Ask For Donnie Hinkle "West Point Lake Gar Grabber"
I took Chris Smith from Mike Patton Auto on his first ever Gar fishing trip. We started out heading up the Chattahoochee river toward Franklin when I decided to try a spot that prove to be very productive last year. The hunch was right, There were Gar surfacing everywhere. Strangely enough though, we couldn't get a single strike from the fish. The water was very heavily stained to down right muddy and the sun wasn't up very high yet so we decided to go on up river. My hot spot near Franklin was boiling with Gar when we got there but they still wouldn't hit a thing. It was even muddier there so that was when I decided that the Gar simply couldn't see the lures. Enough of this frustration so we made a bee line to clearer water to old fateful as I call it. This spot almost always produces something. I was right. Just as we got there I hung into a nice 8-9lb Longnose. As the fish made a run about 15 feet off the back of my boat it made a huge acrobatic leap into the air and threw my lure from it's beak. Man, what I day I was having. I finally did catch one Gar about 36 inches. By then the sun was high but so was the wind. A front was coming in from the west so I new our day was about to end. Well, up the river we go again to another spot I fished last year. The wind was very strong so we headed toward the back of a cove to get out of the wind. As I began trolling around the bend into the cove I spotted a large Longnose cruising by my boat. I was headed in and he was headed out so I cast out in front and past the big Gar pulled the lure right in front of his face. Bam! He nailed it! Then the fight was on. It was a very nice strong longnose and I was in the middle out a stump and stick-up field. The Gar started fighting like mad and it made a run for a stick-up away from the boat. But it wasn't just any stick-up. It had a wasp nest attached to it! Now I had to back the boat up while trying to stay away from the wasp and try to pull the Longnose back around the tree. Finally it came loose and after a few more runs and a couple of leaps I grabbed it up from the water. It weighed in at 14lbs-14oz and was 47 inches long. I told Chris I was was glad to be able to show him why I love to Gar fish although Chris came up empty. He has a nice camera though and makes a great photographer. I think I owe Chris another trip when it's not so muddy.