Myth and Ignorance still abounds here regarding Gar & Bowfin

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GatorGrip
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Myth and Ignorance still abounds here regarding Gar & Bowfin
<p>I took my son fishing this afternoon at the lake we caught the Longnose Gar, Florida Gar, Sunshine Bass, Largemouth&nbsp; Bass, Warmouth and Bluegill from the boat ramp and dock. We grabbed our gear from our car and were walking down the dock passing two good ole boys bullshitting about what they were going to catch during their beer drinking fishing tournament that started in an hour. One slack jawed fat boy said &quot;I guess yall are going to catch them all today huh?&quot; I said well I have fished this whole lake on a boat all day before and never caught shit but my son and I caught some good Sunshine Bass, Largemouth, a Florida Gar and a Huge Longnose Gar right off this little dock.&nbsp; He loudly replied &ldquo;Did-ja Kill&rsquo;em?&rdquo; I said oh no I let him go after we got a quick picture he replied &ldquo;Should a killed&rsquo;em, damn trash fish that eat up all our bass &nbsp;ain&rsquo;t good for nothing&rdquo; I usually try to be cordial and just nod my head but it struck me wrong and I whipped back around and loudly replied back &ldquo;The biologists don&rsquo;t seem to think so but what do they know right?&rdquo; He was so damn dumb he didn&rsquo;t even get the sarcasm because his last reply as we were on down the dock was &ldquo;Yeah they don&rsquo;t know shit, if you catch one kill&rsquo;em this time&rdquo;. I wanted to go back and whip him bloody with one of my rods until he quit using up my oxygen. That may be a big part of the reason I have never caught one on this lake in my life until recently and you rarely get to even see any big gars or huge bowfin around here because jerks like him will literally kill them and chunk them back in the water or on a bank to die.</p> <p>We did get rained out early, well it wasn&rsquo;t the torrential down pour and wind but the close popping lightening that made me get my son out of there. We managed to hang a couple good size Chained Pickerel and one &nbsp;2 &frac12; foot Longnose and some bream before we hit the road.&nbsp;</p>
DavidG
DavidG's picture
Lost count of how many times

Lost count of how many times i've been there... there are some folks you just have to let slide.  Youre only losing valuable time on the water bickering with a stubborn redneck!  Sad sad sad

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DavidG Blog:  http://www.boundless-pursuit.com

TonyS
TonyS's picture
And this my friends is what t

And this my friends is what the site is about.  Trying to (slowly) change these perceptions.  Not aruging about heros, lifers, and difficult some species are or are not.  I have some friends who almost exclusively fish for Trout, that's cool with me because they have no problem with other fish - it just isn't their thing.  In much the same way I rarely fish for Walleyes anymore because it just doesn't interest me as much as it did 10-15 years ago.  But I'm not about to toss a Walleye on the bank even if they do eat sucker fry...

 

Sorry to hear your words fell on deaf ears.  That'll happen sometimes.  I find that more and more people I talk to are starting to see my point that they shouldn't kill roughfish.  Most of them still fish for the same species they used to and that's fine but they are more tolerant now.  A handful even come to appreciate various roughfishes of their own merit.  Of course there are some people that you just can't get to understand the words that are coming out of your mouth. 

the pyromaniac
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I still do a lot of bass fish

I still do a lot of bass fishing, but I have no patience for that mindset.  A lot of the dumb rednecks in these mountains can't wrap their feeble little minds around the fact that I'm more interested in trying to figure out suckers than I am throwing a plastic worm and trying to catch another largemouth bass, more often than not these days. 

 

 

 

Let there be fire!

TonyS
TonyS's picture
Yup I'm as guity of playing f

Yup I'm as guity of playing favorites as the next guy.  Honestly I spend a huge percentage of my time on Cats, Sturgeon, Suckers - just a preference.  I fish for PIke a lot too - especially when need that no-frustraition-instant-gratification.  Pike in this neck of the woods is just a notch above the sunfishes for difficulty...

Wisfisher
Wisfisher's picture
Same around here...

