Alligator Gar

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Circle wire on wire trace.
Animal Planet/DCL

Hooking Gar

You’d think such a toothy predator would be straightforward to hook. But tightening into a confident run will just bring your bait back. The front part of a gar’s snout is like its shopping cart, somewhere to keep its food until later. Or think of a dog, taking a bone back to its crate. But a gar can travel well over 100 yards until it stops and thinks about taking the bait back into its mouth. Taking the slack out of all that line, without the fish being aware that something’s going on, is pretty much impossible – it just opens its mouth, and once more you don’t connect.

What worked in the end was untying the boat and drifting after the fish as silently as possible, sometimes using the electric trolling motor, taking up the slack as I went. Stop about 20 yards away, then tighten and hit.

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