Where on the Trinity River do you
shoot these huge gar?
Anywhere from Anahuac to Dallas, but mostly above Lake Livingston, just
because that's the area that's closest to where we live.
What time of year is best?
The spawn happens in the springtime, so that is usually the best, but
there is still good shooting during the summer. The gar tend to look for
deeper water as the temperature rises.
What do you do with the fish?
Eat all we can and sell the rest! Seriously, we feel that if God gives
us the opportunity to have a good shoot, it's just wrong to waste them,
so we do our best to make sure that none are left behind. There is a
segment in the video featuring Steve's famous gar-dressing technique,
which involves a sharp hatchet, very sharp knife, and a gar board. We
save the scales for our friend Dianne who makes the logo necklaces sold
on our website along with lots of other fabulous jewelry. Her site is
listed on our links page.
What's the biggest you've caught?
Our largest longnose gar is about 60#. The biggest gator gar is the 260# alligator gar shown in the photo gallery. Mark McQueen and Steve
Barclay shot it, and Sam arrived just in time to take the picture! Shame
on ya, Sam!
What kind of boat do you
We use a Silver Dollar air boat with a 572 Chevrolet engine.
What equipment do you prefer?
We use the AMS Fish
Hawk bow, which combines the quickness of a recurve with the power of a
compound. They are also excellent for beginners and ladies that can't
pull the poundage required for good penetration on a classic recurve.
With any bow, the AMS retriever reel is a must-have. We prefer the
slotted reel when going for alligator gar and won't rig up with anything
less than 400lb Fast Flite. Any good fiberglass arrow will work, as long
as it has the AMS safety slide to minimize arrow snapback. Tips are a
matter of preference. Some of the ones that get the best penetration are
also the hardest to remove, so experiment and see which you like best.
Is daytime or nighttime best?
In clear water, most bowfishermen prefer nighttime, but on the muddy
Trinity, visibility is near nothing, so we prefer to shoot early in the
morning and late in the evening.
Do they bite?
The alligator gar doesn't attack people, but it is territorial and if
one "bumps" you, the teeth will cut. Of course, any gar that you are
bringing into the boat is not happy about it, and you need to stay out
of the way of the teeth. Sam and Steve each have a few scars that they
blame on angry alligator gar.
What do they eat?
Almost anything! The main diet of the alligator gar is fish, which is
why they are considered a nuisance by fishermen. They consume many bass,
crappie, and other sport fish. However, when dressing gar, we also find
birds, beavers, catfish, turtles, and just about anything smaller than
Any good recipes?
Gar is served as a delicacy in many restaurants, usually as a grilled
fish steak. We prefer to slice the meat very thin, roll it in Louisiana
fish fry, and quick fry it in hot oil, but there are lots of great
recipes on the net. Gar balls, anyone?