Ask For Donnie Hinkle "West Point Lake Gar Grabber"
The Gar Gods were smiling on ole Donnie today!!! Today I'm a happy man! I landed the biggest Longnose Gar I've ever caught on West Point Lake to date.
I took Chris Smith from Mike Patton Auto Family Gar fishing with me today. I try to take Chris at least once a season. My way of thanking him for all the help he provides me with throughout the year with computer stuff.
The day started out pretty good with several nice Gar landed but as the day grew on I kept seeing good-sized Gar and I would tell Chris, "That's a nice Gar but it's not what I'm looking for." You see, after catching a few nice Gar I always settle into a big Gar sight-fishing mode. I will comb the waters for the largest Gar I can see and toss a rope at him. So after Chris and I both caught a few nice ones we started cherry picking.
We changed location on numerous occasions and at one spot I hung what would have been the big Gar of the day. After a few huge line-stripping runs I was able to work the Gar to the boat and suddenly it charged beneath my boat and broke the line off. I was pretty upset for two reasons. One, I had my drag set way to tight and I should have played the Gar longer until it gave out some before trying to boat it, and two, I know that there’s no way the big Longnose will survive. That's 3 Gar this season that have broken off on me. I'll have my drag set lighter from now on to prevent this from happening again I hope.
Now for the good stuff! After fishing this location a little longer we changed places and went to the spot where I've caught my biggest Gar of this season. I know I always have a shot at a nice one there. After being on location for only a few minutes I saw one surface and I said, "man, that one has a head like a buffalo." The big Gar was moving away from my boat, not the most ideal cast to make but I did make a good cast and the Gar circled around and launched himself at my lure and the fight was on! This big Longnose Gar striped more line from my reel than any this year and I was afraid that it had the line in it’s beak like the last one that broke off earlier, but to my surprise it came straight back to the boat and made a hard fight seem easy, for a moment that is. After a few more brief runs and with the help of Chris Smith who shoved a glove onto my right hand I grabbed it's massive beak on the first attempt and held on for dear life as the Gar nearly shook my shoulder loose from the socket. When I dragged it into the boat I knew it was a Longnose Gar of a lifetime for me on West Point Lake. Chris got two good pictures of it then on the last shot where I was holding the Gar underneath it's head and gut the beast started cutting up, I dropped it and then it shook itself to freedom back into the water to where it came from. What a blast is all I have to say and I'm sure my face in the pictures shows what a thrill it is for me to catch a big Longnose Gar like that one.
Thanks to Chris Smith who helped me land my biggest Longnose Gar to date as quickly as I did and for taking the pictures that would been very difficult to do so alone. Thank you Chris!