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Neil McCauley

Longnose Gar

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I saw a few for the first time ever last weekend and I am now obsessed with landing one. Anyone caught them before? Any tips?

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I've caught one, but totally by accident...on a spinnerbait, of all things.  No desire to catch another.

 

But, I saw a bunch recently, too.  Got in with a school of bigguns breaking the surface a couple weeks ago....looks sorta graceful from a slight distance. 

 

Anyway, there's info on the interwebs about how to catch them with rope lures...cool, but I've not done it

 

 

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I saw some guys and they were using a piece of a white towel on what looked to be spinner baits.

They were burning them as fast as they could and said the teeth would get caught in the towel.

 

I only saw them catch one and did not see how they removed the fish from the towel/bait, which would be my concern.

 

 

 

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Did it mess up your lure? My interest faded a little when I googled them and saw the teeth...

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I had one hooked a few weeks ago on a little strip mine lake called Gar Lake of all places.   Crankbait.  Didn't land him, but had him on long enough.   They shoot out of the water like a rocket.   Kind of fun while I had him, but it cost me a crankbait.

 

I don't know how to target them, I occasionally get one like I occasionally get a Northern.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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They're fun to catch, hard to hook and land though. Yes, they have a mouth packed full of needle teeth and their scales will cut the heck out of your hands if you're not careful too. They will destroy hooks on a bait with their violent thrashing and rolling. 

 

My preferred bait for them is a heavy fiberglass arrow with a barbed tip. If that's not your thing, They love jerkbaits, but use a slow, steady retrieve so they can sneak up next to it and whack at it with their beaks. Use plastic ones, they tear up wooden ones like the original Rapalas. I usually opt for cheap baits I'm not afraid to lose. An old Bomber Long A used to be my go to for sight casting at sunning gar. 

Cut bait or live bait will get tons of bites, but unless you let them swallow it they're almost impossible to hook. 

Rope flies are effective if you like using the long rod. It's literally a piece of unraveling rope with no hook that just tangles in their teeth when they strike, lands a surprisingly high number of gar that strike at it. 

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One of the best fish I have eaten out of freshwater, tons of meat on them

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they have teeth ,use a leader. they love minnows like crappie do. they cruz weed beds and stump fields

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Make sure to use a leader when fishing for longnose gar. These fish can easily get over 50 inches and +20 pounds with a full mouth of sharp teeth. I use a 2-3 foot leader of 30 pound test big game mono.They like jerkbaits, crankbaits, topwaters, spinnerbaits, flukes, etc.

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Ive read where anglers use a piece of frayed rope to catch them .Works like the towel  on a spinnerbait .Their teeth become entangled in it .

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Snagged one in the tail with a crank bait, took a while to get him in. I really don't care to snag or catch another one.

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Rope flies are the way to go.  They get them tangled in the their teeth.  Let them thrash a bit when they strike.  then reel them in.  No need for hooks.

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hookless gar lure is easiest way, especially when they are spawning. Have sharp scissors handy to cut string away from gars nose/teeth quickly so you can release fast. Gar lures are cheap and basically ruined after 1 big gar

 

Or make your own by cutting off 4-5 inches of shoestring or paracord and flaying it out on one end, leave other end together so you can connect to a hook.

 

Live bait like a shiner on a treble hook will get you lots of bites but you will miss most fish on the hook set, their top part of mouth is like armor, the bottom is a little softer so yanking to the side instead of straight up like most fish seems to work a little better. Being able to see the fish or at least know which way it is situated helps a lot.

 

I've caught lots of Longnose and spotted gar at Montgomery Dam in PA

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