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#12702730 - 04/04/18 10:58 AM Trinity river help
CapEtanV1 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 04/03/18
Posts: 1
Loc: San Angelo, TX
So I live in San Angelo, TX and I’m looking at going to the trinity river for a week trip to try and catch a gator gar. I’m looking for places to launch a boat and shore fish. I seen a state park called Richland Creek wildlife management. It’s a small way south on Athens, Tx. Any of y’all know if it has gar? Any ideas will be helpful on any part of that river. Preciate ya

#12704308 - 04/05/18 11:20 AM Re: Trinity river help [Re: CapEtanV1]
Donald Harper Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 14929
Loc: Justin, TX.
This is some information that I have gathered over the years of what different people have said about locations and etc.. None of this is my experience. Hope something here may help. welcome to the Forum.

"If you want real gator gar fishing you need to launch at the ramp under 287 near Trinidad. Go upstream or downstream to where the deep holes are. Run through them with the motor at a slow trolling speed. The big gator gar know when a boat motor runs through the hole it mixes a bunch of oxygen into the water so they go to surface and skim the top area of water and finish it with a roll of air. If you are R&R fishing use about a 1-pound chunk of carp on a real short float/leader. If bow fishing, just cut the motor and drift over the deep hole. So far this year I have seen more 5-7 foot gator gar in the Trinity than I have in the last 20 years. I know it's not real close to you but it is the best place for tons of big gator gar. I would guess about 1.5 hours from the HEB area."

"An old ex of mine lives outside of Grapeland on the trinity. When the rivers up, it floods over into a 15 acre lake of theirs. They're desperately looking for someone to come wipe the gar population out of that pond. They had some problems with a drain or something. Diver's went down, came up after 5 minutes and said good luck finding someone to do it and left. Apparently there are some real monsters down there."

"I have grown up fishing for gar on that river. I have fished many places from the bank between Hwy 31 at Trinidad and hwy 287 around Cayuga. That is just my old stomping grounds. That whole river is loaded with big gar. To date my largest is 193 lbs on rod and reel."

"I was born and raised in Trinity, TX and I still hold an annual Bow fishing Tournament on the Trinity River every year for the last 9 years. BBA sanctioned the tournament a few years ago. If you want to catch or shoot big alligator gar, you have to have numbers. The best place for record size alligator gar, other than hit or miss on the main river further north, is to fish the south end of the Jungle, near the highline, just north of Lake Livingston. There will be nearly 200 acres of rolling and feeding gar every morning for you to unleash on."

"The best available "public" boat ramp is on hwy 980 East of Riverside TX at Waterwood Country club. Just put in and head straight out and you will see the highline. Get just off the river on the flat and turn off your motor and you will visually see the festivities. They have accommodation to stay there."

"Another boat ramp can be found off Shady Lake Road, and the hunting is good all the way to Lewisville, TX.."

Taken from the USFWS website...

Alligator Gar: A Long-lived Leviathan
by Craig Springer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
They are outcasts—much maligned and misunderstood. Despite tremendous sport fishing potential, alligator gar have suffered in the court of public opinion.

Growing to 300 pounds, with a penchant for fish fare, these behemoths have gained an unfair reputation as a nuisance and a threat to game fish. But it is truly an unfair perception according to Kerry Graves, manager of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery in Oklahoma.

"Alligator gar eat rough fish. They eat sick fish easily caught," said Graves. "Game fish benefit from the gar's eating habits. If anything, game fish suffer from the same thing that plagues alligator gar—poor habitat."

Alligator gar are a big-river fish, a top-of-the-food-chain predator once found throughout the Mississippi River and the lower end of its tributaries. Its range has shrunk a great deal. It once occurred in the Ohio River above Cincinnati but hasn't been seen in Ohio waters since the 1940s. Biologists rarely see alligator gar above St. Louis in the Mississippi proper.

