Tackle inventor, gar artist, lure maker, and gar guide, Georgia’s Jack Barnett’s many trades help meet the needs of America’s growing gar angling population.
Jack has been making and perfecting his Original Gar Lure for over 10 years. He has compared sliding vs. fixed weights, changed the length of the leader, and tried different types of rope. The effective design that he has settle on is a hand-painted, fixed bullet-weighted, nylon rope lure and 30-lb mono leader. For different fishing conditions, Jack makes four different types of his rope lure: a deep running 1/2 oz., a standard 1/4 oz., an unweighted shallow runner, and a fly rod lure. With Barnett’s Original Gar Lure, an angler can expect to land 50%-75% of the longnose that hit.
Jack is a rare breed as one of America’s few remaining professional gar guides. In summers on Georgia’s Lake Lanier northeast of Atlanta, jack guides clients from as far away as Germany to once-in-a-lifetime, hard-fighting longnose. He provides all the tackle and knowledge an angler needs to land a trophy like his 56”, 26-lb longnose of 1999. When the gar action slows with the cooler water, Jack guides for equally exciting stripers.
Since Jack understands the importance of keeping gar populations healthy, he releases almost all he lands. But releasing a thrashing, toothy 50-incher can be more of a challenge than most anglers want. This was another problem that Jack tackled with his inventive mind. To protect both gar and gar angler, Jack invented the Quick-Release Gar Jack. With this device, a gar is safely held out of the boat while lures are removed. Hands are kept well away from both teeth and hooks; gar are released without damage.
A retired printer, Jack turned his artistic abilities towards gar. He creates “direct image fish prints” based on ancient Japanese print techniques called gyotaku. A catch, be it the regal gar or the mundane bass, is inked then pressed on paper. The print is then hand-painted and framed under glass. Jack’s art is a unique, creative way to commemorate a memorable catch.
Artist, inventor, angler, guide, Jack Barnett is clearly the gar world’s “Jack-of-all-Trades”. Visit his NEW web site at: http://www.garmanjack.net/
For more information about the Original Gar Lure, Gar Jack, fish prints, or guiding service contact Jack Barnett at (770) 536-8612.
-----by W. P. Meyer
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