Gar are NOT trash fish???

Discussion in 'Gar Fishing' started by Jeremy Sheffey, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. Jeremy Sheffey

    Jeremy Sheffey New Member

    Columbus, Ohio
    Just a little something i was thinking about today, was that most people consider gar to be a trash fish. however coming from a group of people that are avid cat fishermen and catfish are considered a "trash-fish" by many people over the country, it is kinda contradictory to call any fish a trash fish. who knows the next big craze could be gar fishing competitions. now that would be something. could you imagine the abbreviation for that tournament series, "GASS." who knows could be the next big thing.

    what do you think are GAR a "trash-fish" or are they just a miss understood super predatory fish that with some understanding and education could be the next big craze?
  2. thecatman

    thecatman Well-Known Member

    Graham, Texas,
    gar are great predators and they are also willing to take a free meal when the opportunity arises just like any other fish i have caught gar on lures while bass fishing and have caught them on dead baits live baits and everything else

  3. L2druid

    L2druid New Member

    I like them. They're an interesting species of fish. Just because they have bad rep for things such as their beaky mouth and snapping teeth, toughness to clean and most noticeably they're willingness to bite on setups that people use for 'sport' fish doesn't make them a trash fish.

    So because they're inconvenient to catch they get their bills broken off or thrown up on the bank to die slowly...?

    I see gar everywhere dead along the banks and one of the things I really hate to see but have seen more than once is gar swimming around at the surface with their top or bottom bills broken off but they are still alive and trying to survive.

    They are a native predator and don't deserve any of that. Why not throw them back? Killing the ones you catch isn't going to stop another one from biting on your bait, it just stinks up the bank. They have lived in these places for many years and are part of the ecosystem.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  4. Mr. Foster

    Mr. Foster New Member

    They are a part of the circle of life in the river, they are there for a reason. Sometimes they get on my nerves, but I dont kill them or consider them a trash fish.
  5. festus

    festus New Member

    No, I don't consider gar trash fish because they are native to here. I can't say the same about many fish that aren't native here which are considered trash fish.
  6. catfisherman369

    catfisherman369 Floyd

    Nashville Il.
    No more of a trash fish then a channel cat or bullhead . The real trash fish are asian carp in my book . I havent caught a gar in a few years .
  7. stubhub

    stubhub New Member

    sometimes, when fishing is slow, a bite from any fish is great, so in those circumstances, I don't think any fish should be called a trash fish, especially when nothing is biting. Better to have a "trash fish" than no fish imo
  8. trnsmsn

    trnsmsn New Member

    Missouri Originally Now I
    A friend of mine will eat everyone I catch. He said if he could get enough of 'em, he could sell them for pseudo Lobster.

    I haven't eaten any of them myself but the color & texture of the meat sure does resemble Lobster. My primary reason for not consuming them, is because they are one of the main species on the advisory list for possilble high levels of mercury.

    I will admit that they have aggravated me but since my friend eats them, I'm happy to catch them now:wink:
  9. SouthGADan

    SouthGADan New Member

    Lyons, GA
    For me, part of the joy of fishing (and hunting) is being outdoors and appreciating the outdoors and along with the wildlife that lives in it. Who are we to say a native species doesn't belong? Just because it messes up our fishing a bit, it doesn't deserve to live? That's all part of the outdoors; you just have to deal with certain things.
  10. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    South Caro
    There have been many great replies on this thread, and I have sent reps for a couple of replies. As mentioned, gar can be quite aggravating when fishin' for cats, but I certainly would not put these prehistoric curiosities on the "trash" list. Really, no fish should be considered "trash", as God put them here for a reason. In some folks mind, shiners are trash fish because they eat fish eggs. I like shiners because they make great catfish bait. ALL fish have certain assets if one knows how to utilize them. Anyone who would break a gar's bill off and return them to the water, needs their @ss beat!!!!

    Bill in SC

    JEFFRODAMIS New Member

    i cant see why anybody wouldnt want to catch one after hanging a good one and feeling the fight, besides the bait stealing they do............................................that aggrevates me, but i know ill eventually lay a hook into them and it will make it worth the rebaiting
  12. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Many is the time I have seen the broken beaks, the fly covered carcasses, the gar bodies sticking out the sand their beaks buried so they died of suffocation.

