Nighttime Gar Fishing
A good friend of mine and myself often go gar fishing at night. We start off at about 4 o'clock in the evening, go cast net some shiners, fish for bass, mudfish and chain pickerel, then when night comes along we move to our favorite spot to get some gar.
I have been watching gar for many years, and I have learned that at night, gar will swim around the lake and make trails in which they constantly follow. They will basically swim in large circles, and at times can be timed to when you will get one. Gar are not the only fish that does this, but this is the fish we are after.
Many people that go with us think this will be hard, but I'll explain. To set up, go get a good headlamp, I recommend one that takes one AA battery, but has a high output. I use a Rayovac 1 watt headlamp (I believe now they are the Extreme? series). The reason you want a lamp that uses a single AA is that AA's are easy to find, cheap, and most headlamps use either a single AA or three AAA?s (I would rather go through four AA?s as opposed to 12 AAA?s). Once you have the lamp, buy a pack of AA's, a big pack (20+), because if you get into the gar and run out of batteries, it sucks.
Next you will need to get some reflective tape, get the good stuff (DOT regulated tape, the silver and red stuff)). Take the tape and cut the red half off. Cut the red section into small strips about ľ in tall by about 4 in long. Now get your floats, and wrap the reflective tape around the top of the float. I usually use the 'popper' floats, but if you use different floats you will have to figure out how to put the tape on. Now when you cast out your bait you can see the float clear as day. Also you can use both the red and the silver tape to make different color combinations so you can tell which float belongs to you or your buddy.
When a fish takes the bait you can watch the float move along, and when you set the hook, you can see the entire fight, and have a light ready to land the fish with. I have been using this technique for some time now and it works. I usually go night fishing because I cannot go often during the day. So if you are finding it hard to get out on the lake like me this may change your gar fishing habits.
Good luck and always use proper boating procedures when boating at night.
-Jason B, Starke, FL.
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