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Moster Gar

tx river rat

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2007
3,043
2
Waco Tx
Boy Now I am really going to stir the pot


A world record for about 5 years,
Oh and by the way that age is a guesstimate,they are just now starting to study the gator gar,they really dont know if a 200 lb gar is 5 years old are twenty.
Now I am going to get on my soap box,I will tell you what hurts the gar population more than all the bowhunters combined
Dams I didnt cuss I mean the concrete things than hold back flood waters and generate electicity for your ac.
Where I live on the Brazos we have no dams from here to the gulf so we also have a tremendous gar population,and a very prolific one.I very seldom bowfish them anymore mostly rod and reel for them ,but I dont apologize for taking a trophy.
The gar in the pick was at her peak about as big as they get ,at the end of her life cycle,now I am not a tree hugger but I do consider my self a conservationist.
When a fish or an animal gets to the trophy point I would rather see it on somebodys wall than I had to find it floating
and turtles eating it.
This is my thinking on wild things,now I have a buddy that throws a fit when someone kills a poision snake ,or a squirel eating bird seed,Poor squirel ,why should he die so a bird can eat :D
Different views make the world go around,I respect your but just dont agree with it.
Ron
 

gbinga

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2008
736
2
Hoschton, GA
tx river rat said:
The gar in the pick was at her peak about as big as they get ,at the end of her life cycle,now I am not a tree hugger but I do consider my self a conservationist.
When a fish or an animal gets to the trophy point I would rather see it on somebodys wall than I had to find it floating
and turtles eating it...

...Different views make the world go around,I respect your but just dont agree with it.
Ron

OK.

I'll have to think on it before I try to agree with it, but that is sensible talk, and I respect it.

George
 

tx river rat

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2007
3,043
2
Waco Tx
George
I am not trying to start anything here ,the carp you are talking about are an envsiase species from germany and china,
We had this conversation on another forum a few weeks ago,
A 5 lb carp will lay 300.000 eggs everytime she spawns,a 20 lb carp will lay over a million eggs,now if every bowfisherman
shot every carp they could every day of the year you wouldnt even know it. I personally have a spring hunt and come back and bury them in my garden ,fresh fish meal.
They tried poisining them netting them,just about everything they can do and they will never get rid of them,they hurt the native species.
I class carp right up there with fireants ,killer bees,pythons in the swamps in the everglades,wild hoggs,yep I will take all these species any way and anytime I can legally.
This is a whole different thing than the gator gar ,a natural species.
Ron
 

gbinga

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2008
736
2
Hoschton, GA
I didn't know carp were an invasive species. Thought they were always here. I know they've been here since I was a kid, anyhow. Just goes to show you you can always learn something. Seems like I read somewhere they are good for controlling excess vegetation, (like hydrilla), but that is probably only useful on specific lakes. Knowing that they are an artificial addition throws a new light on it.

A lot of people don't realize that "wild" hogs are an invasive species, too (and harmful to the environment, as well). "Wild" horses also, if you want to get technical about it. Don't try to tell that to a horse lover though!! :D

Tried your pad eye idea, by the way. Seems to work well. I stitched mine with a sewing awl in addition to the steps you outlined. Looks good on the boat.

George
 

Jimmy W

Well-Known Member
May 1, 2006
611
1
north georgia, USA
tx river rat said:
Oh and by the way that age is a guesstimate,they are just now starting to study the gator gar,they really dont know if a 200 lb gar is 5 years old are twenty.

The gar in the pick was at her peak about as big as they get ,at the end of her life cycle,now I am not a tree hugger but I do consider my self a conservationist.
When a fish or an animal gets to the trophy point I would rather see it on somebodys wall than I had to find it floating
and turtles eating it.

Ron
The age of a gar can be determined after killing it by studying the otoliths in the inner ear. Those put on rings each year like a tree ring.
While the Brazos may still have a good population, in many locations they are declining and several states where they are found have put one or two fish daily limits on them. They have been known to get to at least 10 feet, so an eight foot one which is certainly a female could still lay a lot of eggs in her remaining lifetime.
 

gbinga

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2008
736
2
Hoschton, GA
Speaking of gar, what is the proper name for the gar with the long skinny nose like we have here in North Georgia? Long nose gar? Obviously a different species from the huge animals we've been talking about in this thread.

I caught one in Lanier one time that was maybe three feet long overall. Heck of a fight!! Got him up to the side of the boat where I could get a good look at him. He (or she) was worn out from the fight, so I could have easily netted or gaffed him, but I didn't have a clue in the world how to clean such a thing, so I let it go.

