The latest gar stuff to make it to my desk.


Forget this year's World's Best Dad competition. Garmaster Bob Roe has it all locked up.

Bob writes:
Ruby reeled in her first gar this evening on our after-supper boat ride. We were just going to take a boat ride but Robby insisted we bring poles and rope lures. I casted out the lure on her Barbie pole for her and she reeled it in. She lost one right before she caught this one. It was 33”. She cried at first and after some prodding we were able to get her to pose with it. We are keeping the streak alive that our kids have reeled in a gar before they turn 3. Next year we’ll start prepping Molly.

GarMaster Bob Roe writes of the 2009 Tonnage Tournament:

My brother and I won our local any-fish most-weight-wins tournament on August 1. We had 76 pounds of fish, mostly longnose gar, during the 6-hour allotted time frame. We had to use cutbait to get more than half of the gar because they were not biting the rope lures well on Saturday. We were also dealing with 15-20 mph northwest winds which were wreaking havoc with our boat positioning. The biggest gar we had was 50” and 14 pounds. We had 3 other gar over 45” and a 10 smaller ones ranging from 20-41”. This was the first year in over 5 years that we brought any fish other than gar in to the weigh-in. We had 10 freshwater drum and a couple of bluegills and crappies as well. We knew the gar hadn’t been biting well for the past few weeks so we brought night crawlers along to catch other fish in order to bolster our total weight in the end. This was our first victory since 2005 when we registered 111 lbs of gar and it was our 5th consecutive top three finish in the tournament which usually has 60-80 boats. All gar that were alive were released and the half dozen gar that didn’t survive were the guests of honor at a fish fry the following day. Find out more at www.garmasters.com

Alligator Gar Site From Lindsey Lewis of the US Fish and Wildlife Service:

I am the lead biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Arkansas for alligator gar. I just found your website and I'm very impressed with the site, the information available, and you and your members' interest in the conservation of gar. We have a website of our own that I would like to share with you for posting to your links and I plan on posting a link to your site as well as soon as I can. I will also be responsible for developing the alligator gar technical committee website in the near future to collect and disseminate information critical to alligator gar conservation. Thanks for your interest in gar conservation and sport fishing.
Lindsey Lewis, Biologist
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Arkansas Field Office

Yet another reason I run the garfishing.com site: So innovative anglers like Doug Jeffries of Lexington, Kentucky can share their unique contributions. The talented Mr. Jeffries has created a device to land longnose with less harm to gar or angler. Behold, the Garminator!

Basically to use the Garminator you float it beside your boat, (I attach mine to the cleat closest to me by wrapping the cord around it a couple of times.) The two 'swim noodles' keep the Garminator floating just below the surface and level. Once you have your gar at your boat you grab the leader (I use 30 pound leaders) and just guide the nose of the gar into the Garminator via the 'V' shaped guide at the open end. You then guide the fish down the length of the PVC pipe until its mouth comes out the other end. Once the fish is in, you simply unwrap the rope from the cleat and pick it up. Now the gar can't really thrash about because it is confined and you don't have to worry about the teeth as much. (You should still be very careful though.)

Items needed to build (available at many hardware/home improvement stores)
(1) NDS Green Atrium Grate (found in the plumbing/PVC section)
(1) 2' Length of 6" PVC pipe
(1) 5' Length of nylon rope (you will have to adjust to fit your boat)
(1) Kid's swim noodle
(9) Zip style wire ties

How to build.

1. Cut the PVC pipe length wise twice (just enough to leave about a 1/2" gap when you are finished) This is the 'fishing leader slide gap.'
2. On one end of the PVC cut a large V shaped notch as an entrance for your leader to slide in to easily.
3. Drill six holes on each side of the leader slide gap to attach your swim noodle. (They should be evenly spaced for proper floatation)
4. Insert the Atrium Grate into the end of the PVC without the V notch.
* The following 2 steps involve drilling holes that will be used to attach the grate to the PVC pipe.
5. Drill 2 holes through each side of the leader slide gap making sure to drill through the Atrium Grate also.
6. Drill 2 holes in the PVC and Atrium Grate on the opposite side as well.
7. Attach the grate to the PVC pipe with 3 zip ties.
8. Cut the grate in such a way that the leader slide gap is open from end to end.
9. Cut the center section of the grate out so the gar can stick its face through the hole. (This is a solid section that would have been on top of the grate if it was installed in the ground.)
10. Drill and attach the nylon rope on each end of the PVC pipe.
11. Cut to length and attach the swim noodles with zip ties.
12. Drill several holes in the opposite side of the leader slide gap in the PVC pipe (these will be used to aid in draining the water when picking the garminator and gar out of the water.

Sounds a lot more complicated than it was. I spent about $20 and 1 hour and it was finished. It worked perfectly the first time I used it.

Donnie Hinkle, Gar Angler of the Year

Due to his outstanding catches of longnose gar on Georgia's West Point Lake, Donnie Hinkle was presented with the 2007 Gar Anglers of the Year trophy. GASS Member and Master Gar Angler Bob Frick orignated the competition and awarded this year's trophy. Congratulations Donnie and thanks to Bob and all who competed.

Ontario gar fly-fisher Rob O'Reilly writes:

Hello, Rob O'Reilly here. I just found your site and thought you might be interested in an article I wrote for my website: http://hipwader.com/2006/gr-pike-fishing-fly-pattern
I've been targeting gar for a couple of years now, and have been working on techniques and patterns to help fly anglers connect with these magnificent fish. Bowfin are next up!
Rob O'Reilly, Co-Owner www.hipwader.com

Garmaster Bob Roe writes from the Mississippi River in Wisconsin:

We finally won our local fishing tournament. The tournament is for any legal fish or legal amount of fish and the most weight wins. We finally won it but the best part is we did it with nothing but gar. We had 111 lbs of longnose gar from 9am to 3pm on Saturday. We also won the biggest fish contest with a 50" 15.5 pounder. It was our best day of gar fishing ever and it happened to fall on the tournament day. We found a new spot while scouting the day before and it has the highest concentration of gar I've seen anywhere on this river yet. We boated 21 longnose. We had the 15.5#, a 13#, two 12 pounders, and a few in the 8-10 pound range. We also had a lot of 25-30 inchers. We released all the live ones and cleaned the rest to eat.

Notice the shirt: "Gar---The Other White Meat"---Eds.)

Gar through the ice?

Yes, according to Outdoor Notebook Magazine (April '04)

Tom "Lambo" Lamb (left) displays his 48", 12.8# Big Muddy River (IL) longnose while an awe-struck, newly-converted gar angler (right) laments "Why did I waste all those years fishing for bass?!?"

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