If you’ve spent any time at all on a river in the eastern half of the US, you’ve run across a longnose gar. They are a nasty critter and can grow to be somewhat sizeable. Four to five feet isn’t unusual and, in the right conditions, can grow to be 40-50 lbs.
But if you dread getting a longnose gar in your trot line, just be glad you’re not having to deal with the Alligator Gar. They measure in between eight and ten feet and larger specimen can tip the scales between 250 and 300 lbs.
Joseph Williams out of Cleveland, Texas hauled in a monster Alligator Gar in mid-April. Using a rod and reel, Williams brought in the 230 lb (unofficial), 7-foot 9-inch creature. That may sound huge, but believe it or not, that isn’t even the record holder. The TX state record for rod-and-reel is stil held by Bill Valverde and his 1951 Rio Grande catch that weighed in at 279lbs.
Marty McClellan owns the TX state bow-fishing record for Alligator Gar with his 290lb alligator gar he caught in 2001 from the Trinity.
Kenny Williams, from Vicksburg, Mississippi, owns the record for largest Alligator Gar caught (327lbs, 8 ft 5 in) using a net when he landed that puppy on valentines day earlier this year. Wildlife officials said it was believed to be between 50 and 70 years old. He ended up donating the fish to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson where it is now on permanent display for all to enjoy.
You may think that there’s nothing to do with a gar but measure it and release it or put it in a museum. But my grandpappy shared with me his super-secret gar recipe.
Grandpappy’s Melt-in-your-mouth Gar
Preheat oven to 600 degrees. Place whole gar in a tar roofing shingle and bake for 4 hours. Then, remove the fish and eat the shingle.
Come to think of it, it’s no surprise that these fish live so long. They taste absolutely terrible and they look even worse. But they look just fine in record books.
More Alligator Gar Photos & Video