I was fishing with a medium weight spinning rod and reel, with 10 pound line. Fish darn near spooled me more than once. Just hunkered down and ran. :D He had grabbed a rattletrap lure right between the hooks, and then rolled with it, and wrapped the line around his snout two or three times. All I had to do to loose him was stick the tip of the rod down there and unwrap the line from him.

The long nose gar (if that is what you call them) seem to be present in fresh water and salt water both. I've seen them in coastal water in Florida, and little ones while snorkeling in Cozumel.

George
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,359
105
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Florida Gar
Species Facts

Science Name: Lepisosteus platyrhincus
Other Names: gar, garfish, spotted gar
Environment: stream, lake
Techniques: medium tackle
Range: Florida


Science Name: Lepisosteus osseus
Other Names: gar, garfish , Long nose gar
Ideal Temp: 85 to 90
Environment: river, lake
Techniques: medium tackle


The spotted Gar when caught can be split down the backbone and the tenderloin ( Back Strap ) remover , slice into medallions , fried and has a taste close to Lobster or Scallops depending on who you ask. I had a buddy who was a Game Warden and he love the things , would take every one I could get.

Chuck.
 

seedtick

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2006
1,161
7
Denham Springs, LA
Gar Boulettes

3 pounds gar meat
2 large onions, chopped fine
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup mixed parsley and green onions, chopped fine
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Black pepper and salt to taste
2 eggs, beaten
Flour
1/2 cup cooking oil

Grind the meat in a meat grinder or food processor. Add one large chopped onion, the bread crumbs, parsley/green onion mixture, cayenne, black pepper, salt and eggs. Mix well and shape into balls (boulettes). Roll in flour. Heat the cooking oil in a large cast iron pan and brown the balls, stirring lightly. Add the other chopped onion to the pan, add 3 cups water and stir. Cook slowly for about 30 to 45 minutes
Serve over rice.
 

tx river rat

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2007
3,043
2
Waco Tx
Jimmy
I agree with parts of what you say,they ar learning and studing these fish ,so far they have just sketchy, facts about the life cycle of these fish. I am glad to know they have a way to age them, most of the aging has been a wog (wild a$$ guess)
. From everything I read and can find 50 years is way out of reason .
The example you used of a ten foot fish I don't agree with,I have been hunting them for over 40 years ,studing them and reading everybit of the research that I could find. The biggest documented fish I can find is 9 ft,the one in the pic is 8 ft 4 1/2 inches she is about as big as she will ever get. The nine footer is the biggest fish recorded in over 50 years,so on an average an 8 fter is about at the end of there life cycle.
In a lot of areas they are on the decline, and the only fact that all the sperts really agree on is the controll of water ,dams, is the biggest factor,
They just passed a law in TX,2 fish a day, which is a joke as far as I am concerned. I pushed for two trophy tags a year.
2 a day thats 365 days 730 gar a year per person, can you say political patronizing. The reason you are hearing so much about this there is a rod and reel sport fishing sect that is getting a lot of pr they are the ones pushing for regs.
Gator gar are not easy to take,and bowfisherman dont make a dent in there population,ask any bowfisherman how many they have taken in there life,it might surprise you,A hundred lb gator gar ,about a six footer) is equal to a record whitetail
not an easy accomplishment.
This is one of my passions ,as Chuck can tell you we fish for them a lot,they are the poor mans tarpon,.
Here is what I see as the biggest threat to the gar ,folks shooting them off a high river bank,catching them on tout lines hitting them with a hammer to kill them catching them with rod and reel and being thrown up on the bank and dams that restrict flood water in which they breed.

I stand bye my thinking that a trophy fish at the end of there life cycle can be harvested with out hurting the species and I will even go father than that I think they should be.
Ok off my soap box
Ron
Oh I am involved in collecting dna samples for Texas parkss and Wildlife so I am serious about this
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/out ... 85669.html
Most of the facts stated in this article are true
 

Jimmy W

Well-Known Member
May 1, 2006
611
1
north georgia, USA
Supposedly 10 feet long caught Moon Lake Mississippi March 1910.


