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#849071 - 08/01/08 03:26 PM Garz
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Had a pretty good gar excursion the other day at Sardis.
Trash fish? Uh-huh....rigghhhttttt! Had a heck of a lot of fun... average catch 15 pounds. Several were closer to 30 than 20...and that is a darned big longnosed gar.

Basically, trying out Realtree version of photo bucket here....

http://www.realtree.com/photopost/showphoto.php/photo/26010

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#849144 - 08/01/08 04:20 PM Re: Garz [Re: Taylor]
Haf2Hunt
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What do you use to catch these big ugly things? Looks fun!
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#849211 - 08/01/08 04:55 PM Re: Garz [Re: Taylor]
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#849268 - 08/01/08 05:53 PM Re: Garz [Re: Buck Nekkid]
TNhuntin93
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#849274 - 08/01/08 05:57 PM Re: Garz [Re: TNhuntin93]
hunter drew
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#849446 - 08/01/08 08:27 PM Re: Garz [Re: Taylor]
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#849509 - 08/01/08 09:07 PM Re: Garz [Re: Panther78]
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A friend claims...or admits...to being one of two/2 gar experts in Mississippi.
No one has come forward to dispute his claim.
LOL.
Got 'em on favored gar-getter...frayed piece of rope...wire brush used to make it more "frayed/bushy"...the more fish it catches the better it is to snare 'em.
He says he can buy a near lifetime supply of baits for under $20 bucks.

Couple wraps of mono attaches to a barrel swivel...use a bullet weight for casting. Frayed rope flares in water...draws strike...teeth all tangled and the battle is on.

Bullet weight above the swivel allows casting distance and provides a fall.

We caught some spotted gar, some short nose, but most of the really big ones were all longnose.

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#849690 - 08/02/08 04:27 AM Re: Garz [Re: Taylor]
Cuttin Caller Moderator
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#850569 - 08/02/08 09:42 PM Re: Garz [Re: Panther78]
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#850805 - 08/03/08 08:39 AM Re: Garz [Re: buckhorn40]
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Very cool.
I rekon I am gonna have to go to my secret spot at Realfoot and give them a try soon. \:D
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#851007 - 08/03/08 11:46 AM Re: Garz [Re: ]
bowriter
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Taylor...and others. Down there in Looserana there are a couple spillways that have become gar holes. I'm talking alligator gar...the big ones.

When I was about 20, my uncle and I went to Morganza (it's a big spillaway) with saltwater rods and huge treble hooks snatching the big ones. I, we, didn't get anythinig over 50 pounds. But I saw one pulled out that went 145 and another that went 120. I also saw one man who weighed maybe 150, drug into the water before he let the rod go.

First liar aint got a chancet.
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#851050 - 08/03/08 12:38 PM Re: Garz [Re: RUGER]
rsimms
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Just FYI... here is my article that ran today in Chattanooga Times Free Press:

Fish With Teeth
For August 3, 2008

By Richard Simms
(Correspondent)

Like something out of a horror movie, the beast eased up out of the depths. A marble-black eyeball glared from behind a long snout rimmed with needle-sharp teeth. The snout opened and snapped to the right, grabbing tightly to Troy Basso's nylon fly, which immediately tangled around a mouthful of teeth.

It was impossible for the beast to free itself and the fight was on. Basso's fly reel whined in protest. He grinned his own toothy grin and said, "This one has got some shoulders."

The fish however really had no shoulders. It was a longnose gar, that some would say it more closely resembles a cross between a snake and an alligator.

Gar are very likely the most plentiful fish in the Tennessee River, and the least sought after. For most anglers gar occupy a rung on the ladder well below carp.

"The other day we had some guys pull up and drop anchor just to watch us gar fish," said Basso. "They yelled over at us and said, 'Are you really trying to catch them things on purpose?"

