WARREN, Ark. – Eleven years ago, Torry Cook set the unrestricted-tackle state record for largest longnose gar with a 36-pound, 5-ounce fish taken from the Ouachita River.
He smashed that mark Aug. 4 on the Arkansas River. Cook was bowfishing below Lock and Dam No. 2 when he shot a 54-pound longnose gar that stretched 66½ inches.
Cook, who lives in Warren, weighed the fish at the Monticello Post Office. The species was verified by Brad Fontaine, an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission fisheries biologist based at the Monticello office.
Most Arkansas state-record fish were caught by conventional means, which means they were caught by rod and reel. The unrestricted category is for records caught by other legal means (bowfishing, snagging and nets, for instance).