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Gar surprise


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#1 JasonL

JasonL
  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 09 August 2019 - 04:20 PM

Went gar fishing today in a floodplain oxbow pond here in Western KY a couple miles or so from the Ohio River. Pond was stacked with mostly Spotted Gar (L. oculatus) but I also caught a couple of these.


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KDFWR has been gradually reintroducing Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula) to certain areas of western KY over the past decade or so. Perhaps they'll make a comeback. Pretty stoked to find these today.

#2 Matt DeLaVega

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  • Ohio

Posted 09 August 2019 - 06:12 PM

Oh Wow! Angled I suppose? This is exciting news.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#3 JasonL

JasonL
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  • Kentucky

Posted 09 August 2019 - 10:05 PM

Jigging spoons with a treble hook was the secret sauce for catching these guys, and even then it was probably only around a 25% hook to catch ratio at best. I'm also happy to report that the gar are feeding heavily on silver carp YOY in this area, and the jigging spoon seems to "match the hatch" so to speak. All gar seemed really fat and healthy and populations seem to be on the upswing with the flooding we had this year. Hopefully this trend will continue.

#4 mattknepley

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  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 11 August 2019 - 06:37 PM

Nice!


Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#5 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 12 August 2019 - 10:06 AM

I never tire of seeing these prehistoric Gar.

I snorkeled North Chick this weekend and as i entered the water chest deep my friend standing on the bank watched as 2 Gar swam right up to me.  With the sun angle i could not see them but i know it is never a good idea to skinny dip in gar water.


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#6 JasonL

JasonL
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  • Kentucky

Posted 17 August 2019 - 12:37 PM

Update:

Well I submitted these pics to folks in the know and the consensus was that this was most likely a Shortnose gar (L. platostomus). Lateral scale counts can overlap but apparently Alligator gar this size still should have some prominent spots on their sides and the nose is a little shorter. Also, unbeknownst to me, L. platostomus (?and perhaps all gar) can have rudimentary second row of teeth on the upper jaw just not as prominent as A. spatula.

Sorry for the confusion. Thought I really had something here. Maybe next time.

#7 mattknepley

mattknepley
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  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 17 August 2019 - 02:12 PM

Thanks for the clarification.  And no worries, it's still a dang cool fish!


Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#8 Matt DeLaVega

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  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 17 August 2019 - 09:35 PM

Those gar are full of surprises. I was under the same impression about the double row of teeth. Funny thing is I have unhooked a couple dozen or more shortnose gar and didn't pay any attention to the lack of or presence of a double row.

 

In the couple of Garvana trips I attended, we never found juvenile shortnose. Juvenile longnose were found even though shortnose gar were much more abundant. I am real curious of where they reside.

 

Edit. So I had to refresh my memory and Peterson's is very clear that shortnose have one row and alligator have two. I wouldn't consider those rudimentary teeth either. I wonder what's going on here?


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#9 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 09:54 PM

Found this. Doesn't appear to be a second row here. Gar teeth.jpg


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#10 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 09:59 PM

Or here. shortnose.jpg


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#11 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
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  • Ohio

Posted 17 August 2019 - 10:10 PM

Ok. Alligator gar here. I see some difference. Comparatively, I suppose Jason's fish has a somewhat rudimentary second row. The placement seems  a little different as well. I really don't know. Peterson's should have an asterisk and annotation clarifying this IMO.alligator.jpg   http://www.heartlandoutdoors.com/gretchen/story/alligator_gar_found_in_kaskaskia_river/ This link does show juvenile gator gar with spots. Also a head comparison of LNG, SNG, and AG.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#12 JasonL

JasonL
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  • Kentucky

Posted Yesterday, 12:29 AM

Yeah the teeth are a puzzle to me as well. No reference I could find mentions this in any other North American gar species besides AG, even at a rudimentary level. Think it might warrant a mention even if only a blurb. I'm going to pay closer attention to the teeth from here on out when I catch gar and see what's up.

Matt that's a good article you linked with some nice pics of smaller AG. Not all that far from where I fish either.



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