Yes, he was and recently Basso, a fishing guide from Middle Tennessee, traveled to Chattanooga to sample the gar fishing in the tailwaters of Chickamauga Dam

Basso normally specializes in taking fly fishermen to remote streams to chase trout. Unlike some fly fishermen however, Basso says he is not an angling snob. He freely admits he is perfectly willing to get down in the gutter and chase what most people call "trash fish."

"I love fighting fish that are more often measured in feet, rather than inches," he said. "How many fishermen can go out and catch a 3-foot long fish almost anytime you want."

Gar are surprisingly easy to catch. Some anglers prefer spinning rods, although Basso prefers fly rods. Either works equally well.

"Most of the time it is sight fishing," he said. "That makes it especially exciting."

It is sight fishing because gar are one of the very few fishes in the world that can actually breathe air. Their swim bladders can also function as lungs just like ours. During the summer when oxygen levels get low, it is common to see schools of gar coming to the surface to actually gulp air, which makes them easy to locate. And it means they can tolerate water conditions that most other fish can't survive.

That is one reason they have survived since prehistoric times. There are numerous fossil records of fish closely matching modern-day gar.

"That's one reason I like them," said Michelle Wall with Chattanooga's Feather and Fly. "They're so odd looking… like a cross between a barracuda and carp. They are considered a prehistoric fish."

"It's just a good summertime fishing trip," said Basso. "You don't have to get up real earlier and you almost always catch fish. It doesn't matter if its 100 degrees and the sun is shining bright. That's actually the conditions that gar prefer."

Basso said he got turned on to gar fishing about five years ago by the owner of Fly South in Nashville.

Jim Monroe, who works at Fly South said, "We've tried to spread the word and get folks fishing for alternative species. Some people think we're crazy... a lot of fly fishermen are just in to trout. But some are like us… a tug on the line is a tug on the line."

"Yea, it's a bunch of fun," said Wall, also an accomplished fly fisherperson. She admits that many anglers don't understand it when she admits she likes to fish for gar.

"Oh sure, they look at me kind of funny," she said. "People think of something you fish for and eat. But not too many people jump into it. They don't understand how much fun it can be."

Wall and Basso both make their own gar flies, which don't even include hooks. The flies are made by combing out sections of soft nylon rope that literally tangles in the gar's hundreds of needle-sharp teeth.

"I use poly-nylon blend rope," Basso said. "I just bought three feet of it for $1.28 and I can probably tie 100 lures out of that."

Basso says the biggest gar he's caught weighed 23 lbs. and was nearly five feet long. The Tennessee state record longnose gar, the most common species, weighed 38 lbs., 3 oz.

Unhooking, or untangling a gar, is a trick. Good gloves are required, and some sort of tool to pry open their jaws so you can use needle-nosed pliers to pick your nylon lure out of their teeth.

"If somebody doesn't draw blood at some point it wasn't a very good day," said Monroe. "But it's big fun!"

One North Georgia man, Jack Barnett, makes a special unhooking tool called a gar jack, as well as special gar lures. Better known as "Gar Man Jack," he is also a professional gar guide on Lake Lanier, and he isn't the only "professional gar guide" in the world. It seems that for a select group of anglers, trash fish obviously aren't as trashy as they used to be.

-30-

ON THE WEB:
http://www.creeksbendoutdoors.com
http://www.garfishing.com
http://www.sceniccityfishing.com
http://www.garmanjack.net
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#851288 - 08/03/08 05:24 PM Re: Garz [Re: RUGER]
Umpire
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#851789 - 08/04/08 06:16 AM Re: Garz [Re: Umpire]
tink69
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what do you after you caught them? kill them?eat'em?what? just curious
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#852034 - 08/04/08 09:01 AM Re: Garz [Re: tink69]
bowriter
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Good Lord Richard, I thought I broke of using them ole tired cliches \:\)

Good story. I would have called it "How To Rope A Dope." That way you get your boxers, your pot heads and your regular readers, too. Wait. Okay. So it is the same demographics.

