But on a better note, I hear there are Cats as big as Volkswagons & can swallow a man whole swimming in the Ohio, at least that what my grandpas friend, who is a retired diver that worked for the Army Corsp Of Engineers has said ;)
On a serious note, I would LOVE to go down south & fish for the true MONSTER ALLIGATOR GAR. Thats a guide trip that I have been thinking about for a few years now.
Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula) Occur in the Mississippi River basin from southwestern Ohio and southern Illinois in USA south to Gulf of Mexico and to Veracruz, Mexico. Alligator Gar are large in size and broad,with a short snout. Light dorsal stripe. Dark olivaceous brown above and white to yellowish beneath. Dark brown blotches on all fins. For all practical purposes you can recognize them as those BIG gars with the short snout. Small ones are actually hard to find. The Baton Rouge Zoo has a Alligator Gar in an aquarium. If you look closely you will see that it is no an Alligator Gar but a Spotted Gar! Why? Because they can't catch any small enough for the aquarium? Alligator Gars inhabit sluggish pools and backwaters of large rivers, swamps, bayous, and lakes. They sometimes enter brackish waters and occasionally saltwater.
Thanks for the correction Truck. Why dont we ever ehar of any 100# Gar being taken from the Ohio in our area if they are known to be here? Whats the state record for Alligator Gar? I know that Jacks Gar from Paint Creek last year was close to the Ohio record for length for Longnose Gar.
According to Milton Trautman, the "leading Ohio fisheries dude" from the 40's through the 70's. In his book, the "Fishes of Ohio", he states that the last "verified" sighting of the Alligator Gar in Ohio or within the boundries of the Ohio river was the mid 50's in the Ohio river near Cinci.( Im going on memory here, Ill verify that tomorrow) and that in Ohio's water we only have the Longnose Gar and along the Ohio river and a few catches on the Scioto, you might catch a very rare shortnose gar.
The distribution maps of fish species always shows the "historical" range of the species which is pre channelization and damming of the Ohio River which has forever changed those "historical" distribution maps. I imagine it was at one time, possible to take a rare alligator Gar in the Scioto and Great Miami in the lower reaches, that would be way cool!!!:p
Catbuster, the Longnose Gar is the most common Gar found in the Ohio river with more Shortnose Gar found the closer you get to the Mississippi.
Typically the Longnose Gar will school in May and can be found in every slack water eddy and creek or river mouths. They habitually will "gulp" air as they are 1 of two species with a workable air bladder, the other being the Bowfin.
At these times they look like they are sunning themselves and if you spook them, they really are down off the surface, if you wait a while, they will come back to the surface. Once the sun is an hour away from setting, they start to sink from surface down to subsurface and then at darkness tend to feed on the bottom a lot of times. Hence why they can be a real nuisance for cat guys using cut bait. They will always face upstream pointing into the current and so best approach is from below. I do a ton of Flyfishing for them in the summer months, the hotter the better for them.