I am not a Gar expert but the last couple of years I have been paying more attention to these prehistoric beasts. One of the most difficult fresh water species to catch and land, the time and effort is well worth the catch. The Gar is some what under rated because you almost never see a fishing show or article about these fish. To be honest the Gar is almost a forgotten species.

A real neat species that is capable of giving you a fight to remember. The structure of the Gar is built to last. The Gar has been around for ever and has been able to survive this long because of its design. I don't believe they could have a predator. The scales on the Gar are so hard that its believed the natives used to use them as spear heads.

The long mouth of the Gar is loaded with razor sharp teeth. With nothing but bone and teeth in the mouth, that is what makes these fish so hard to catch.

In the video above I had a Gar on but lost it. I had missed a couple. I've tried a few different lures and the only one that I have had success with are the Zara Super Spook Jr. The Gar likes to swim near the surface of dead water or low oxygen areas and they will just coast around breaking the surface from time to time. A top water lure works great, they will follow it slowly and nip at it or they tend to grab it and go.  The reason I believe I have success with the Zara, is the diameter of the lure is almost a perfect fit for the long mouth of the Gar.   Once the Gar get the Spook in its mouth they have a hard time spitting the lure out because it's a tight fit.

In the photo above is a couple Zara Jr's.  No shine on those bad boys, I have caught hundreds of fish with them including Pike, Musky, Large Mouth, Small Mouth, and now I have the Gar chasing them. I was using the lure on the top and I was missing them so I switched to the one on the bottom with smaller trebles. I also used the sharpening stone to get the hooks as sharp as possible. The Gar is tough as nails so a razor sharp hook will increase the odds of getting a good hook set.

After I switched to a smaller sharper treble hook it wasn't long before I nailed the Gar in the above video.

The Gar should be respected and handled with care as they are very powerful and have a pile of teeth that would turn your fingers into a mess. My video below shows how tricky these fish can be.

Take note of the steel leader attached to the Spook in the Gar's mouth in the above video. That leader was wrapped around the mouth, if I wouldn't have had it on there that fish would have been gone with my lure.  This fish is hard enough to catch as it is, A steel leader will increase your odds of landing a beast.

One of the things the Gar will do is thrust itself vertical in the air and kinda walk on its tail. Pound for pound these fish are an amazing fight.

This Gar  flopped and smashed me in the ribs, it kinda knocked the wind out of me. You can feel the muscle when your holding these fish.

I had quite a battle in the grass with this fish.

The Gar is an amazing species of fresh water fish.  If you ever get the opportunity to target these fish, do it.  It'll be a fight you soon won't forget.

Recommended Videos

SHOT Show 2019: Browning T-Bolt Rimfire

Game & Fish Editor-in-Chief John Geiger highlights the Browning T-Bolt Rimfire at SHOT Show 2019 in Las Vegas.

SHOT Show 2019: Thompson Center TC R22

Game & Fish Editor-in-Chief John Geiger and Danielle Sanville of Thompson Center take a look at the TC R22 rimfire at SHOT Show 2019 in Las Vegas.

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.