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Fish Identification - Longnose Gar

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Longnose Gar
Species Facts

Science Name: Lepisosteus osseus
Other Names: gar, garfish
Ideal Temp: 85 to 90
World Record: 5 lbs. 5 ounces Tx.
Environment: river, lake
Techniques: medium tackle

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skadoosh | Posted: March 10, 2010

Try using a Muzzy Bowfishing arrow, and a Fred Bear Recurve. Stick 'em and hold on!

Alex | Posted: February 12, 2010

I mainly fish small creeks, so large rigs arn't my fancy. I use two #12 treble hooks tied 1.5" apart. I then hook a 2-3" shiner or bream once through the nose and once through the tail. When I have a gar on i give him about a minute to chew then set the hook.

Chad | Posted: March 12, 2009

Fish early morning with a locus, it is a bug if you do not know good luck

Marc | Posted: September 9, 2007

ive seen gar over and over again sitting at the top of the water while i am musky fishing, and ive had them follow musky baits. A friend of mine threw a rapala original floater at these top water gar and caught almost every one he saw.

adam | Posted: June 2, 2007

I have good luck with two methods when fishing for longnose gar on lake murray, sc. my personal favorite method is to use the good ole bobber rig. my bobber rig is pretty much the same as anyone else's, i just place the bobber right above a 12 inch leader which is fitted with a 2/0 octopus hook. the bait i prefer is cut perch, especially the head. but i have used any kind of small fish that i can get my hands on including bream, crappie, small bass, and herring works fairly well, too. i mostly pinpoint shallow weed lines in the deepest coves, and cast my lines right up against them. the other rig is just a common catfish rig, and i mostly just use it when fishing from the bank. it's just a carolina rig with either a steel leader, or just heavy mono line. with either rig, i let the gar run for a good long while. i usually let them stop twice before setting the hook, that way you're almost sure to get the hook in that soft part of the mouth, rather than that tough beak. since the fish take out so much line, i prefer abu garcia ambassaduer 5000 reels or something close to it, and i like to put those on medium to medium heavy bass or catfish rods, and 6'6'' to 7' sizes are the best.

drew | Posted: May 19, 2007

the best way ive found is to set a big bobber two feet deep using a steel leader and a treble hook i hook a perch with one hook and leave the other two open let him run for a minute then pull at least one hook will get his jaw as long as he running away

Catman | Posted: August 11, 2006


I fish in a small river here in Tennessee, and the gar frequently come up to the surface. Before I fish for them, I catch some baitfish with my cast net in rapid current - mostly shiners about 4 inches long. So when I get there I hook a dead shiner in the middle with an Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp size 2/0 Kahle hook. When a gar swims within casting distance on the surface, I throw the bait just beyond and slightly in front of the snout. I then pull it just beneath the surface until it is in front of the gar. EVERY TIME the gar will take the bait. Let it completely swallow the bait before setting the hook. Usually they swim a distance, chew on the bait, swim more, chew more and keep doing this until they have eaten the entire fish. It works!

Good luck fishing

- Catman

ps - this method also works just as well on turtles - if you even bother to catch one.

webe | Posted: July 22, 2006

we caught several today by trolling deep diving lures. worked like a champ.

joseph mcgurr | Posted: February 15, 2006

I fish for alligator gar in brackish water in the marinas in Clear Lake, Texas. We do this at night when the boat traffic is low. We start fishing around 10pm and wrap it up as the sun comes up(althogh in the pre-light of the sunrise we see a lot of them. We use full or half mullet with the highest lb test we can find on surf poles or shorter ugly sticks. Liters are made with either piano wire or 200lb steel liters that have been coated with black nylon with size 3 treble hooks hidden inside the bait. Do not use larger hooks because the gar can feel them and spit the bait. The objective is to get the fish to swallow the bait because it is very hard to hook the fish in the bony mouth. This means that you must leave your spool open to let the gar run with the bait swallow it. It'll take anywhere from 1-5 minutes. You never truly know if the fish has swallowed the bait, but there are signs that the fish has done so. Sometimes they pause, sometimes twice. This can be an indication that the fish has swallowed your mullet. Often the fish will snatch your bait an run. Give him a little time, because if he does not stop and is taking line at a rapid pace, he has more than likely swallowed the mullet quickly. Still, you must be patient. Let it go for a minute or two, then set the hook. HARD. We gaff the fish up onto the dock and drag it back to the truck. Then we drink, as this whole process is adrenaline-rushed.Then we sell the gar at the local fish markets the next day.

latinprince1212 | Posted: January 9, 2006

I caught a 7 lb. longnose gar with a helicopter lure.

garman | Posted: October 24, 2002

Great site! But your World Record for Longnose Gar is way off! Townsend Miller caught the World Record in the Trinity River in Texas. It weighed 50lbs!

[email protected] | Posted: June 3, 2002

I just recently caught a 8 lb. long nosed gar by using a sunfish with a tandem hook placed down the throat of the sunfish and pushed out the belly. He swallowed the sunfish hole and imbedded the hook deep in his throat, so there was no problem!! Timothy Meade, Brant Lake, New York.