Meandering rivers have been turned into sand-bottom, trapezoidal channels devoid of habitat. Spring floods no longer pour into the bottomlands where alligator gar spawn. "Alligator gar are a species in decline, in need of restoration, and there's an information gap that needs to be filled," said Graves.

Ricky Campbell at Private John Allen National Fish Hatchery in Mississippi agrees: "There's a lot we need to know. We still need to learn the basic information, like techniques for spawning, holding, and rearing—things well known for other fishes."

Between the expertise at the two hatcheries, the information gap is closing. They have spawned alligator gar three times and put young fish on feed, but that is just a start. Fish from Private John Allen have already been stocked in the wild for a restoration project in Tennessee. Alan Peterson, biologist with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, sought out Service assistance with alligator gar. "If it wasn't for the Fish and Wildlife Service, there would be no restoration project," said Peterson. "They are the project. We just tell them where to stock the fish."

Over 200 alligator gar were stocked in the Obion River in 1999. It is too soon to know if these long-lived fish survived, let alone reached maturity.

For alligator gar conservation to get traction, partnerships are requisite. A partnership with the private sector has proved essential in Oklahoma. Anglers familiar with alligator gar are gathering data and tagging catch-and-release adults under the guidance of Brent Bristow, with the Service's Oklahoma Fishery Resources Office. Catching the fish hook-and-line is a necessity; a fish that grows to 10 feet long is a challenge for traditional nets and electrofishing gear. The anglers have helped bring alligator gar to Tishomingo where Graves and his staff are engaged in age and growth studies and are trying to determine optimal culture conditions.

Alligator gar conservation typifies the valuable work being done by fisheries professionals: They bring scientific know-how to conservation partnerships. Together, their early intervention bodes well for these leviathans of lazy rivers.

Trinity River Fishing
"Don’t overlook the Trinity and its tributaries, especially if you want to get away from boaters on the lakes. Hungerford recommends Denton Creek on Lake Grapevine’s upper end, where the white bass run in spring is spectacular. “Henrietta Hole, where Henrietta Creek hits Denton Creek, is the hotspot,” Hungerford said. “The rest of the year it’s good for catfish and sunfish. You can find boat ramps in Marshall Creek Park and on the Elm Fork of the Trinity below Lewisville Dam, in Carrollton off Sandy Lake Road just west of Interstate 35 East.”
"Lake Lewisville has been stocked with hybrid stripers and blue catfish, and Hungerford said the big ones hang out in the Elm Fork in the tailrace below the dam. For more information on angling opportunities in the Metroplex, contact Hungerford at (817) 732-0761 or"
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#12707263 - 04/07/18 03:22 PM Re: Trinity river help [Re: CapEtanV1]
Dawson Hefner Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 2965
Loc: Brownsboro, Tx
That's a wildlife management area and it does not have camping on the river. You can put in there at that public ramp at 287 just be careful, been a few trucks slide off the side of it in the river when its muddy. There is a private pay ramp at us 7 and a public ramp at us 21. Camping this time of year on river will be a filthy experience.
Licensed guide Dawson Hefner
Guided rod and reel fishing trips for Alligator gar on the Trinity River
Hobo Outdoor Company Team Member

#12707401 - 04/07/18 05:56 PM Re: Trinity river help [Re: CapEtanV1]
BKT Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 1308
Loc: Apple Springs
There is Coleman's Campground (nice ramp) near hwy 21.

Dawson, I heard (for the last 3 years) something was wrong with the ramp at 21. So I take it it's usable now?

#12719806 - 04/17/18 08:57 AM Re: Trinity river help [Re: CapEtanV1]
Dawson Hefner Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 2965
Loc: Brownsboro, Tx
There has been something wrong with it for a long time, namely you will fall off the end of it in low water. It also had a big hole in the middle of it. It could be worse now, I haven't gone down there for a few years for various reasons. The last time I used it during low water I had to put one tire of my trailor on the outer raised portion of the ramp.
Licensed guide Dawson Hefner
Guided rod and reel fishing trips for Alligator gar on the Trinity River
Hobo Outdoor Company Team Member


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