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MrDontPlay

Gar Fishing Close To Springfield

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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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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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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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