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Max Online: 36273 @ 01/23/13 02:34 PM
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#10997781 - 07/24/15 07:42 AM Gar
Lloyd5 Online   content
Angler

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 324
Loc: Bosque County, Texas
This section of the Brazos has needle nose gar in some abundance. I haven't seen an alligator gar around here, but there could be some I guess. Gar are interesting looking fish. They have long tubular bodies and long mouths filled with teeth. Prehistoric looking things, dinosaurish, if you will.

I've noticed that when gar are in the area I'm fishing, the fish bite less often. Sometimes the fish shut down biting completely and then I spot a gar. Could be I am making an association of events that is inaccurate - it's hard to tell about these kinds of observations because there are so many other variable in play. But, for now, I believe there is a correlation - see a gar and the fish pretty much quit biting.

Gar appear to spend most of their time up at the surface. They spend a lot more time at the surface than other fish. It seems they are not afraid of attack from predator birds, as other fish are. Maybe because they are armored with large scales and thick skin. Or it may be that they are dumb. Or both. But, I have never seen a bird carrying a gar off.

They are difficult to catch because they have a bony mouth that a hook doesn't bite into well - and then there all those teeth that cut the line. Gar remind me of barracuda and somewhat of pike. They look like they would put up a heck of a good fight.

I've caught a few in my life. Three of them on a fly rod. Each time it was like pulling in a stick. No real fight to them at all. That may be an unintended survival mechanism in and of itself - maybe they have possum genes in them. If they fought well, I'd learn how to catch them and concentrate on them. They are pretty safe from me though. The one's I've caught weren't because I was targeting them, they were incidental catches.

I see them often in the river in easy casting range and I don't cast to them. Odds are if they do bite I'll just lose my fly, and if I do catch one it's not much fun. So I ignore them, other than watching them the same way I watch everything else in and around the river.

I have heard they are good to eat, but never had any myself - I've released all mine to go on about their gar business.

Gar - sounds like something a pirate would say in surprise.
_________________________
Texas State Editor: FishExplorer http://www.fishexplorer.com/tx

http://www.amazon.com/River-Proceeds-Wou...ds=on+the+river

Warm Water Fly Fishing Nut

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#10998039 - 07/24/15 09:40 AM Re: Gar [Re: Lloyd5]
winchester44 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 863
Loc: Fort Worth
SEE COMMENTS BELOW

Originally Posted By: Lloyd5
This section of the Brazos has needle nose gar in some abundance. I haven't seen an alligator gar around here, but there could be some I guess. ALLIGATOR GAR ARE FAIRLY RARE ABOVE WHITNEY AND FAIRLY COMMON BELOW. Gar are interesting looking fish. They have long tubular bodies and long mouths filled with teeth. Prehistoric looking things, dinosaurish, if you will. THEY DO INDEED DATE BACK TO THE EARLY CRETACEOUS

I've noticed that when gar are in the area I'm fishing, the fish bite less often. Sometimes the fish shut down biting completely and then I spot a gar. Could be I am making an association of events that is inaccurate - it's hard to tell about these kinds of observations because there are so many other variable in play. But, for now, I believe there is a correlation - see a gar and the fish pretty much quit biting. SEE COMMENTS BELOW

Gar appear to spend most of their time up at the surface. They spend a lot more time at the surface than other fish. It seems they are not afraid of attack from predator birds, as other fish are. Maybe because they are armored with large scales and thick skin. Or it may be that they are dumb. Or both. But, I have never seen a bird carrying a gar off.
IF THIS IS SOMETHING YOU HAVE OBSERVED RECENTLY, THEY ARE LIKELY TAKING IN AIR AT THE SURFACE. AS TEMPERATURES CLIMB IN THE SUMMER AND RAIN STOPS, THE SOLUBILITY OF OXYGEN INTO WATER DROPS. THE HOTTER IT IS THE MORE THE YOU ARE LIKELY TO SEE THEM AT THE SURFACE. OTHER NON-AIR BREATHING SPECIES TEND TO DECREASE ACTIVITY TO CONSERVE OXYGEN. THE SCALES ARE INDEED TOUGH, BUT TRUST ME, THE TALONS OF A RED TAIL OR THE BEAK OF GREAT BLUE HERON IS UP TO THE TASK

They are difficult to catch because they have a bony mouth that a hook doesn't bite into well - and then there all those teeth that cut the line. Gar remind me of barracuda and somewhat of pike. They look like they would put up a heck of a good fight. SHORT NOSE AND SPOTTED GAR ARE FAIRLY EASY TO HOOK UP WITH, LONG NOSE ARE INDEED PRETTY TOUGH. TRY ADDING THE SMALLEST TREBLE HOOK YOU CAN FIND TO A CLOUSER AND STRIP IT PAST THE SIDE OF THEIR HEAD, THEY OFTEN BITE SIDEWAYS.
THERE ARE CERTAINLY LOTS OF TEETH, BUT THEY ARE CONICAL, LIKE AN ALLIGATOR'S. I'VE NEVER NEED ANYTHING MORE THAN 12LB MONO AS A LEADER TO BRING IN FISH IN EXCESS OF 15LBS. HAVE HAD PLENTY THROW THE HOOK, BUT NEVER CUT THE LINE. THEIR LEAPS AND VIOLENT HEAD SHAKES WILL DEFINITELY BREAK SMALLER LINE THOUGH.

I've caught a few in my life. Three of them on a fly rod. Each time it was like pulling in a stick. No real fight to them at all. That may be an unintended survival mechanism in and of itself - maybe they have possum genes in them. If they fought well, I'd learn how to catch them and concentrate on them. They are pretty safe from me though. The one's I've caught weren't because I was targeting them, they were incidental catches.
THEY CAN PUT UP PRETTY SPECTACULAR JUMPS WHEN CAUGHT AND WILL CHASE A FLY FROM A LONG WAY OFF, I FIND THAT PART FUN, BUT POUND FOR POUND, NO THEY ARE NOT THE BEST FIGHTERS. A LARGE GATOR GAR ON A FLY ROD MIGHT BE A DIFFERENT STORY THOUGH!

I see them often in the river in easy casting range and I don't cast to them. Odds are if they do bite I'll just lose my fly, and if I do catch one it's not much fun. So I ignore them, other than watching them the same way I watch everything else in and around the river.

I have heard they are good to eat, but never had any myself - I've released all mine to go on about their gar business.
LONG NOSE IS EXCELLENT. HAVE HEARD ALLIGATOR IS EXCELLENT AS WELL AND VERY POPULAR IN CERTAIN AREAS. HOWEVER TPWD BIOLOGISTS HAVE CAUTIONED ME ON THE LARGER ONES AS THEY ARE SO LONG LIVED AND LIKELY TO RETAIN ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS.

Gar - sounds like something a pirate would say in surprise.

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