are fire resistant and have a heavy duty bolt pattern for maximum security.  

Stack-On will unveil the new Woodland Series of fire resistant safes and several additional items that incorporate the Realtree Xtra® camo pattern, at the 2014 Shot Show in Las Vegas, January 14 -17 at Booth #605.

We at Shotem and Caughtem ventured out into the darkness equip with an Elusive Wildlife XLR250 Long Range Tactical Rifle System Light.  We were first introduced to the light a year ago when we ventured to Oklahoma for a night Hog hunting adventure.  We were cautious about ordering a tactical light as the reviews we read about many of the lights available were mixed.  However, after the luck our fellow hunters had during our adventure we felt like we could not go wrong with at least buying one and trying it for ourselves.

We still had questions.  Is a light the best solution?  Would night vision or thermal be better?  Is red light better or green?  Will it perform at long distance?  What is the best way to mount the light?  Will my daylight made scope even work?  So we have done a little testing and these are our thoughts.  

We are not regular night hunters, since it is not allowed in our state.  As such, our opportunities to hunt at night only happen a half dozen times a year at most. So for us after researching night vision and thermal scopes and the costs associated with them they did not make sense for the number of times we would use a device that comes with a cost of thousands of dollars for the right equipment.  We needed to find a more economical, multi purposed solution.  One we could use for not just night hunting, but night traveling as well.  Many of our adventures to and from our stands and hunting locations are during the twilight hours.  During these times certain movements can make one feel a bit uneasy and we do not want to spoke animals so a little light would help.   

After our Elusive Wildlife purchase we finally got to test the light for ourselves.  We could not be happier for the money.  These guys have done their research and are providing a well built, well equip product for the money.  The kit comes with everything you need to use, mount and create a rifle that will no doubt perform in the dark of night.  It also comes with a variety of mounts which allows us to carry the light on multiple rifle platforms.  Whether mounted to a tactical rail, the top of a scope, on a barrel, or in your hand, the light can provide you with an array of uses without going back to the store or your wallet.  

Our experience with night hunting activities is that the red light offers a better color than green.  It did not seem to spook any of the animals we shined the light on as we traveled to, from or covering the landscape.  Our luck with the green light was mixed at best.  Whether a rabbit, coyote or cow the red light seemed to have no effect on the animals other than making them easier to see.  It also caused their eyes to shine bright red as well allowing us to acquire animals more easily.  We had the light mounted to the front rail of our ar15 equip with a low light Nikon scope and had great vision at 100+ yards through the scope.  Our only limitation was not having a lighted cross hair function on our scope which would have made things a little easier.  However, we were still able to make out our black cross hairs just fine with the light the flashlight provided even at distance.  We feel for 150.00 it is the best product out there and a viable piece to any hunters backpack for either mounting to a rifle or traveling to your favorite hunting spot without spooking your animals.  

It is one of the few lights we researched that had great reviews across the board for its use at long distance and we were not disappointed.  We were able to properly illuminate animals at 25-150+ yards and felt that acquiring targets at that distance was relatively easy.  Past a 150 yards our hope would be a stationary target to make shot placement a little more accurate but we were still able to make out what we were seeing even at that distance.  150 yards seemed to be the start of the fallout point for the light especially for darker targets, however, that still provides plenty of territory to cover in no light situations.  

Let us know your thoughts or questions in the comment section below and keep posting your photos to the galleries and tell us your story.


Tuesday, 03 September 2013 21:48

Opening Weekend Dove Hunting Tips

We at Shotem and Caughtem celebrated our lack of labor to adventure out for the opening day of Dove Season.  As many of you have already read it happens to be one of our favorite hunts.  So lets talk about the patterns that we saw and what we found out about the birds patterns prior to a hopeful cooling of temperatures and another wave of our winged friends from up north.

Water...........lots of water.  In years past you could find a good water hole located to good feed and have a blast hunting.  This year however, the Midwest got a lot of rain just a few weeks prior to last weekend.  Ponds were full, some spilling over, streams too and where we hunted about every hole that could hold some water had some.  Too many water options make for a difficult Dove hunt.  Because they could find water just about anywhere, we could not hunt a pattern.  

Also due to the rain, crops have done really quite well which also made food abundant.  When we were cleaning our birds we found them full of all types of crops.  Millet, corn, sunflower and wheat were found in several different birds.  This meant some where in fields of millet, some in the corn fields and some in the wheat fields.  Again no pattern.  Too many yummy morsels.   

Day two required us to shift tactics.  Active prey equals active hunter.  So we opened  the morning sitting at a spot where we had seen decent flight traffic. As soon as the activity slowed we began walking to where we had seen birds perch from the afternoon heat, going to gravel and going to feed.  Then repeat.  We found this tactic resulted in not only a beautiful walk enjoying the great outdoors but also garnered more action and more Dove.  The picture above was our second morning after just a couple of hours of hunting.  We had not had that good of luck the day prior in such a short amount of time.   

Let us know how your tactics worked this past weekend should you have ventured out in the comment section below or post your photos to the Shotem gallery and tell us your story.


Published in On Location
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. 


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