Wednesday, June 17, 2009

West Point Lake Gar Fishing - My Biggest Gar Of The Season!

Today I went Longnose Gar Fishing with Timmy Montieth (Stepson), Clint Carrington and Shane Cummings, two of Timmy's friends. It was a hot day on West Point Lake with a bit of overcast and the Gar were not surfacing much at the location I had planned on seeing them. We moved under the bridge and saw a few small Gar but nothing to get excited about so I packed it up and moved to a spot known for having big Gar this time of year. This is where Debbie caught her 23lb-6oz Gar and I caught my 22lb-11oz Longnose from last year.

It started pretty quickly with Clint landing a nice 50 incher that weighed nearly 15 lbs and quite fat. Then Timmy lands a good one but since it wasn't as big as Clint’s, we didn't measure or weigh it. As the Gar began to surface more and more we noticed a small area where the Gar were stacked in pretty good so I trolled over and within a couple of cast I got a strike! At first I didn't think it was very big but the drama increased with a few hard jolts on my rod tip and my excitement grew. Then the Gar came up to the water surface for a moment and it was a huge Gar to say the least. Not real that long but as big around as a football and a huge anxiety came over me in remembrance of the many big Gar I had had lost so far this season that came loose before I could even get them to the boat. As I fought the Gar in close enough for Timmy to make a grab for it the Gar saw Timmy and made a large splash, turned and started stripping more drag out. Then I got it up to the boat again and Timmy grab the big Gar. As the big Gar began to frail about it ripped free from Timmy's grasp with only the line left in his hand. I new that if Timmy held that line a second longer it would break would be nothing but a memory so I yelled, "Let go of the line, let go of the line" and Timmy let go and off the big Gar went on another line stripping tear. It was big and slippery and our gloves were wet now making it even more difficult to haul the Gar in. As I finally got it close enough, Timmy got two hand on the beast and pulled it into the boat and I still wasn't satisfied that the Gar wouldn't go overboard, so I told Timmy to take it down to the floor of the boat; then finally I felt safely confident that this gigantic fat boy of a Gar was caught at last! Measuring 52 inches and weighing in at 21 pounds 13 ounces, it was big enough to edge out Matt Toler of South Georgia for the "Big Fish" lead and "Angler Of The Year" on Gar Anglers' Sporting Society's online tournament, so far that is.

Some days you struggle and other you triumph, and this old boy was due for a day like today. On days like this, I love this challenging sport full of excitement and surprises called Longnose Gar Fishing!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

West Point Lake Gar Fishing - 18 Pounder And The One That Got Away!

Today was what I call perfect Gar Fishing weather. It was about 90 degrees, the wind was light and the Gar were easier to see. Now if we can just get the water right. There's still a pretty heavy stain but with calm waters you can still see your target at times.

I was supposed to go into work at noon so I got up early and hit the water. I fished close by the boat ramp, an area where I caught a 16 pounder on Sunday. Well, it didn't take long to hang into a really nice 18 pound 1 ounce Longnose Gar that measured 51.5 Inches.

That was the extent of my action so I loaded the boat up and went into work for the rest of the day. My boss Mike Anderson saw me and said, "what are you doing here?" I said "you said come in at 12:00 so I'm here". Mike says, "that's next Tuesday!" I said, "well ok then, we'll see you tomorrow" and I headed back out to the lake and to a different boat ramp up river.

Man, it had gotten hot by now and the wind was light and I felt this would be a very good thing, so I buzzed my way up to my original Gar Fishing Honey Hole and man was I was right! It was one of those days when I could have caught 10 Gar but I went right into Big Gar mode. I began cruising and looking, passing up big Gar and looking for bigger Gar. As I cruised about 20 yards from the bank Gar were everywhere, but where is that Monster Gar that's is lurking just under the surface, waiting for me? I circled back around to make another pass when sudden, here she was, the Gar I was looking for and man was it big! I made the perfect cast, the Gar bite my rope and immediately began trying to back out of the rope lure like a big, mature, wise Gar will many times do. I moved to the back of the boat to turn on my video camera on then moved back into position and had just started telling about the Gar I had snagged when suddenly I felt my line go limp. I thought maybe the Gar switched directions and started moving back towards me, but nothing. You can here my frustration in the video, I had just lost my biggest Gar of the season and who knows; maybe the biggest Gar I've ever caught!

We'll, I'm getting ill just writing this thing, so long story short; I caught one more Gar that weighed 12 pounds, 5 ounces and 46.5 Inches. I had burned up my window of opportunity where the sun is high and the Gar are basking just underneath the waters surface. So I moved around a while until I got tired, loaded up the boat and here I sit. Left with the memory of a good morning, with an 18 pound trophy, but how I missing the chance for the Gar of a lifetime, and wondering what could I have done different to have landed that big Gar.