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How would you fish for gar?


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I've never seen someone target them here but fishhunter22 is right. I saw something on TV (maybe "River Monsters"?) that involved catching them with a rope fly and no hook - their teeth + rope fibers = fish velcro.

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our little gar are almost impossible to sink a hook into, their mouths are like 2 pencils covered in needles. Youtube the rope fly thing, it works. I simplified it by using a split ring, heavy thread and white nylon rope. Unbraid the end of your rope and cut free 3 or 4 strands about 6-8 inches in length. Pull the strands through the split ring and leave even amounts on each side. Then wrap your thread around the rope at the base of the split ring, tie it off and glue it up. The split ring is where you will be tying your line, you can put a couple split shots a foot or so above the fly to help cast it with spinning gear but the actually cast pretty good once they are wet, especially when you tie them longer than 4 inches. Take the time to find where the gar are hanging out, its not hard to find them surfacing, many times they will be sitting in the shallows sunning themselves. Make a long cast to their general location and twitch the fly through the water on your retrieve keeping it near the surface the entire time. When they hit they will be stuck good and will take a good few minutes to get untangled so be patient. A towel and small jaw spreaders definitely make it easier. I've doctored the flies up with bunny fur collars, crystal flash, dna, maribu, etc etc. Honestly unbraided white nylon rope has amazing action in the water and the gar seem to prefer it bare most days.

I decided to give this a try after sight fishing them for hours one day with flukes. I would work the fluke across the surface and they were smashing it non stop but hookups were short at best. Read about the fly thing and tried it a bunch of times last may, june and july and it always worked. Some days they are crazy aggressive and right at the surface and some days they just come up slow from the depths trying to grab the fly from below. We caught a ton of them but they were all pretty small, had some length but no girth whatsoever. Doubt we got a 4 lbr out of 100 or more gar caught and most were under 1 lbs.

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I use the rope lure for them when i fished for them when i lived in pittsburgh. They will eat anything and you could always tell when a gar was chewing on your bait or if it was a catfish. I also caught them on cut bait but you really have to let them chew on the bait and work it down that long beak and swallow the hook. I always liked catching them but feared severe injury when theyre out of water. Good luck bring pliers and gloves

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iiwhistlerii- that's some great info on a little targeted species! I've seen massed schools of them in Chautauqua and wondered on how to get them. Occasionally one is caught incidentally while going for something "more desirable". Good stuff :yes:

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Black river has a good population in the late summer just b4 the salmon come in. they hit small bright stick baits. Just watch out cause usually just at boat they throw the hook. awsome fight.

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i used to find them when fishing for summer perch I would take the smallest hook i had and freeline a fathead minnow could watch them suck it in and work it down to the softer but not soft tissue of the lips and set the hook smaller the hook better the chances sometimes they would roll and wrap the line around there mouth which is a good hook up to I got some 3 and 4 footers this way in front of russell when the plant was on always fun to land one of them when wading in a pair of shorts. also got them on sodus in the summer more than once.

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Just moved here from Georgia last fall and have caught gar on rope fly for the last 30 years, works every time. The only other advice I'd give would be to make a release board to clamp on the back of your boat if you plan to let them go. (And why wouldn't you, they're not the best eating.)

The release board is just a 1 x 8 pine with a long v notch cut into it. You guide the gar into the notch and as he opens his mouth to gape the rope falls out pretty quickly. They don't attempt to bite but just flailing around in the boat can land you a nasty cut.

Pakjohn

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Took my first hack at Gar yesterday evening. Made a couple of those rope flys up and gave it a try. I didn't see any Gar on the surface but last week they were everywhere. What's up with that. I did have a small one on but it pulled free.

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We've gotten a few already this year with a different method. Just attach a whole nightcrawler on a small hook, on mono (or braid), weightless. Throw it as far as you can, and then reel it in as fast as you can when the gar are feeding on the surface. It's harder to get a hookset, but we've gotten some real nice ones. Here's one my dad recently got.

dad_gar.jpg

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Does anyone know any hot spots for Gar in the Rochester area. I had 7 on today down at sandy creek in the marina then the owner kicked me out. I was using a rope fly but i lost all of them. What's up with that

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Does anyone know any hot spots for Gar in the Rochester area. I had 7 on today down at sandy creek in the marina then the owner kicked me out. I was using a rope fly but i lost all of them. What's up with that

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Make sure ur rope fly is a tangled mess near the tips, they will slip free when new but after a couple fish and get them knotted up they won't slip free. Also I know its hard when u can see them hitting but ur not supposed to set the hook. Let them grab it and twist then reel them in. Me and a buddy did it a couple weeks ago, bet we landed 30 of them. I have their stupid algae covered scale stains all over my boat carpet.

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Wow, you guys did it again. Valuable, usefull info!

I used the advice here and caught my 1st gar saturday, was a blast the rope lures i made took a bunch of hits before I could get them to get stuck. Sunday was even better, caught a bunch.

Hardest part for me was releasing them, I used a glove to pick them up (safely) but the rope I was using was really really stuck in their mouths (any advice here?). I thought about prying their mouths open and picking it out with long pliers...is this the right way?

Thanks again!

-ericmic1

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Untangle the fly enough to get the mouth open and then put a stick or pencil in the back of their mouth the thin way. It will keep their mouth wide open and then u can go to work on them. Be patient because sometimes it may take a few minutes. Basically one tooth at a time til its out. Holding them with a towel over their whole body seems to help.

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