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Roscoe

Gar

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Anyone ever catch any gar around the metro? I know that they live in the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. I have never caught one, but have seen a couple dead ones on shore in winter by a lake near my house down in the woods. If anyone has tips or pictures be sure to post them. They're an ugly fish, but definately unique. I read that they are difficult to hook because of their bony mouth.

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You get around the hook-setting issue by using a rope lure. Their teeth get tangled up in the rope. It works. Do a search for it... you'll find a lot of info.

As for getting into gar around the metro, I don't know. I've heard the St. Croix can be good, and I know they're in the Minnesota (and therefore the Mississippi). Hopefully someone else will have some input, since I'd like to tangle with a few of them toothy buggers too.

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Husker's right, rope lures are the way to go. They're pretty easy to make. I know the cat guys see gar trying to get out of the current at night and swimming near the top of the water on the backside of their boats when they are anchored. Might be worth a try.

Otherwise try looking for lakes connected to the Minnesota or Mississippi. They like to stay near the water's surface and sun themselves.

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I know the cat guys see gar trying to get out of the current at night and swimming near the top of the water on the backside of their boats when they are anchored. Might be worth a try.

Gar = Bait = Catfish swimming nearby. smile

I must have had 7 or 8 different gar swimming around the boat last Friday. All of them Shortnose approximately 2' in length. They like to hover just below the surface of the water and snap at the minnows swimming by them. Right after sundown would be dynamite gar time IMO.

They are pretty awesome fish!

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We have two species of Gar here in MN, the longnose and shortnose. The Minnesota river is chock full of shortnose gar, just spend some time around slack water areas and you will see them surfacing. With the high water, up inside flooded creek mouths is where you will find them. Any connected backwaters as well. Rope lures do not work well for shortnose, so use small shiners fished under a float(6"-3') with a very sharp, small hook like a size 6 or 8 octopus. Let the fish take the bait for a while too, even shortnose are very hard to hook.

Longnose gar are not as common in our area, although good numbers exist in the Mississipi backwaters below Red Wing and the extreme lower St. Croix. I target them after dark on sand flats, using suckers or shiners for bait. Botom fish with long leaders or fish a float, whatever conditions warrant. Longnose come into the shallows at night to feed. During the day, they pod up and hover in certain areas and if you have a boat you can search the backwaters for them and if you can see them, chuck a rope lure at them. The hottest days of Summer are best for Gar.

Gar are awesome fish, especially the big Longnose pushing 5 feet. My personal best was a 45"er I got from the Croix last year, and I will be back for a 50 this Summer. Good luck!

~Roughfisher at Large longnosegarcloseup.jpg

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I was out on the Croix 2 weeks ago and they were hords of them in 2' and less of water. Smaller 2-2.5' males and mongo females 40-50". All longnose. They were getting ready to spawn as males were grouping and swimming side by side with the larger fat females. I have fished for gars in yrs past and still have a few rope lures in my tackle so just for the fun of it I tie one on, tangled and landed a 46".

This surprised me a bit, last week when fishing bald eagle, i saw a shortnose gar, about 2' in length. It probably has a very low population or someone released one in there.

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Nice! A 46 is a very nice Longnose for these parts. Way to go! And Bald Eagle, I have seen the shortnose come up in DNR surveys there and never believed it.....but I guess it's true and it makes you wonder how they got there. There isn't a lake or river even close to there that has gar.

~Roughfisher at Large

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Typical MN River Shortnose Gar

062108joelfunwithgarjb5.jpg

I still think these fish are pretty darn cool. I happened to be beached along a shoreline the other day and I was scanning the water for gar and baitfish when I saw something that really caught my eye. I netted it with my baitnet and low and behold, it was a baby gar, approximately 4" long. I let it go but that would have been a cool fish to keep in an aquarium for awhile.

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I caught a couple of shortnose gar in the Mississippi last summer one of them was descent sized, 33-34 in. They are very hard to catch. We caught them on creek chubs. I was using a size 2 hook with a small stinger hook through the tail. The stinger hook was the only reason I caught the gar, but i let them run for probably 20-30 feet and then set the hook. They are very hard to catch, and do a number on your bait. Like walleyeslayer said they are mean little buggers.

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they steal my bait all the time mad. and sometimes when you set the hook it doesnt pennitrate their nose because its relly hard. Most of the time they will just chomp down and once you get to shore they will open their mouth and spit it... fun to catch if you get them though!

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