Gar - Where can I find them on the Ohio river?

Discussion in 'LOCAL OHIO TALK' started by kat buster, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. kat buster

    kat buster New Member

    Messages:
    108
    State:
    Michigan
    Were is the best place to find gar in the Ohio river?
     
  2. kat buster

    kat buster New Member

    Messages:
    108
    State:
    Michigan
    Has any body fished on the ohio river for aligator gar?
     

  3. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I could be wrong but I dont think there is any aligator Gar in the Ohio River..I think most of the Gar in the Ohio river are the longnose gar, along with the spotted Gar.
     
  4. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    Ohio
    Yes, that is how I also understadn it to be.

    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.
     
  5. truck

    truck New Member

    Messages:
    156
    State:
    williamsburg ohio
    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.
     
  6. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    Ohio
    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.
     
  7. truck

    truck New Member

    Messages:
    156
    State:
    williamsburg ohio
    Not sure Brian?I do know the guy that ownes Bethel marina fishes for them alot and has a very large one mounted.I guess there are not many around our part of the river???
     
  8. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    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


    Salmonid
     
  9. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    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.

    Good luck,
    Salmonid
     
  10. derbycitycatman

    derbycitycatman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,296
    State:
    Kentucky
    I seem to run into the fairly often drift fishing with chicken livers. They seem to be everywhere down here.
     
  11. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    I have noticed lately that they are most abundant below the dams on the Ohio river in my area. They feed on the large schools of shad.
     
  12. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    Ohio
    I heard a guy say once that he saw a Gar in the Ohio River come up out of the river & eat a Bass Tracker Boat, luckily the driver of the boat escaped. I think the guy telling me the storys name was JW & the driver fo the boat was some guy thta went by the name Deer Hunter.

    Would you believe that I did see an aligator on the Great Miami River? No kidding, I did. It was caught the next morning too. It was even on the news.
     
  13. duxsrus

    duxsrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,014
    State:
    SW Ohio
    You want gar??? Meldahl dam has enough to run you out of bait in no time flat. Just get up in the general vicinity of the bouys on the tailwater side and you'll stay busy until you're tired of messin' with them.
     
  14. kat buster

    kat buster New Member

    Messages:
    108
    State:
    Michigan
    Thanks for the info, I am hoping to go down there this summer and reduce the population of gar with my bowfishing stuff.:)

    P.S. Does any body know were the gator gar are located in the Ohio river?
     
  15. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Ok, Im looking at the book titled the "The Fishes of Ohio" and it states that the last known "verified"sighting of the Alligator Gar in the Ohio River was "during the summer of 1946,a fisherman caught one near the mouth of White Oak Creek that was longer then 4 ft in length"
    it also states for the years of 1955 through 1980 that there were no authentic reports from within Ohio, or the Ohio River along the states boundry and that from 1957-1959,the University of Louisville did a Ohio River Study along its entire length and none were taken even though they suspect a few in the very lowest reaches of the Ohio River.

    I hope this helps.
    I saw one once on the lower Arkasas River, it was probably 7-8 ft in length and scared me something bad.....:eek: Of course I started throwing some small plugs on my ultralight for it;)

    Salmonid
     
  16. Creek_Chub

    Creek_Chub New Member

    Messages:
    35
    State:
    Loveland, Ohio
    I know everytime we fish from the boat on the downstream side of Meldahl Dam the Gar just wear our bait out. You can hardly get your bait to the bottom before the gar are running off with it. This has been my expierence at Meldahl anyway. Hope this helps
     
  17. catmanofohio

    catmanofohio New Member

    Messages:
    639
    State:
    Aberdeen (Southern Ohio)
    I bet you can find all these fish in the water lol..... same place at meldalh i would say
     
  18. vlparrish

    vlparrish New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Bedford, Kentucky
    D.J., to answer your question about finding gar. I bowfish some down the river between Cinci and Louisville and I have had my best luck on sunny afternoons usually in late April all the way to the end of June. You will find the majority of them floating in the creek mouths. I try to troll ever so lightly upstream, just bumping the trolling motor on the lowest setting. Stealth is key to getting close enough to insure a hit. I have snuck up on them so close that I was pretty much shooting straight down off of the bow.If and when we finally get some sunny weather pushing high seventees up into the eightees they will be floating. Also you might want to try the mouths and sloughs when the water is really high. I have shot several gar over 48" this way. All the gar that I have shot have been longnose or spotted. I've bowfished for several years and have yet to see a alligator gar. The spotted gar probably would resemble a young one though if it didn't have spots. Vern