Barbs and Backlashes

Odds and Ends, June 24, 2010 by whitetips
June 24, 2010, 1:58 pm
Filed under: Fishing | Tags: , ,

I have found a few things on the internet that I thought would be of interest;  let me share them with you.


No this does not deal with Nebraska waters, but it has to do with a neat fish that can be found in some Nebraska waters.  I have been following some research updates in Muskie magazine, the magazine of Muskies Inc., and recently someone showed me that I could follow a blog on this particular research project, “Project Noble Beast”, .  These guys are doing some really cool research and I am betting some of you will find their blog to be very interesting!

By the way, let me put this plug in again, if you are a muskie angler or are interested in becoming one, we have a Muskies Inc. chapter in Nebraska and you need to join!


Gar get a “bad rap”.  We have shortnose and longnose gar in Nebraska waters, and once in a great while a spotted gar shows up.  Those fish are found in the Missouri River and in the lower reaches of Missouri River tributaries.  Sandpits and other waters that can at times be connected to those rivers may have some gar in them as well.  With the high waters we are having in many Nebraska rivers right now, there are going to be some gar show up in a lot of places in the coming weeks.

Gar are predators; take one look at their mouth full of pointy-sharp teeth and you will know that.  For some reason there are folks that hate gar because they believe the gar eat all the other fish, especially when they believe the gar eat more desirable sport fish.  They are predators, but gar are less effective predators than largemouth bass or walleyes and no one ever seems to hate bass or walleyes for eating other fish.  I believe part of the hatred for gar comes when folks discover an isolated water where all the fish are gone except the gar and then they assume the gar ate everything else.  Likely that did not happen at all.  Gar can survive in waters with very little if any dissolved oxygen; they literally gulp air at the surface in order to survive in those waters.  With little or no oxygen in the water, the gar may be the only thing that survive; the gar did not eat all of the other fish, they simply were the only ones capable of surviving low oxygen levels.

Beyond the menacing look, I believe gar also have a bad reputation because they have scales and skin that are like armor.  Believe it or not, they can be very good table fare if you can just get through that armor.  I will never forget the first time my Gramps caught a gar while we were camping and fishing on Lewis & Clark Reservoir.  Gramps was going to eat that fish and proceeded to attempt cleaning that gar with his fillet knife and a screw-driver.  I do not know what ever happened to the gar, but I do know that we never had any fried gar that night.  Seriously, a pair of tin snips is needed to clean a gar, but once you get past the scaly armor they actually have some very firm, white, palatable meat.  Do not try eating their eggs though, they are poisonous.

Anyway, I am rambling.  If I have piqued your interest, here is a great website on everything gar and gar-fishing, .  Take a look, there are some interesting ideas on that website and they have a great sense of humor!

Nebraska's hook & line state record shortnose gar.

Asian Carp

You will continue to hear more and more about Asian carp.  You might as well hear some more . . . .

“Shanghai bass” for all!


2 Comments so far
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Speaking of gar, I had my first experience with a long nose down in KS. I was fishing a shallow bay on lake Wakonda in a one man kayak. I could very stealthily sneak between some submerged brush and the shoreline. I was looking for bass, but didn’t see anything until I dropped my two inch floating rapala by some lily pads. Something moved and I about wet myself when I realized it was a 3-4 foot long nose gar. He missed. I debated knowing I hooked him, I had no where to go with him and would likely lose my lure. But he was HUGE. So naturally I dropped it in front of him again and this time hooked him. His reactions were slow. I had him right by the kayak, grabbed the lure, but couldn’t figure a way to unhook him. So I let him slowly pull me to deeper water, through the brush. When he went under the front of the kayak it grazed his back and then he took off! I managed to adjust my drag. He swam under the kayak again two more times each time bumping it and then taking off with a burst of energy. We were almost to the open water when it happened again and my line broke.

A 3-4 foot gar in an 8′ kayak is a lot of fun!!!

Comment by Jason Cooper

[…] Odds and Ends, June 24, 2010 « Barbs and Backlashes […]

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