A young longnose gar caught at the Tidal Basin on June 17, 2018. I lost two of them before I landed this one.
The longnose gar looks like a dinosaur. Or a gator crossed with a barracuda or somesuch lean, torpedo-shaped fish.
Fossils of gar-like fish date back 100 million years, and I cannot but help feel a bit of awe each time I see a gar cruising slowly a foot or two below the surface.
There are different types of gar in U.S. freshwaters, but here in DC it is the longnose gar that is most often found. This fish can grow to six feet in length, and their long mouths are filled with dozens of small teeth that remind me of carpet tacks.
Many folks catch gar on homemade lures made from nylon rope. I’ve not tried that technique, mostly because I am a little concerned about getting nylon fibers stuck in a gar’s mouth. But, if one is planning to take the gar home to cook, and they are apparently tasty, well, this is no matter. This approach also requires one to cast and retrieve, cast and retrieve, cast and retrieve….
And, to be entirely honest, I’ve learned another way that works and is easier.