Gars are really powerful, and when hooked, they jump like tarpons with their tails. Freshwater fishing’s greatest challenge is landing a true heavyweight gar. However, the focus of this article is the smaller ones.
There are several gars to pursue in the United States, including the alligator gar and the small Florida gar, which are quite rare. However, the smaller ones are easy to find. The waters of Canada and Mexico are abundant with these species.
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When and Where to Find Gar
Gar fishing is at its best during the hot summer months. You won’t have trouble finding fish if the waters are good. At dawn, dusk, and during the night, these rolling things are especially noisy near the surface. An air bladder that resembles a lung lets them breathe through their gills.
Fishing is great in oxbow lakes, bayous, and sluggish delta rivers, but some of the best fishing occurs in large impoundments.
Hotspots for flowing water include tailwaters of locks and dams, outside stream bends, abutments of sandbars and river channels, backwater pools, and inflowing tributaries. You should fish shallow reaches near wooded or weedy edges of lakes.
Setting Up The Rig
This rig is really for the spotted, long nose and short nose gars. Essentially, it’s only for smaller gar species, so you should not try this out on a gator gar.
Slip floats are amazing. You can slide it up and down on your line, and you can also set it at whatever depth you want. I think the number one thing that people do wrong when they are gar fishing is they use way too big of hooks.
For this rig, you should use a size 12 J-hook. It’s tiny, and it’s also exactly what you want for gar fishing. Another thing that people do is they use heavy wire leader for the small gar, and you really don’t need that all.
You can easily fish for spotted gar using a 15-pound mono line. And for bait, you want to catch small baitfish that are already in the creek or Bayou or a river that you’re fishing in.
You can either put them on the whole or cut them in half and just throw it out there, and the gar will find it.
Things To Do When You Get A Bite
So, when you get a bite, what you want to do is just open your bail. You should just let line out and let that gar run with it. He’s going to move for a while and then stop. Don’t pull the pole in just yet.
The fish is just about to start feeding on the bait. What he’s doing when he stopped is he’s eating on it. He’s chewing on it and what you want to do is you want to let that hook get in the back part of the gar’s mouth.
The back part is softer because there’s no chance, you’re going to hook the gar in the top of the jaw. It’s just too bony, so you want to let it get in the back part.
Why A Small Hook?
The small hook really works well with that because it’s tiny and can easily get it down. Also, they can get it out really easily, and it doesn’t really bug them if you can’t get the hook out with pliers.
Noose The Gar Nose
Another technique uses a device that resembles a lasso. It’s possible to strangle baitfish by stretching a 2-foot piece of thick, strong wire around a baitfish, then tightening a noose when you pull the mainline.
The fish are meant to be lured into the loop by having their bill thrust through or by grabbing the wire. The excitement begins when a quick pull catches it by its bill.
Live Bait Fishing for Gar
If the treble hook is well-sharpened, your chances of catching one are greater. After you hook up two of the three shiners, cast upstream with the rig, and let it drift downstream past schools of gar that are feeding on the surface. When it is nighttime, you can see the big bobber more easily.
Different Types Of Gars And Their Location
You’ll need to start planning your trip as soon as you decide which variety of fish to catch. There is a possibility that you will need to travel. Several varieties of gars have a much more limited range, especially in the Midwest or the Eastern United States.
Gars of all kinds can be found across Eastern North America, including long noses, short noses, and spotted gars. As for the short nose mostly lives in the Mississippi watershed, while the long nose is found in streams and rivers in the Midwest.
Also native to the Mississippi watershed is the spotted gar, which lives along the northern side of Lake Erie and Lake Michigan. While short nose gars prefer shallow open water or stagnant backwaters, the spotted gar prefers bigger rivers and lakes.
In the Mississippi River basin once lived the alligator gar. Currently, Texas and Louisiana are the only states with this disease. Lakes and bayous offer habitat for gator gars, which prefer slow-moving freshwater or brackish water.
Florida gars can only be obtained in Georgia or Florida. The swamps, rivers, and canals they prefer are swamps, streams, and marshes with slow-flowing water and vegetation.
Tips For Spotted Gar Fishing
The main difference between these types of gars and alligator gar is that the snouts of these gars are wider. That’s why fishing for these types of gars will be easier. Setting a hook should be easier with this.
Using a treble hook to rig the hooks is often recommended by fishermen, but gar will sometimes swallow them whole. Taking the treble hook out of the throat of a fish can do a lot of damage and could kill it.
A cast just before or beyond the gar would be appropriate. Hold the rod upright and reel in the bait slowly, passing it right in front of the fish with the rod upright.
Wait as you would with other species when the gar takes your bait. As soon as the fish swallows the bait, they will swim away, so you do not want to set the hook too early.
Take your time to let the fish swallow the bait. Rewind all the slacklines and give them a firm tug. Hook the fish hard!
The gar should be reeled in slowly until it is close to your boat. Landing the fish and bringing it aboard your boat may be easier with a net.
During the summer, it is best to observe short-nosed Florida gars and spotted gars. During this time, you can locate gar congregating in the shallows – look for them resting just beneath the surface of the water.
The short nose gars spotted gars, and Florida gars are relatively easy to catch, as their broad snouts can easily be hooked. Even so, they will still fight back! Be prepared when preparing your rod, line, and tackle because these fish will give you a good fight.