How many of us have been fishing a shoreline or bay for bass, walleye or pike when you suddenly see a Longnose Gar swim by just below the surface. Other times you may have stumbled on many Gar swimming right along the surface in shallow water. Even though they look like easy “hook-ups”, they can be quite challenging to entice, hook and keep on the line.
Over the years I have encountered Gar from Ontario all the way down to the Florida Everglades. I have surprisingly caught them on a variety of lures including crankbaits (while targeting walleye), to purposefully targeting them fly fishing using nylon flies.
I have often been asked what is the best lure to use to catch them consistently and my answer is either a #11 or #13 Original Rapala. I find that if I can keep the lure close to the surface, or swimming right along the surface I can easily entice Gar to follow and make an attempt to grab them. Once they do go for it the challenge is keeping them on. I find this made a little easier if you can keep the gar from jumping and fight it slowly with a loose drag.