Does anyone eat Gar fish?

Discussion in 'Gar Fishing' started by fattiresc, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. fattiresc

    fattiresc New Member

    Messages:
    30
    State:
    South Carolina
    I have caught Gar, but never kept any. I always release them, but my buddies will kill them and throw them back. They say it is because the Gar fish have no natural predators. THe more I think about it, that logic makes sense. What eats a gar fish and could they take over? But my original questions is, does anyone eat them? I mean, they only eat live bait as far as I know, seems like they would be good eating... Lemme know!

    Thanks.

    ~Jason
     
  2. Believer

    Believer New Member

    Messages:
    1,362
    State:
    Greenwood, AR.
    I have heard they are very good to eat as long as you get a big one & don't mind working to get the armor off of them! :)


    Eric
     

  3. Catfishroberto

    Catfishroberto New Member

    Messages:
    7
    State:
    Texas
    Got a friend that eats them . says very good as long as they are hot. cleans them with skill saw
     
  4. warcraft1975

    warcraft1975 New Member

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    1,190
    they arent bad from time to time i will eat them
     
  5. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    gonna give them a try this year. thought they were worthless until someone on here said they arent that bad.
     
  6. warcraft1975

    warcraft1975 New Member

    Messages:
    1,190
    a friend of mine i met on here got me to try one after he told me how he eats them, he just filets them and cuts into peices and boils them with crab boil and lets them chill in the fridge tatses alot like lobster and since i love seafood i had to try it it just inst bad at all, now if i can just cacth them when i want to lol
     
  7. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    makin me hungry dude! might have to fry some more CARP!
     
  8. C_wernett

    C_wernett New Member

    Messages:
    693
    State:
    North Carolina
    There are a couple of fish that people do the entire, kill 'em on site thing with. Gar and bowfin...I'm going to try eating gar this year also, because everyone I've spoken to says they're great once you get through them. Bowfin are the same way as long as they are fresh...in fact, to let my secret out, are probably one of the best tasting fresh fish I've ever had. Their meat is naturally salty.

    My view on both of these fish is this...These two fish have been around for hundreds of thousands of years before bass and the likes, and haven't had the need to evolve in that time. They are more effective predators, hardier, and especially with gar, harder to catch than bass are. Anyone can catch bass, but few know the tricks to being successfull with gar. I give them the nod of recognition! The look wicked too...have you seen the chompers on either of these fish!!!
     
  9. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    I have eaten Gar in the pass, In Louisiana,where I am from, we call the meat gar balls because when the meat are cut into sections they are in the shape of a ball. Remember the eggs of gar are very poisonous to humans, must wash your hands throughly if the eggs are touched.
     
  10. redneckdrum

    redneckdrum New Member

    Messages:
    623
    State:
    kansas
    why are the eggs poisonous? Never heard that one,of course gar was never my favorite water species to fish for,it's pain in the butt enouigh catching them by accident.
     
  11. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Conrad, my sediments exactly, the point is...is that the Gar have been around for a 100 000 years and if they havent destroyed your eco system yet, they never will. in fact they are present in some of the nations best bass rivers and lakes. Folks, they are part of the riverine system and actually eat a lot bait fish yes, but hardly do they eat gamefish because they like to prey on schooling baitfish. They are good fighters when you get a bigger one, jump, long runs and will give your gear all it can handle, I just dont understand why people kill them??? They live in a perfect balance with all the other critters in your favorite watershed. Killing them will only do harm to the balance that mother nature has set forth.
    As far as eating them, I never have, have heard they can be quite good and yes, the eggs will make you very sick.
    Im a strict catch and release kind of guy and actually target them on my flyrod all summer and have shown about 50 folks how much of a game fish they really are. Those folks are now diehard Gar fishermen who fully respect them.

    We fear what we dont understand, Long Live the Lepisosteus osseus~!!!!!!!

    Salmonid ( getting off his high horse for now):cool:
     
  12. micus

    micus New Member

    Messages:
    524
    State:
    Lake St. L
    I tried one. It was quite good. My daughter even liked it. Metal shears or tin snips make the cleaning job easy. I don't throw any fish on the bank. They are in the ecosystem for a reason.
     
  13. beaneye46

    beaneye46 New Member

    Messages:
    209
    State:
    indiana
    i heard they have backstraps like a deer that are pretty good.
     
