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Gar Fishing Close To Springfield

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I'm looking to catch some alligator gar. I'm new to fishing and I've never fished for gar before. What's a good place close to Springfield to catch these things? What bait should I use, and have I been watching too much river monsters? Thanks guys.

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I'm looking to catch some alligator gar. I'm new to fishing and I've never fished for gar before. What's a good place close to Springfield to catch these things? What bait should I use, and have I been watching too much river monsters? Thanks guys.

Don't know where to go but I've always heard you should put a piece of frayed nylon rope above the hook to get their teeth tangled.

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Posted · Report post

The closest place to Springfield for Alligator Gar would be the lower White River in Arkansas. http://www.bassonhoo...icle%20688.html

What we have around here is the Long-Nose and Short-nose varieties.

Where could one have a good chance to site fish to either of those flavors of gar around here? I bet they would kill these flies!

post-10802-13034917293743_thumb.jpg

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Posted · Report post

I'd also like to catch the long and short nose ones. I'm not too picky about what bites my hook. Where can I find those around here?

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James River below springfield lake or even down at Blunk Hole. I've already caught 3 of them in the last couple of weeks fishing for white bass.

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James River below springfield lake

Thanks Duane. I haven't really checked it out, but what I have seen below the dam looks like pretty small water. How far down do you have to go?

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There's no minimum size on them- they're a non-game fish. Alligator gar, however, are state endangered and must be released. If you want to eat one, just remember not to eat the eggs- they're toxic. Otherwise, good luck in general.

Rob

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Thanks Duane. I haven't really checked it out, but what I have seen below the dam looks like pretty small water. How far down do you have to go?

Just below the dam is where I have caught them before.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for the tips guys. Is it too early in the year to catch them?

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Allegator gar are really catching on as a fish worth protecting (finally), so you might better check up on regulations regarding "keeper size", limits, permits, etc. Seems like it changes every year right now. The other gar species are more common and less particular, though still FANTASTIC fun to tie into. Probably easier to get ahold of too.

They CAN be caught on a hook, although it's tough to do. You're looking at some pretty heavy duty leaders and heavy gauge hook and still gonna be hit or miss on your hookup percentages cause their mouth is pretty bony. It can happen though, as plenty of river fishermen will tell you. Quite a few longnose get caught by accident.

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Thanks for the tips guys. Is it too early in the year to catch them?

With all this rain, they should be nosing up to the dam of Springfield lake right now. You do not need a hook to catch them on the fly rod. A peice of freyed nylon rope work works great as a lure or fly.

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The closest place to Springfield for Alligator Gar would be the lower White River in Arkansas. http://www.bassonhoo...icle%20688.html

What we have around here is the Long-Nose and Short-nose varieties.

There are suppose to be some in the bootheel, but no doubt the White would be the better choice. If you want to go a little farther there's the Red river between TX and OK.

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Is it true that a large gar population in a creek can effect the bass population (i.e. eating them)?

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Is it true that a large gar population in a creek can effect the bass population (i.e. eating them)?

Any large piscivore will take some bass but most of the habitats alligator gar prefer aren't going to have especially good bass populations in the first place and even where they overlap significantly, gar will take what's most abundant (primarily shad and rough fish).

If there were ever a species that begged for catch and release, it is the aligator gar. Topping out well over 7 feet and 200 pounds, they have the potential to be an international tourism draw (with appropriate marketing and safeguards). It's one of the few freshwater fish in North America that puts the angler on an even playing field with the fish.

The Trinity River (just the kind of low-gradient, low oxygen, soft-bottomed river that tends to be a poor bass producer) in Texas now has several guides that specialize in alligator gar and that state is just beginning to wake up to the need for management.

But none of the potential of that fishery is realized unless they reach an age where that enormous size is possible. As has been mentioned already, aligator gar are not common anymore. You can overfish them in a heartbeat.

This one needs to go back into the water.

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Thanks for that, I was actually talking about the long-nose gar that lives in the creeks around here. For instance, Beaver Creek in Douglas and Taney Counties has a ton of gar. I've always been told that the gar wreak havoc on the bass populations. However, I always do pretty good when fishing Beaver Creek. So I was just wondering if everybody telling me that was full of it.