I fish for anything that swims, and that gets to some people I meet. Its those with the trophy mentality that get me the most. Gotta be bass or muskie or a big walleye. Well, I fish for the sport, catch and release most of what I catch, but also keep some for a meal now and then.

Any fish species is worth catching.

GatorGrip
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Gotta find a better strategy for hooking Longnose Gars!

Man am I frustrated about missing great size Gar!

My young son and I fished our new favorite spot today and we both were hanging some large longnose gar but we were never able to keep them on the hook for long, about our best was half way to the dock a handful of times. I used Kahle hooks from small to very large, a red treble hook and J hooks all baited with small bluegill both alive and dead ones on floats and without. Many articles I have read recently say let them run and stop for up to 5 minutes but I don’t want to gut hook them and risk killing them for no good reason but out of desperation I even tried the 2-3 minute run and stop and still lost the fish at least twice. They were really going after the bluegill but like I said no matter how I hooked the bait (through the lips, back, tail and even through the middle of dead fish) still with no luck.

I am going to eventually build some of the rope lures but I can’t imagine them out performing live bait.

****ANY guidance is greatly appreciated my friends.

andy
andy's picture
stinger hooks
Best luck I've had is with a two hook rig. Like usually a size 2 ~4 sharp octopus hook with a small treble tied on a 5” peice of line to the hook bend. Even better if this stinger line is a braid. On top of this, using a long flexible rod and a monofilament main line will up your odds of Landing them gars. And don't give them any slack! If you search the forum, you should find a couple threads about it too.
GatorGrip
GatorGrip's picture
Thanks for the tips!

Yes I have read a little on a double hook set-up and need to find some smaller trebles and try those Octopus hooks, I tried a pack of Circle hooks but I seemed to lose many fish but I most likely was fishing it more traditionally by setting the hook to fast or to hard like you would a J style hook. I guess I got lucky with my first Longnose on that huge Kahle hook because I had the rod propped up on the dock while I tied my young son’s hook on and the fish basically hooked itself and tried to snatch my rod off the dock but he was hooked deep in the gullet where I couldn’t get it out without doing severe damage and was forced to cut the line as close to the hook as I could before releasing him. I have read that hooks dissolve in the fish’s body but it was a large thick hook and I know it wouldn’t rust out quickly but I didn’t want to surely kill it through removal so I let it be. Ever since I caught that Big Longnose Gar I have become a little obsessed about pursuing the species but I like the challenge I just hate to keep losing the huge ones for lack of knowledge.

GatorGrip
GatorGrip's picture
Made the set-ups and rope lure but no luck today!

Well I bought some small treble hooks and some Octopus hooks and made up some rigs. I also bought a gold spoon and rope and fashioned a rope lure to the end of the spoon and even put a few strands of yellow, red and green embroidery floss on it for a splash of color. (When the store worker asked me what I was doing with the colored floss I said making Gar lures and she looked at me very strangely -lol). I went to the lake around 4:30 and fished until dark. I only caught 4 little bream which I used for bait, slung the lure set up but didn’t even get a bite on either set-up. A couple boys came down to the dock with a pack of hotdogs and caught 2 nice Florida gar in about 30 minutes. Just my luck-lol

andy
andy's picture
hotdogs for gar!
Hmm if they are eating hotdogs i'm sure they would take cut bait. Maybe try a slice of brim filet set a foot below a bobber?
GatorGrip
GatorGrip's picture
You may be right?

I believe the extreme heat of today here in Florida (heat index was supposedly up to 110 but in our state you can’t always trust the weathermen – 100% rain and not a drop and 10% equals a monsoon sometimes-lol) may have had a factor plus boaters coming in and out regularly because of the weekend. I used the fish live rather than as cutbait since they seem to attract not only the Gar but Largemouth and Sunshine Bass as well. I have heard of people using hotdogs for catfish and I have caught a few sunfish on small pieces as a kid but I didn’t expect those Florida Gar to hit a half a hotdog on a bobber either but I watched them pull in two using that set-up. Next time I go I will hit a local stocked pond and get a bucket full of small bluegill just in case the bite just isn’t on with the bream on that lake. I rarely experience a fishing trip that I can’t catch as much sunfish as I want but today was weird.