FROM Florida Museum of Natural History website
http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/gallery/Descript/AlligatorGar/AlligatorGar.html
Gars are slow growing fish, with female alligator gars reaching sexual maturity around age 11 and living to age 50. Male alligator gars mature around age 6 and live at least 26 years. Alligator gars commonly grow to a size of 6 1/2ft (2 m) and over 100 lbs. (45kg). But have been reported to grow up to 350 lbs. and around 10 ft (3m) in length. The largest recorded alligator gar comes from the St. Francis River, Arkansas in the 1930's, and weighed 350 lbs (159 kg).

Conservation

The alligator gar is rare, endangered, and has even been extirpated from many of the outer areas of its range. Studies in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana have shown that the alligator gar is very susceptible to overfishing. It has been classified as rare in Missouri, threatened in Illinois, and endangered in Arkansas, Kentucky, and is soon to be in Tennessee.
From the article that you showed:
Alligator gar typically live long (50-75 years); males aren’t sexually mature until they are at least 8 years old and about 40 inches long, and females take 12-14 years and must grow to about 5 feet in length before being able to reproduce.
By the way, that is a good article that you linked to. It even mentioned aging them by the otoliths.
One more point, an eight foot or so fish that dies of natural causes in a river will not be wasted. It will be recycled into crayfish, turtles, insects, more fish and maybe eventually into another big gar since they are at the top of the river food chain.

Jimmy
 

rpecot

Well-Known Member
Nov 10, 2006
406
0
Katy, TX
tx river rat said:
I class carp right up there with fireants ,killer bees,pythons in the swamps in the everglades,wild hoggs,yep I will take all these species any way and anytime I can legally.
Don't forget nutria. :evil:
 

tx river rat

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2007
3,043
2
Waco Tx
Jimmy W said:
Supposedly 10 feet long caught Moon Lake Mississippi March 1910.


FROM Florida Museum of Natural History website
http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/gallery/Descript/AlligatorGar/AlligatorGar.html
Gars are slow growing fish, with female alligator gars reaching sexual maturity around age 11 and living to age 50. Male alligator gars mature around age 6 and live at least 26 years. Alligator gars commonly grow to a size of 6 1/2ft (2 m) and over 100 lbs. (45kg). But have been reported to grow up to 350 lbs. and around 10 ft (3m) in length. The largest recorded alligator gar comes from the St. Francis River, Arkansas in the 1930's, and weighed 350 lbs (159 kg).

Conservation

The alligator gar is rare, endangered, and has even been extirpated from many of the outer areas of its range. Studies in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana have shown that the alligator gar is very susceptible to overfishing. It has been classified as rare in Missouri, threatened in Illinois, and endangered in Arkansas, Kentucky, and is soon to be in Tennessee.
From the article that you showed:
Alligator gar typically live long (50-75 years); males aren’t sexually mature until they are at least 8 years old and about 40 inches long, and females take 12-14 years and must grow to about 5 feet in length before being able to reproduce.
By the way, that is a good article that you linked to. It even mentioned aging them by the otoliths.
One more point, an eight foot or so fish that dies of natural causes in a river will not be wasted. It will be recycled into crayfish, turtles, insects, more fish and maybe eventually into another big gar since they are at the top of the river food chain.

Jimmy
Jimmy the above articles show just what I am talking about,they do not agree on mature length and weight,dont agree on sexual maturitey and length of these fish at that time.They do agree that several states they are endangered,all with very few free running rivers. They dont agree about the lifespan.There is just a heck of a lot of stuff the spurts,guess at,and dont agree on.
Oh the 9 fter was weighed on cerified scales at 420 .He was killed in a drainage ditch in south Texas about 12 years ago with a deer rifle,so he wasnt regestered anywhere
The photo you showed I have seen several times,and there is a lot of controversey over it,look how far back the guy is sitting,all I can say is he must have some wide shoulders,even if it is true,I said reported in the last 50 years.
I will add a little more fuel on the fire.
In my life I have taken over a hundred gar over a hundred lbs and three over 200 ,all have been used as meals for folks
I had a waiting list for them.
Lousiania has comercaily fished for them for years and so has Mississippi and Texas,Where the habitat is good the population is still very good.
Your comment about it feeding the fish ,yep thats true but a trophy taken in the last years of his life is not going to
harm the population are the habitat he lives in.so I stand bye the earlier statement I made..
Question for you ,how many gator gar have you personaly seen,7 ft are better. You ever personally taken one caught one on rod and reel. I guess what I am asking is what is your personal experience with these fish.
I have watched them for thousand of hours,caught and released hundreds of them,watched the cycles take place over 40 years,I like them big suckers and think there an awesome animal but they are not above being harvested.
Ron
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,359
105
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
OK...

