Friday, November 11, 2011

Back to the River

I almost forgot what it was like to drive less than an hour to go fishing.  My attraction to the salt had been pretty intense lately.  But today, I decided to switch things up and stay close to home.  I also decided to switch things up even more by going after something a little unusual..... GAR!

I found out about a spot on the James river that's loaded with gar.  However, the nearest public launch area was over 8 miles away and I didn't have time to dedicate to that kind of distance.  Staying determined, I did a little research on google maps.  Then I worked a little charm on a nice old lady who let me drag my kayak through her property.  Next thing I knew I was only a 15 minute paddle from the spot. Ya gotta love being able to do that with a kayak.

As I got closer to the spot, I could see the gar breaching the surface.  They were all over the place and some were definitely pushing 4 feet long.  I've used artificials/lures on them before but found it extremely frustrating since the hook up ratio on those skinny nosed gar was very low.  I decided to bring minnows this time, but it was still difficult to hook one.  The gar would grab it, then run, but wouldn't actually eat it for quite some time.  I would keep yanking it out of their teeth.

Speaking of teeth, I know some people have used frayed nylon rope as a lure and had pretty decent success with it.  The teeth would get tangled in the fine strands of rope and the angler could fight and land it.  I tried, but the fish didn't want anything to do with it, or any artificials I threw at them.

Eventually, I finally got one to eat a minnow, and with light tackle, it was a very enjoyable fight.  I got a little nervous when I pulled it close to the yak.  The prehistoric looking beast started tail dancing with it's mouth open... all 3 zillion pointy teeth flailing around in close proximity.


I think they're actually very pretty, except for their face.  My wife says they got "butterface".  I didn't see that one coming.  Anyway, my free lined minnows couldn't find the inside of another gar's mouth for the rest of the day.  But they did find several catfish, including this 42" citation blue cat...


I was a little surprised that this leviathan went after a 4" minnow.  

Just before I called it a day this pretty little James River striper came up to bid me adieu.


It was a nice day to change things up.

5 comments:

  1. Congrats Rob - here's a tip for next time....take a 4-6" length of nylon rope unwound and comb it out. Tie it on a big round jig head but cut the hook out an inch or so behind the head but keep the jig head with the hair still tied on. That's all you need. The hairs get caught in their teeth and is much easier to get unbuttoned when its time to land and release them. Check it out.....http://www.garmanjack.net/hookless.html

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  2. Oh yeah - congrats on the citation!!! That is one big cat!!

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  3. Thanks for the tip Chuck, but...
    forth paragraph down...
    "Speaking of teeth, I know some people have used frayed nylon rope as a lure and had pretty decent success with it. The teeth would get tangled in the fine strands of rope and the angler could fight and land it. I tried, but the fish didn't want anything to do with it, or any artificials I threw at them."

    I appreciate it though.

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  4. That is an awesome blue cat you caught there brother! I love big catfish. I am so jealous of you coastal guys because those tidewater blues grow HUGE! Keep up the awesome blog man!

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