  14. fattiresc

    fattiresc New Member

    Messages:
    30
    State:
    South Carolina
    really, that is kinda weird. I think I will have to keep the next one I catch just to disect it. might try those gar balls everyone is talking about.
     
  15. craddock1

    craddock1 Active Member

    Messages:
    957
    State:
    TENNESSEE
    i tried one once it wasn't bad at all but i have never kept another because of the trouble cleaning the thing. toughest skin i ever saw.
    folks around here like to use just a piece of nylon braided line on a fly rod. tie a 12 inch piece in the middle and flip it back and forth till it is thouroughly frayed then ease along the bank till you spot one and flip the frayed line in front of him. when he grabs it his teeth will just tangle in the line and he can not turn it loose. you dont need a hook this way.
     
  16. ALriverat

    ALriverat Active Member

    Messages:
    187
    State:
    Alabama
    Necro raising and old thread again, but can contribute here. I've been eating it cooked 3 different ways since I was a kid. But first I'll explain the easy way to clean it.

    Put it on a table you aren't worried about driving a screwdriver into. We had a nose catch built where there was 2 blocks of wood about 4" apart about 3" tall and a piece of 1x4 attached on top of them with a hole drilled in the middle. Slide the Gars nose into that and drive a screw driver through to hold the fish in place. Then take a knife and cut between the 1st and 2nd bone in the tail fin, Once you get to the body of the fish and the knife will take too much effort to get through, take a hack saw and saw forward just under the skin up to the pectoral fin, once you get that done pull the skin up and take a well sharpened machete and chop forward just under the skin until you reach the head. Now simply take a fillet knife or your favorite Mora, skinning knife, paring knife, whatever and skin the armor off the fillets and cut the back straps out of it similar to getting them out of a mammal.

    Now, here is where the surprise comes in.

    Poor mans lobster:
    Get yourself some cajun spices (crab boil) and get the water to a rolling boil, drop in chunked out gar meat and cook around 5 or so minutes, take out, dip in garlic butter, say "I'll never spend that much at red lobster again." We have also thrown a couple pounds of it in a low country boil. Add it the same way you would shrimp.

    10 piece nuggets please!
    breaded and fried like chicken nuggets, or alligator tail, bonus if you use good cajun spices. be careful not to overcook as it can get a little chewy similar to alligator tail when it's over cooked.

    Gar cakes??
    Find your favorite crab cake recipe, replace the crab meat with gar meat. Not so different from people making gar balls.

    I've not had smoked gar, but hear it's quite divine as well when done right. If you haven't eaten Gar you really should try. Anyone who says it's not good hasn't really eaten it, or failed miserably cooking it, it's better than almost any other fish you catch in fresh water. There are so many lies and wives tales in regards to eating gar it's not even funny. But at the end of the day there was a time in American History when Gar was one of the most consumed meats. As long as you don't try to eat their eggs (poisonous) it's just fine. They are a beast to clean, but not too bad with a little practice, but it's well worth it. Put the word out to your buddies, tell em "you catch a gar keep it and I'll take it", get one, clean it out, cook it up, think about how many of them you have killed and thrown back, and just how populous they are. YUMMY!
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016
    jdstraka likes this.
  17. DanL

    DanL New Member

    Messages:
    22
    State:
    Texas
  18. Chop1

    Chop1 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,236
    State:
    Mississippi
    Name:
    Chad
    Ive tried them grilled, baked, blackened and fried. They were not good any way i cooked them. The only way i can eat them is making them into gar balls or patties with enought stuff thrown in so you cant taste the meat much.
    I eat pretty much anything that walks crawls or swims, but gar is waaaay down on the list.
    I have also seen them pretty much destroy good fisheries. They have no predators and can take over a good oxbow lake
    One of the best crappie fisheries i have ever fished was made almost unfishable. It was so bad that people finally started targeting them just to cut the numbers down. You could see hundreds of them an could also forget trying to get a minnow down without them attacking it. They can surely overpopulate a lake
     
  19. SHOWME

    SHOWME Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Nixa, Mo
    They are fun to catch, they are really good fighters, they are really hard to clean and they really do taste great, they eat fish and like any fish that eats fish their meat is snow white, his meat is in like 2 tubes on each side, snow white meat and really is a poor man's lobster.
     
  20. jdstraka

    jdstraka Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,688
    State:
    Council Bluffs, Iowa
    Name:
    John
    I ask the Wife (Miss. Catherine) If She eats Gar Fish and her response was (Only If it's on Long Johns Menu) LOL J.D.