Never mind.
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#852040 - 08/04/08 09:02 AM Re: Garz [Re: tink69]
rsimms
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 Originally Posted By: tink69
what do you after you caught them? kill them?eat'em?what? just curious


I just chunk 'em back in the water....
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http://stores.lulu.com/rsimms
"The outdoors is not just a place, it's a state of mind."
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#852041 - 08/04/08 09:07 AM Re: Garz [Re: bowriter]
bowriter
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Injuns use to fling em on the bank and wait till they rotted out of they shells then made all sorts of things out of hulls. I reckon, according to an account by some dirt sifter in MS, they took the really bigs and made a form of body armour.

Dang, don't you know that was hot and itchy. But they found a totem kinda thing up around Cahokia close to the confuence of the Big Muddy and MO that depicted the head of an alligator gar that was over three feet across. I reckon Indians lied, too.

Memory aint jack anymore but isn't the world record alligator gar from somewhere around the mouth of the Rio Grande and something like 280 pounds?
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#852152 - 08/04/08 10:13 AM Re: Garz [Re: bowriter]
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Several wildlife/fisheries agencies are stocking gator gar, now.
Including TWRA and MDWFP.
TWRA stocked some in Hatchie a while back.

Since we are sharing gar stories, here's another...ran in a few locales a few weeks ago.

Gar Fishing, Not For The Lily-Livered
By Taylor Wilson

LOWER LAKE, Saridis, Miss. — “Ummmm…a day fishing AND talking like a pirate, what more can you ask for…?”
I laughed at the thought, leaning against the trunk of a tree and waiting for my fishing partners to arrive at the Sardis Lower Lake ramp.
“GARRRR, me hearty, swab the deck of the johnboat, will ya…?”
“GARRRR, there, matey! I be telling’ ya to watch that critter’s teeth or your apt to get ripped, infected and sent down to Davey Jones’ locker!”
“GARRRR, thar be one at starboard!”
I mean, the pirate-talk possibilities were endless, and hey, there was always the chance it would get on my fishing bud’s last nerve…another bonus for a smart aleck like myself.
But me thoughts were interrupted with the arrival of my friend Mark Beason, editor of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks’ (MDWFP) Mississippi Outdoors magazine. Joining us on the adventure was MDWFP fisheries biologist Justin Wilson.
And alas, my pirate notion was soon abandoned and the lingo even forgotten.
Beason, a self-professed gar expert (“and one of very few”) soon had the crew on the water and catching fish.
Heck, I even caught the first one, so it kind of proves he does know what he was doing.
“That’s a pretty good gar,” I said pulling the long-nosed critter along side the boat. I figured it weighed 8- to 10 pounds.
“Oh, that’s just a pup,” Beason said.
And shiver me timbers, if he wasn’t correct.
We went on to catch a bunch of ’em, and all bigger than the first.
MDWFP biologist Justin, who is originally from South Dakota (so Beason and I labeled him a Yankee), might have talked differently than a couple of rednecks, but he had no problem landing gar. He caught the most and the biggest, many in the 20- to 30-pound range.
“Oh, you can catch the state record (longnose), if you want to seriously go to the effort,” Beason said.
Throughout the trip, as I saw more and more gar caught and others surfacing, I began to agree.
Gar fishing can be a rough and tough business. There are various tools you need…pliers, channel locks, etc. Beason uses a hacksaw and tin-shears to clean ’em. Oh yes, he cleans a few to cook. (We have previously published some recipes for gar in MSHFN, by the way.)
The basic method for catching them is to use a white, 3/8-inch frayed rope. There are no hooks. He uses a wire brush to increase the fray in the rope’s strands. The more wooly the better. The same is said for usage, the more gar you catch with one, the better it works.
The frayed strands are attached to a swivel (via some wrapped mono), and then attached to your line.
Beason also uses a bullet weight, which aids in casting. He periodically douses the frayed clump with various fish attractants.
In the water, the frays look something like a big jig, flaring with a twitch. And of course, when something with teeth like a gar grabs it…well, it’s caught and the battle is on.
“Sometimes, people that are used to setting the hook have trouble getting the hang of it. But basically, you feel the weight of the bite, let the fish tangle itself, and then begin the battle,” Beason said.
(Tip: periodically check your line for nicks and abrasions…there will be a lot gar fishing. You will need to re-tie more often to assure line strength.)
We caught a lot of fish near the 20-pound mark, and later in the afternoon the fish seemed to be surfacing nearly everywhere we looked.
The hotter the weather, the better, Beason said.
“One of my friends always asks after a gar fishing trip, ‘is anyone bleeding?’” Beason laughed. “Now, that’s funny, but… it can be true at times, too. You have to be careful handling these fish.
“And yes, a lot of people talk the trash fish stuff, and belittle it, but I think it is the closest thing to saltwater fishing in this region. You can catch a lot of them, and they put up a heck of a fight!”
GARRRR, all in all, it was no day of piracy puns, but hey, it was definitely a battle(s) at Sardis, if not sea. And at the end of the trip, all I could really say was, “yo-ho-ho!”