I am stepping in here..... Ron they are not an Animal , Animals walk on 4 feet , fish swim. :roll: :roll:
Reptiles can survive on land or in the water. One exception , those walking Cat Fish some idiot dumped out of his fish tank and now we have all over the area. Exotics , I hate them including the water Hyacinth from China.

The gar are a Prehistoric fish from a long time ago during the age of the Dinosaurs , they have gills to get oxygen from the water but also have a rudimentary set of lungs to use in bad or oxygen depleted water to gulp air where normal fish would die. I have witnessed them doing that just as you have done. I know you have seen then coming to the surface and gulping some air , especially during the summer time.

Basically they are a throw back in the evaluation process just like the American Alligator or Crock along with some folks on this forum. :lol:

The State of Florida likes to tell folks our spotted Gars don't get long or overweight , well the ones I have taken were not members of weight watchers and I have harvested a lot over the 6 foot length by using a bow an arrow. Plus I have seen some monsters even longer. The ones most folks see are the 3 to 4 footers when standing at a culvert and staring at them swimming in a holding pattern.

The Gator Gar , I do not mess with them since they are few and far in between around here. In fact , today I just like to watch them.

Now if you will excuse me , I have to go and sort out the clothing for the laundry to be done in the morning as soon as I cook breakfast or do both at the same time , wash the dishes and plan something for lunch while hanging out the laundry on the lines in the back yard ( We have a solar dryer , when the sun shines) and taking them down before I fix supper. Along with anything else the BOSS wants to be done till she is back in fighting shape. She can not get back to work to soon to make me happy.

Chuck.
Just stirring the gar chowder pot ... Here Boss. :wink:
 

Jimmy W

Well-Known Member
May 1, 2006
611
1
north georgia, USA
tx river rat said:
From everything I read and can find 50 years is way out of reason .
One of those articles says that they can get to 50, the other says 50 to 75. I can show others saying about 50 so I don't see how you can find it way out of reason. One of those two sources says that female mature around age 11 the other says at 12-14. For the males one says age 6 the other says age 8. These are not huge differences. The females live much longer and get much larger than the males and the larger that they are the more eggs that they lay.
I haven't fished or bow-hunted for them or even seen any nearly as large as these that we are speaking about and I grew up in the Mississippi delta not all that far from Moon Lake where the 10 footer supposedly was caught. I used to spend a lot on time on the water there and around Monroe, Louisiana where either my grandfather or uncle (I forget which it was) said he saw one as long as his jon boat that he was fishing from. I think that would seem to indicate that those huge ones are rather rare there. I agree that dams and levees, etc have taken a toll on them, but also believe that taking the mature breeders out of the population will have an impact also. Not that it matters, because I have never studied gar, but I do have a college degree in Biology.
 

tx river rat

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2007
3,043
2
Waco Tx
Chuck
I should have just done it the red neck way,and called them a critter :D
I need to explain something. Jimmy and I are having a discussion about the gator gar and learning from each other
and I hope Jimmy understands this is all will the most respect for other opions,and I do learn a lot from other folks.
My take on the critters in this world is they were put here to use,cows,chickens fish you name it. You wouldnt let a black angus bull just die of old age,you going to make steaks out of him are something bolona vienias,he is going to be used.now the coyotes and buzzards would eat him ,but I am first in line :D
Maybe I am wrong but I think letting something die of old age is a waste if he is usable to us.I cut a tree down to make a boat,a house,and i think that a reneable resource is made to be used and that goes for critters to
Got to go work on my dugout perow kayak made out of plywood boat.
Ron
Jimmy if you have any more info I sure would like to look at it
Ps I just read Jimmys post and I will add this note then go back to boat building. Jimmy I have read papers that list the age of a mature gar from 5 years to a high of twenty years for the female and from 5 to 10 on the males,thats a pretty good spread. Even in the articles we are discussing the age on lifespan of a female is 50 to 75 years,now that is a 50 percent difference you failed to mention,40 inches compared to 6 ft for sexaul maturity in size again nearly a 50 percent guess. What I am saying is there is a lot of guessing going on here ,with the studies being done in several states we will have more facts to deal with rather than the guesstamastions now being sprouted.
I am not a biologist but I am a student of the gator gar I think there a magnificent critter :D and I have studied them ,talked to biologist here in Tx often about them and truley hope that in the future there are articles backed up with facts so we can make a mature judgement how to manage this resource.
Ron Have a good one.
I am done :D