These three gar, shortnose, spotted, and Florida, are relatively easy to catch. Their snouts are wide and therefore provide more of a target to sink a hook. Even with the best techniques, you will miss some of the gar that hit, but they are much more forgiving than the giant alligators or the tricky longnose.
Because of their relative ease of hooking, an angler can use many techniques to land these gar. Easily the best lure for shortnose, spotted, or Florida gar is the Lambo Lure Spinner. It is the only lure made specifically for these fish. Other lures get caught up in the teeth preventing a strong hookset. The Lambo Lure is smooth; the only thing that sticks in the gar are the premium treble hooks. Other in-line spinners like Panther Martin, Mepps, Rooster Tail, and Blue Fox can also be used, but change the standard hooks to premium, terrifically sharp trebles.
In most conditions, a gar angler can use lures to land these gar, but during the colder times of the season, after cold fronts, or when the gar are buried in thick weeds live bait may be preferred. Rig a 4”-5” shiner (live or dead) or a similar sized piece of cut bait on a #4 treble with a #4 treble stinger hook. If weeds are thick, use a 1/0 single and a 1/0 stinger. Cast and use a slow stop-and-go retrieve holding your rod tip up high. When a gar takes, drop the rod tip to give slack and open your bail to let the him run. Let the gar for at least a minute then reel in slack and set the hooks hard.
Take pictures of your fine gar catch and send ‘em in to GASS!
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