    Killing is one thing for sport or food. Got nothing against that, done it many times myself and still will pick up a gun or pole when the mood strikes. Anymore food can be gotten at the 7-11 or McDonalds and sport is just a form of relaxation. The trophy guys never rest, a form of addiction, well and good I got nothing against that either.

    But fishing and hunting are more than just killing anymore. Times change, our environment changes and so little left and unspoiled. I would rather break bread with someone who cares for it as well as takes from it than than I would the guy who does not respect it. Something lacking in his genetics when that happens.
  13. BenNewt

    BenNewt New Member

    I think gar are a fascinating fish. I've spent many a night watching them with a spotlight in the shallows (while waiting for my clicker to go).

    The problem for me is that 95% of all the gar I've encountered are shortnose and I've tried and failed to "hook" one with a rope lure. They'll hit it, but the rope lures just don't seem to work on them. I've caught a few on rapalas and bullheads, but my hookup ratios are horrible. I tried eating one once, but it tasted like rubbery mud (you need a recip. saw to clean one, no joke!)...

    I don't think anyone should be throwing them up on the bank; they play an important role in the natural cycle of the river (or lake). But I don't see shortnose gar catching on as being a super sport fish. Longnose might be a different story though....:wink:

    JEFFRODAMIS New Member

    its them gators that be catchin on:wink:
  15. Flootie16

    Flootie16 New Member

    I hate catching gar. Its the one fish I truely cant stand to catch. And I will admit that back in my day I have thrown quite a few on the bank. But with a better understanding of love of fishing i now dont mess with them. I dont let them on the boat. When i catch one, the side of the boat is as close as they come. And if my long pliars cant get the hook out i just simply re rig. I used to think of them as a trash fish, but they do put up a fun fight. so now i just let them swim off to piss off another angler on another day
  16. Bomberman

    Bomberman New Member

    Spring Run, PA
    If you really want to have a fun time, try catching gar on a fly rod. I use a 7 wt rod with a 9 ft leader and a small piece of wire between the leader and lure. For the lure I use a piece of combed out 1/4 inch nylon rope, about 3 or 4 inches hook needed. Fish the back bays and creeks and you'll find them sunning themselves in the shallow water. Cast in front and beyond and retrieve it past his nose...then hang on. It's a blast!
  17. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Saronville Ne.
    I believe alot of those dead bloated stinking gar on the bank are from bass fishermen. I catfish a few places that have a good largemouth bass population and the bass guys fish them and there is always gar tossed on the bank,with their beaks broke,where I assume some guy wanted his 25 dollar lure back. But at the other nearby places that have gar but no bass the banks are usually free of dead fish. Maybe those bass guys arn't total C+R,like they like everyone to think. to be honest I've killed some on private waters at the landowners request,and released some too. I don't care for the nasty things,but also don't kill things just because.
  18. unclebuncle

    unclebuncle New Member

    One other thing to think about at least in Kansas its against the law to throw a fish out on the bank.If your not going to keep them they're supposed to be released.Believe it or not in N Florida a lot of people throw crappie out on bank because they're trash fish.
  19. huls1

    huls1 New Member

    in my opinion there is no such thing as a trash fish, they are all here for a reason, some i don't care about catching some i love to catch. i keep a very few for my wife and me for food, some i keep for bait ALL the rest are released, i enjoy fishing too much to call ANY fish trash, gar included. if anyone has hooked into a gar of any size you know the fight is on and that is what i enjoy. A true fisherman knows this a lot of them think they are too good to catch or touch something like this.
    In my opinion
  20. PaJay-p

    PaJay-p Guest

    I got to agree with Bill.We have a heavy population of white suckers ecspecially in the spring run. There are guys that would throw walleye or trout in the weeds just to get suckers to eat.Gar on many a night have kept me scrambling to keep two poles in the water when they are schooled up. This is really nice when the cats are finicky during the spawn. I never hurt any fish that I don't keep to eat. I'll take anything that bites on a slow night.