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I'll have to make me a lure tonight and try it out tomorrow

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Thanks for that, I was actually talking about the long-nose gar that lives in the creeks around here. For instance, Beaver Creek in Douglas and Taney Counties has a ton of gar. I've always been told that the gar wreak havoc on the bass populations. However, I always do pretty good when fishing Beaver Creek. So I was just wondering if everybody telling me that was full of it.

Same thing applies to long nose (which can top 5 feet).

I think gar get a worse rap than they deserve because of the habitat issue (the bass wouldn't perfer site where gar are thick anyway), but they do take some bass. Not much different than pike/muskie issues except that gar can live places where bass can't.

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Same thing applies to long nose (which can top 5 feet).

I think gar get a worse rap than they deserve because of the habitat issue (the bass wouldn't perfer site where gar are thick anyway), but they do take some bass. Not much different than pike/muskie issues except that gar can live places where bass can't.

Yeah, it's sad to see that Gar take such a bad rap. There was a fly fishing magazine I bought a while back where this guy was targeting gar on the fly rod. Looks like a lot of fun. This summer(my last one before hell) I'm going to explore some of the KS streams looking for "trash fish." Dumpster Diving on the Fly Rod, should be a book ;)

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Yeah, it's sad to see that Gar take such a bad rap. There was a fly fishing magazine I bought a while back where this guy was targeting gar on the fly rod. Looks like a lot of fun. This summer(my last one before hell) I'm going to explore some of the KS streams looking for "trash fish." Dumpster Diving on the Fly Rod, should be a book ;)

These guys seem to have it down....(warning for the nude cartoon on top of the blog page).

http://www.trashonthefly.com/2010/06/07/the-young-jedi/

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Well I went and got a few feet of rope today. anyone have a link to a good page to learn to make a lure?

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You need to be careful when using rope, check out the link that Tim provided. That rope will tangle up in a gars mouth and can make it difficult to remove, and if your line/leader snaps then the fish you hooked into is a gonner. Just make sure to have a strong line if you're using rope, that guy on the blog was using 50lbs to avoid snapping it.

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Mingo Wildlife Refuge has Alligator Gar as well. They have reintroduced them.

After fishing with Craig Phillips from Flatslander Guide Service I have found that Mustad Circle hooks work well. I don't mess with rope flies.

I hate it when I see gar thrown up on the bank because somebody caught it on "accident". Give me a break.

Some of these people would probably throw and endangered spotted gar on the bank as well because they can't tell the difference. I spent a ton of time chasing these fish (long and short nose) and I personally think they are amazing. They can live in shallow, stagnant, water (ie the wetlands and refuges of NW Missouri), you can sight cast to them, they are aggressive, they get big, and they fight like hell in the environments where I catch them.

I wouldn't call it "dumpster diving". Gar are an awesome fish.

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Mingo Wildlife Refuge has Alligator Gar as well. They have reintroduced them.

After fishing with Craig Phillips from Flatslander Guide Service I have found that Mustad Circle hooks work well. I don't mess with rope flies.

I hate it when I see gar thrown up on the bank because somebody caught it on "accident". Give me a break.

Some of these people would probably throw and endangered spotted gar on the bank as well because they can't tell the difference. I spent a ton of time chasing these fish (long and short nose) and I personally think they are amazing. They can live in shallow, stagnant, water (ie the wetlands and refuges of NW Missouri), you can sight cast to them, they are aggressive, they get big, and they fight like hell in the environments where I catch them.

I wouldn't call it "dumpster diving". Gar are an awesome fish.

That's good to hear. I've never caught one, but see them all the time when creek fishing. Where I come from people would grab them with a sucker hook, then put sticks in their mouth to lodge it open then either just throw them up on the bank or back into the water where they'd drown. I was a little kid when I witnessed this, now I see it's just stupid and wrong. But my view on gar has been shaped in that kind of environment where they're hated. It's good to see that they are considered sport fish in different parts of the state.

