TOP ALLIGATOR GAR GUIDES

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About

This is a fish that has a long slender body and a double-row of razor-sharp teeth. Alligator Gar is a pre-historic fish and has been swimming North America for over a million years.

These fish are predators by every sense of the word. They are found from Oklahoma, up the Mississippi River Basin, throughout the Ohio and Missouri river flows, and from West Texas to the Rio Grande and into the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Fishing

    • These fish can be found in the bays, rivers, lakes, and bayous. Floodplains and slow-moving rivers are usually a mecca for these beasts. However, damming of rivers and the blocking of their natural spawning areas has majorly impacted the populations of alligator gar.
    • These fish are challenging to catch, mainly due to their structure. They possess very sharp teeth for a freshwater fish, so if an angler is not prepared for its weight and its ability to easily snap a line before the fight has even begun, they will leave without much of a catch.
    • Gar has notoriously bad eyesight, so if you cast right in front of its snout and wait for it to bite, then turn its head you will have your best luck hooking one on.
  • Size

    • Alligator gar can weigh over 300 pounds and can measure over 10 feet long. The structure of the fish is even more impressive.
    • This fantastic fish is protected by a hard armor shell and a breathing system that allows it to breathe out of the water. Even in the lowest of quality bodies of water, it can survive, its no wonder this fish has thrived and survived for as long as it has. Its upper jaw is filled with a double row set of teeth and incredibly hard to hook.
  • When & Where it’s Available

    • These fish are found in many bodies of water. Some places to start in Texas are The Trinity River, Colorado River, Guadalupe River, Sabine. These areas have some of the biggest beasts with the largest populations.
    • The Henderson Swamp near Baton Rouge and Lake Pontchartrain are great locations around Louisiana.
    • In Mississippi, look to fish in the Pearl River and Pascagoula River. In Alabama, try out the Escambia.
    • Florida anglers should try to target the Apalachicola River system.
    • When it's hot and dry in the late summer, you can make it worth the sweat by taking advantage of this prime time to reel in a giant! If you can't stand the heat, then try April for the spawning time.
  • Fishing Tips

    • When fishing for these toothy giants, you will want to use a braided line and a steel leader to avoid your line getting cut by their vicious bite. The line should be at a very minimum 40 pounds test, you would hate for a monster to call you out on your gear preparation and break your line.
    • A sharp circle hook or treble hook will help ensure a good hold if you're able to hook one. These fish are a challenge, so don't be surprised to miss a few. On the end of your hook, natural cut bait, especially live bait, works the best. We recommend legal baitfish like shad, shiners. However, some people prefer to use the common carp. It will take a few tries, and they might swallow the bait, so entangle your bait, or they will leave you with a bent hook. Anglers that keep at it and are rewarded with a mega fish!
    • Many guides recommend not trying to set the hook and instead let the fish start to swim away and turn, then give your rod and reel a lift.
    • The most common alligator gar fishing techniques besides rod and reel are bow fishing, juglines, limblines, and trotlines.
  • Good to Eat

    • The first thing to consider when fishing a body of water is the cleanliness of the water. So check to see if the fish in that particular body of water has been declared safe to eat by the local fish and game authorities.
    • We should first warn you that the eggs of Alligator Gar are toxic and should never be consumed. The flavor of the fish is comparable to Spoonbill or a slightly more firm common freshwater sport fish. The flesh is white and has a mild taste. Commercial fishing for Alligator Gar for their meat is validation in its popularity for consumption.
  • License and Regulations

    With all fishing comes the responsibility to abide by the local rules and regulations. These living fossils should be harvested carefully, and you should always respect their natural environment. For the majority of states, it is required that you possess a freshwater fishing license to harvest alligator gar on public water.

  • Interesting Facts

    • Alligators pose the greatest danger to people if they try to digest their eggs. The gar's eggs are very poisonous for humans.
    • The swim bladder allows the fish to gulp air, aiding the fish in facultative air-breathing. That means they can breathe air and obtain oxygen through their gills.
    • Not much is known about their breeding, but females will lay around 138,000 eggs during spawning.
    • Gar hide is tough! Indians would use the gar's armor to make arrowheads. Pioneers were even known to cover their plowshares with the shield of the gar.
    • Many fishermen try to eradicate the many species of gar from their natural habitat. These efforts are not advised by the local wildlife departments.
FAQ’s ABOUT ALLIGATOR GAR

Are alligator gars dangerous?

There isn't documentation of attacks on humans by alligator gars. An alligator gar could deliver a serious bite, but the most significant danger they present to humans are their eggs. If alligator gar eggs are poisonous to humans.

What is the biggest alligator gar ever caught?

Is alligator gar edible?

What is the best bait to use for alligator gar?

Where do you fish for alligator gar?

How do you fish for alligator gar?