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#849071 - 08/01/08 03:26 PM Garz
Taylor Administrator
10 Point

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 3061
Loc: Brownsville, Tennessee

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....

#849144 - 08/01/08 04:20 PM Re: Garz [Re: Taylor]
4 Point

Registered: 11/18/01
Posts: 110
Loc: Rutherford Co. , TN,

What do you use to catch these big ugly things? Looks fun!
#849268 - 08/01/08 05:53 PM Re: Garz [Re: ]
6 Point

Registered: 11/22/07
Posts: 968
Loc: TN

Hunt & Fish to Live,
Live to Hunt & Fish

#849274 - 08/01/08 05:57 PM Re: Garz [Re: TNhuntin93]
hunter drew
14 Point

Registered: 06/16/07
Posts: 8825
Loc: henderson county TN Lexington

If you look real close "you will see a tree stand in my family tree"

#849509 - 08/01/08 09:07 PM Re: Garz [Re: ]
Taylor Administrator
10 Point

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 3061
Loc: Brownsville, Tennessee


A friend claims...or being one of two/2 gar experts in Mississippi.
No one has come forward to dispute his claim.
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.

#849690 - 08/02/08 04:27 AM Re: Garz [Re: Taylor]
Cuttin Caller Moderator

Registered: 09/29/03
Posts: 29122
Loc: tn


#850569 - 08/02/08 09:42 PM Re: Garz [Re: ]

Registered: 07/03/06
Posts: 27633
Loc: Crossville


#850805 - 08/03/08 08:39 AM Re: Garz [Re: buckhorn40]
RUGER Administrator
Bambi Killa

Registered: 11/19/99
Posts: 4106600
Loc: TN

Very cool.
I rekon I am gonna have to go to my secret spot at Realfoot and give them a try soon. \:D
Youth is wasted on the young.

#851007 - 08/03/08 11:46 AM Re: Garz [Re: ]

Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 42314
Loc: Lebanon,TN USA

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.

Constipation has ruined many a good day. Not as many as stupidity, though.

#851050 - 08/03/08 12:38 PM Re: Garz [Re: RUGER]
10 Point

Registered: 09/08/02
Posts: 2738
Loc: Chattanooga, TN

Just FYI... here is my article that ran today in Chattanooga Times Free Press:

Fish With Teeth
For August 3, 2008

By Richard Simms

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.


Read my book, "An Outdoor State of Mind"
"The outdoors is not just a place, it's a state of mind."

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