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I know some people catch them with bait or snag them. I have only chased them with a fly rod. I don't have anything against using bait or lures though, but not big on the snagging deal, I guess it just isn't my thing.

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Longnose gar are definitely excellent fighters. Big ones often leap like a tarpon when first hooked. This time of year you see small schools of them in some of the smaller Ozark streams, like Huzzah Creek, as they come up into these creeks to spawn. Later in the summer those fish will move back down into the larger streams. In streams like the St. Francis and Meramec, nearly all the bigger pools will hold gar.

I'm surprised that people here have said they snagged them. There aren't many spots on a gar that you can sink a snagging hook into. They are pretty much armor plated, except for a few spots on the underside of the head, and the meaty "spine" on the upper edge of the tail. I know about the tail because I once purposely snagged a 4.5 footer there while fishing for goggle-eye with an ultralight spinning rod and 4 pound test line. Took me the better part of an hour and a quarter mile of creek to land the thing.

They will readily strike a lot of bass lures when feeding, but you seldom hook them because their snouts are so bony. Their teeth are sharp-pointed but round, like a walleye, instead of razor-edged like a pike or musky, so the teeth don't usually cut your line. However, their gill plates and their scales are very sharp edged and sometimes cut your line when it comes in contact.

You can definitely catch them with frayed rope. Guy I know used to take the dressed treble hook off the back of a big Mepps spinner and replace it with a piece of frayed nylon tied to a hook shank with the bend cut off. It was quite effective.

Another guy I know always sight fished for them with live minnows. Just tossed the minnow on a small hook in front of one, watch it take it, and give it a lot of time to swallow the minnow. He was really into them for a while, and found that they were pretty decent eating.

There were originally alligator gar in the St. Francis River up into the Ozarks, and when Wappapello Reservoir was built there were some in the reservoir, but they gradually died out. The lower White River was famous for them until Bull Shoals and Norfork were built. They cooled the water even down into the lower river so much that the alligator gar didn't thrive there anymore. The population has shrunk to almost nothing compared to what it once was.

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Mingo Wildlife Refuge has Alligator Gar as well. They have reintroduced them.

After fishing with Craig Phillips from Flatslander Guide Service I have found that Mustad Circle hooks work well. I don't mess with rope flies.

I hate it when I see gar thrown up on the bank because somebody caught it on "accident". Give me a break.

Some of these people would probably throw and endangered spotted gar on the bank as well because they can't tell the difference. I spent a ton of time chasing these fish (long and short nose) and I personally think they are amazing. They can live in shallow, stagnant, water (ie the wetlands and refuges of NW Missouri), you can sight cast to them, they are aggressive, they get big, and they fight like hell in the environments where I catch them.

I wouldn't call it "dumpster diving". Gar are an awesome fish.

Interesting stuff. I remember boating on tablerock with my family when I was a teen back in the 70's and seeing MO conservation agents shooting into and killing a large # of gar. We asked them why and they said something along the lines of gar decimating the bass population in tablerock. Obviously times have changed and I'm sure that's no longer the case.

Greg

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Thanks for the tips guys. I caught my first one today. I used a small shad on a nice sharp hook with a steel leader. It was pretty fun reelin this guy in.

http://i97.photobuck...17/a7dbb046.jpg

Awesome man. Where'd you catch it at?

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I caught in the pomme de terra river out towards bolivar. I saw much bigger ones out there too but couldn't get one. I'm gonna try to go back today.

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Awesome man. Best of luck!

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Can anyone give me an estimate to how much this thing weighted? I don't have a measuring tape or scale.

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Can anyone give me an estimate to how much this thing weighted? I don't have a measuring tape or scale.

That's a nice fish! You're pushing 36 inches and probably in the neighborhood of 10 pounds, but that's a wild guess. Maybe a little high. Gar tend to be heavy with those gannoid scales and you need a length weight converter to get close.

Try here to estimate weight...

http://www.csgnetwork.com/fishfreshwtcalc.html

or a better one is here...

http://www.garfishing.com/weighttables.html

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I went back to the same spot today and all the gar were gone. Anyone know what's up with this?

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