Every once and a while I’ll be fishing the shallows in search of bass and pike and all of a sudden I’ll stumble on a school of Longnose Gar. These are an ancient fish that scales like armor plates and a long bony nose full of teeth that will intimidate any angler.
On a recent trip we were “twitching’ for bass along weedlines and encountered many gar. We kept the same presentation, but downsized our lures to about 4-5” in length.
The key to entice shallow-water gar to chase and strike a lure is to swim it across in front of them while keeping the lure in it’s sight.
Interested gar will slowly turn, follow the lure and lazily make a snap at it. It really helps to see the strike and know when to set the hook.
Hooking a gar is another challenge. Due to their long, bony shout, there is only a soft fleshy part right at the tip, and down at their jaws. Everythign inbetween is bone-hard. Hook-sets need to be gently and setting the drag so that a hooked gar can run and take line below the surface minimizing jumps. In many cases if a gar comes out of the water, it will throw the hook!