I went out early yesterday morning on Grapevine...although the water has come down more than 6 feet from the peak, it's still very, very flooded.
Here's a picture of the picnic tables up on the cliffs at Rockledge Park (north side of the lake by the dam)
As you can see, the cliffs are still under water...when the water was 6 feet higher, the picnic tables were under water too!
Anyway, I went there with the idea of fishing the drop offs thinking that the bass might suspend near them so I was casting up into the shallows and letting the baits drop when they went over the edges.
I caught a few small LMB (nothing over 14") and a few sandies that way. A guy in a Ranger bass boat caught a really nice small mouth bass about 50 yards from me which was cool to see but would have been much cooler if I had caught it and he had watched
It wasn't a bad morning but wasn't exactly epic either...
Around 9:00, I looked up the bank a ways and noticed some splashing that looked like a big school of sandies from a distance so I started paddling over.
It wasn't sandies, it was gar....more than I had ever seen in one area at one time ever.
Here's what the graph looked like as I was approaching...this isn't even the thickest part of the action!
So I said, what the heck and threw a chrome rat-l-trap up into them and, almost immediately, it was grabbed by a gar. Almost as quickly, its teeth cut my florocarbon leader and it was gone. It pulled pretty good for the few seconds it was on so I tied on another one and the same thing happened...almost immediately struck and gone within 5 seconds...
So I grabbed a heavy rod with 30 lb braid, cut the floro leader off and tied a big 3/4 oz rat-l-trap straight to the braid. Then I started catching gar.
On every single cast, one would hit the lure and most would come off within a few seconds (from not getting a hook into their hard mouth rather than cutting my line though). About every 15th cast, they would stay hooked up.
I caught 3 of them in the 2-3 foot long range and that was a lot of fun. To get my lure back, I grab them by the snout (I put my gloves on) and use the pliers to unhook.
Then on one of the casts, I hooked a pretty good one (probably about 4 feet) in the tail. That sucker really pulled. I didn't get a good picture of him but snapped this one when I got him close...
Since I just had my cell phone with me and he was splashing water all over me and the yak, I put the phone away.
Another small one (around 2.5 feet) then I hooked into a BIG one. First time I every really went for a sleigh ride in the yak. It took about 10 minutes to get my first look at him and he was every bit of 5 feet long. I knew there was no way I was going to get him into the yak (not sure I wanted to) but I knew I was going to want a picture so I decided to fight him to the bank where I could get out and land him there...
About 10 minutes later, I got the yak to the shore with Mr. Gar still fighting...I got out of the yak, pulled it up to beach it...and then...the line went limp...
Not sure if he just finally wore out the braid or if he cut it on a rock or something but he was gone...
At that point, I figured I had enough fun with that and wasn't really geared up to catch them so I decided to just fish my way back to where I parked and call it a day.
A couple more sandies and one small LMB and the morning was over.
So I know that gar aren't considered game fish and all of that, but it was a lot of fun spending an hour pulling on fish that really pull back.