Gar are the new “black” – according to Tom Nixon’s ghost (http://diefische.org/2013/05/19/lover-and-fighter/). Fellow blogger Eric, who is behind the wildly successful “dieFische”, has been pursuing gar and other roughies here in central Texas for some time now. Gar are just about every where here in the hill country, and can be great fun. What’s not to like about a fish that grows to scary huge proportions, is quite inquisitive, and jumps like a tarpon?
Two weeks ago, Robbie and I hit the lower Colorado below MOC Kayaks for some quick bass fishing. Even though May is the “topwater” bass month here in Texas, I haven’t really seen it kick in yet. Lots of storms and heavy rain has kept the lower Colorado pretty murky, making it kind of tough. With out a bass between the 2 of us, and halfway through the 5 mile float, we decided to switch gears. Robbie handed me a “gar” fly (teaser hook-less fly with a sharp trailer hook), and off we went.
As previously stated, gar are quite curious, and will inspect just about any thing that might look like food. I have seen them eat grasshoppers, snakes, and other fish. A good way to approach catching them is to find one (or a bunch) cruising below the surface. Cast perpendicular to their direction of travel, and slowly strip your fly. They typically will turn and follow. Just before they get to the fly, stop stripping – the gar will most likely strike your teaser. When they do, give a hard strip and sink the stinger hook, hopefully into the corner of their mouth.
I posted up on a likely spot, and started scanning for targets. I saw a nice fish cruising, and cast to it. The fly sank out of sight, and I felt a little tug, so I set the hook “HARD”! Much to my surprise, I was attached to a four foot gar, which completely cleared the water on its first leap! Let the tug of war begin! We went back and forth for a few minutes, and Robbie helped me get the paddle board into shallow water, so I could get off and maybe land this beast. Robbie REALLY wanted a pic of me bear hugging this gar, which didn’t sound like a great plan to me. I knew the fish was still pretty “green”, and was probably going to give me a smack down! I reached for the leader, the gar made another run, and … it was gone. Oh well, we got a couple good pictures.