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South Carolina Gar

11212 Views 15 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  center12
I enjoy the fight of Gar myself and we have some good size ones. Santee seems to have the biggest I've ever seen in the wild. I've been thinking about trying them in Greenwood because they are plenty around Goat Island during the summer months.
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I love eating gar i just tried some a few weeks ago when i was reeling in all the poles for the night to go home i caught a lil 10 pounder . That was some of the best tasting fish ive ever had . If i had known gar was this much fun to catch and eat i wouldve doing this a long time ago
I've heard others say it's good but I haven't tried them yet.
How do you cook those rascels...
Cross, I just batter them in my favorite batter and deep fat fry them. I like the taste of them.
I have landed a couple of larger gar into the boat. After fighting with them to remove the hook, my boat smelled like I had caught a skunk. I ate a lot of critters growing up but we never did try a Each to their own!
Not really boney cept for the rib cage and they are slimy as hell ended up throwing out a towel i had tried to hold onto it when i was on the water

I just took some sheet metal snips and made a small cut into the tail then cut up towards the neck . Broke the neck and took the head off and peeled back the skin/armor . Then i had to cut out the backbone and ribs

I really wish i took pictures on how i cleaned it but really its like cleaning any other fish cept you just need something really sharp to get thru the skin .

I grew up fishing Lake Murray at a place near the top of the lake about 10 minutes down from Black's Bridge. I used to ride a 10' Jon boat with a trolling motor out onto the point of the cove where our place was, fishing live bream set about two feet deep with a big, fat bobber so I could tell where they were running. (I always let them run until they stop and swallow it, which can be a LONG way!) I would hook into huge gar at times that would pull that little boat around for 20 minutes or so.

I swear, if you eat only the right meat, they are delicious. There is a single roll of white meat that runs down either side of the backbone that honestly tastes more like gator than fish, but I think it is very good eating. Don't worry about it being bony, because you just remove the good rolls of meat and sink the carcasses in your favorite catfish hole the day before you fish it. This really isn't wasteful, 'cause there is really nothing left but bones, quarter-inch armored plating, and a small amount of nasty strong tasting meat around the ribs that has a totall different texture altogether, like it was from a different animal.

I use tin snips (there is NO other way to clean a big one, unless you use a chainsaw!), cutting the armor from just behind the head all the way down his spine to the tail. Then I make a cut on either side of the head and tail so I can just peel back the armor, using a filet knife to free it where necessary.

You will see the long white roll of muscle that goes down either side of the backbone, it is like two rolls of meat about 1.5" in diameter on a five foot gar that goes nearly the full length of the beast. I cut them into chicken nugget sizes, bread them with Zatteran's and a little extra cayenne. We used to call 'em "Gar MacNuggets", hehe. :rolleyes:

They are incredibly slimy to handle, I use disposable shop rags to hold 'em by the snout.

I bet I have caught and released (literally) hundreds of gar in Lake Murray in my lifetime. As a kid, it drove me crazy watching five-foot fish swimming lazily around the cove while I was fishing for little bream, so eventually I got really good at catching these readily available "monsters". Longnose gar in Lake Murray get HUGE, I have released some over 7 feet long, no kidding.

I can't believe my first post was gar, hehe.
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same expeiriance with the few gar ive caught.
they slimed up our gear and stunk something aweful LOL
maybe we had caught bad ones or something.
i seen an article that tells if you take a short pc. of nylon rope 2-3 inches and tie it to your line you can pull it across the water and they will hit it like they hit shad and the nylon gets hung up in there gnarly teeth.!

nylon rope is pretty cheap i'm gonna try this.

if they stink though they will get tossed LOL :rolleyes:
You can poach or boil Gar or Bowfin untill flaky.You then add it and choped onions to a good hushpupy recipe.Fry it like a hushpupy,or flat like a Salmon patty.To me,both fight better and taste better than Bass.I allways released all 3,unless I thought it would die.I allways kept and used a fish that I thought would die.
I like to boil mine in Zatterans(?) crab boil oil and then chill the cooked meat in the fridge.........serve with cocktail sauce and melted butter, don't last long in my house.
Man it's only 10:00 a.m here and you've flung a craving on me.That sounds good<i"ll have to try one of the dinosaurs,along with some turtle meat
Like they've been the beasts is the worst part of the whole thing. I use a cuvred pair of pruning shears to do the deed, I'd say I can get one cleaned in around 4-5 minutes(and yes it's worth it).

The meat really stays together even after it's boiled and I have every intent of doing a "cajun" boil using gar as the meat.

ps. Don't try using a Dremel and the fiber cut-off blades..........they just smoke on the gar and it stinks :eek: Had a buddy try a cordless circular saw set shallow, it worked but everyone involved had to shower shortly after the test,snicker.
Boys I'm gonna have to get the ol' spoon rig out and go snag me one.Ya'll making me slobber.I've caught the dang things time and time again on a Johnson Spoon trailed with a nylon skirt.You know the drill they come at it slap at it and get their teeth hung in the nylon skirt.They're everywhere so snagging one is the easy part,sounds like dressing the sorry thing is the chore.I'll have one though,Invite the guess over for a gar eatting, :D
I actually found a Gar fishing sight on the net, it sorta got me stoked up to do a little intentional gar fishing. I figure a 15 to 20 pound gar on purpose is going to be a blast, a 5 footer catching air at the boat is pretty exciting even if it has my last perch in it's beak ;)

Hot spiced gar, smoked sausage links, corn on the cob, button mushrooms, new potatoes, whole sweet onions, all thrown out on a table and washed down with some ice cold ones.....................did that help with the slobbers?? :p
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