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#852163 - 08/04/08 10:20 AM Re: Garz [Re: bowriter]
rsimms
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 Originally Posted By: bowriter
Injuns use to fling em on the bank and wait till they rotted out of they shells then made all sorts of things out of hulls. I reckon, according to an account by some dirt sifter in MS, they took the really bigs and made a form of body armour.

Dang, don't you know that was hot and itchy. But they found a totem kinda thing up around Cahokia close to the confuence of the Big Muddy and MO that depicted the head of an alligator gar that was over three feet across. I reckon Indians lied, too.

Memory aint jack anymore but isn't the world record alligator gar from somewhere around the mouth of the Rio Grande and something like 280 pounds?


When I was kid my Dad, and avid bowhunter, did this and used gar hide as an arm guard. However the first time he did it, he made the mistake of placing it on his with scales facing backward. Oops... first shot the gar hide arm guard sliced his bow string right in two.

Obviously he figured out to wear it scales facing forward. It worked great and he wore it many years.
_________________________
Read my book, "An Outdoor State of Mind"
http://stores.lulu.com/rsimms
"The outdoors is not just a place, it's a state of mind."
http://www.ScenicCityFishing.com

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#852255 - 08/04/08 11:24 AM Re: Garz [Re: rsimms]
Taylor Administrator
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So that's why they call it an arm "garred"...?

No doubt, the armor lingers...post coyotes, post buzzards...still there.

Never fished for the big gator gars, but they tell me because of their tooth design...the big ones are NOT going to be caught on frayed rope.

Fella that caught a 100-plus pounder said he caught it on a "whole chicken".

I know another guy that shot a big gator gar with bow...saw that on video.

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#852369 - 08/04/08 12:25 PM Re: Garz [Re: Taylor]
bowriter
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Taylor-they use to make a gar hook. You could buy them in three or four sizes from big to way dam big and the way dam big ones would hold a dead shicken. And if you straightened one out, it made a great frog gig (not legal in LA)
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#852434 - 08/04/08 01:11 PM Re: Garz [Re: bowriter]
Taylor Administrator
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Judging from some of the 'gator gar photos I have seen, one has to wonder if anybody makes a hook too big for 'em.

I am interested in this re-stocking effort, though. I think there is a nursery in MS where they are acquiring them for stocking efforts.

Wonder if a big one will show up one day, in an area where they had previously been wiped out?

(not legal in LA...isn't that some sort of oxymoron?)

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#852498 - 08/04/08 01:54 PM Re: Garz [Re: Taylor]
bowriter
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In LA there is no such thing as an oxymoron. It is either edible or it isn't. If you can beat it with a hammer until it bends, it is edible.
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Constipation has ruined many a good day. Not as many as stupidity, though.

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#855761 - 08/06/08 08:37 AM Re: Garz [Re: bowriter]
Taylor Administrator
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Fish tale? Friend told me the other day a couple of folks were fishing for gar in Texas earlier this week...several over 100 pounds. Rumor is look for them in a BPS aquarium near you...or at least in Springfield, Mo....and possibly one in Memphis BPS pyramid.
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