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Old 04-22-2019, 05:35 PM   #1
RiverRat1
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Default Back from Nueces River fishing trip!

We headed back down to fish the Nueces River again. Was going to put out our standard drop and jug lines hoping to catch a big catfish but we were out matched by some HUGE gar. My standard line is 300lb mono with 10/0 Eagle Claw swordfish circle hooks.

Bait


We put out a 8 jugs up river and then 15 3 miles down river using cut carp Wednesday morning. That evening we started down river and just had a couple small blue cats. Right as we were checking the first jug set up river our neighbor pulled up in his boat and asked how we were doing.. We said "Not good" About then Jason picked up a still jug and it jerked out of his hand and the jug disappeared under water. Both boats sat there for 15-20 seconds waiting to see where it came up. This was a 1 gallon jug. Long story short we had no idea what to do with a +/- 200# alligator gar LOL Sucker was a freaking beast. It broke the hook after a while and that made it easy. It was on the top hook and the bottom hook had a 8-12 lb flathead which then felt like nothing. Another jug was 40 yards away and we saw it go completely under but just for a second. It had a 27# flathead and a smaller blue on it.

I have video's on some of the gar. May take a while to post them.





To sum up...Over the next 2 days we had 6 or 7 10/0 hooks get straightened and 3 lines plain snapped off. Every time we ran lines the big gar were hitting closer towards the lake. I assume we hit a trifecta of luck. Spawn, rain upriver days before we got there, and the gar all being stacked up where we fish as water slowed down.

We ended up landing 7 or 8 big gar. All released although I bet the last 2 big ones died. I had moved up to 13/0 hooks and just couldn't get the hooks out. The biggest one we got in the boat was 70" long with a 31" girth. I think the smallest was still big around 55" long.








If you hate snakes you would NOT have liked being the one pulling up this trot line LOL


Caught a couple soft shell turtles also

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Old 04-22-2019, 05:38 PM   #2
pigstika1978
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Nice haul


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Old 04-22-2019, 05:40 PM   #3
RiverRat1
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Any guesses from the pro TBH gar hunters on how much the 70" long 31" girth gar weighed?

I assume they are spawning right now? I've never seen so many monster gar in one place. I've fished this section on the Nueces since the late 70's and never seen it like this.

I found the hooks that work but what kind of line can one use to hold up to these monsters? My braided line that is used for trotlines (the thicker stuff) they were still breaking. They were eating large live gasper goo also that we were using for bait.


Those were pics off my phone. My daughter has most pictures and videos. I'll try to post them later.
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Old 04-22-2019, 05:40 PM   #4
Blank
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How the heck do you catch a rattlesnake on a jug???
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Old 04-22-2019, 05:40 PM   #5
BonesandArrow
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Awesome!! That’s a trip to remember! How far up the River were you from the lake? I grew up going to the lake near Mathis and don’t remember seeing the big gar very often.
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Old 04-22-2019, 05:51 PM   #6
RiverRat1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blank View Post
How the heck do you catch a rattlesnake on a jug???
It's not a rattlesnake. Some sort of water snake. Supposedly not poisonous.

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Awesome!! Thatís a trip to remember! How far up the River were you from the lake? I grew up going to the lake near Mathis and donít remember seeing the big gar very often.
We are about 8 miles down from the 59 bridge just down from the next super old bridge (151)
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:00 AM   #7
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:02 AM   #8
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:03 AM   #9
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Those are not waves from the boat!

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Old 04-23-2019, 09:12 AM   #10
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nice!
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:33 AM   #11
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Those size gar are really good eating size... They'll go about 70# or so. Best way I've found to clean em is to use a sawzall and go down the back from head to tail, then take out the back strap on each side, slice just like you'd slice a deer back strap, batter, n fry... You'll be surprised how tasty it is! Hear tell that soft shell is the best turtle to make turtle soup with too, but don't know anything about how to clean 'em or cook 'em... Sure ate some good soup made from 'em tho...
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:01 AM   #12
RiverRat1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltwaterSlick View Post
Those size gar are really good eating size... They'll go about 70# or so. Best way I've found to clean em is to use a sawzall and go down the back from head to tail, then take out the back strap on each side, slice just like you'd slice a deer back strap, batter, n fry... You'll be surprised how tasty it is! Hear tell that soft shell is the best turtle to make turtle soup with too, but don't know anything about how to clean 'em or cook 'em... Sure ate some good soup made from 'em tho...
I was way too tired and worn out to try and clean gar and/or turtles.

And I have always tried to release the big gar ever since they were over fishing back in the early 90's.

I guesstimated the gar at 40 pounds (the smallest) to near 100 pounds (the biggest we boated). But I'm no expert with them. I know the big one that got away was WAY over 100# Had to have been closer to 200... Even if it stopped moving I doubt we could have drug it in the boat. I felt like the old man and the sea LOL None of those pictures are of the big one BTW I was a little pre-occupied to take pics.
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltwaterSlick View Post
Those size gar are really good eating size... They'll go about 70# or so. Best way I've found to clean em is to use a sawzall and go down the back from head to tail, then take out the back strap on each side, slice just like you'd slice a deer back strap, batter, n fry... You'll be surprised how tasty it is! Hear tell that soft shell is the best turtle to make turtle soup with too, but don't know anything about how to clean 'em or cook 'em... Sure ate some good soup made from 'em tho...
Lotta good eatin!!!
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:57 PM   #14
yanta61
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Nice....I need to hurry up and get out there
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:20 PM   #15
gatorgar
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Andrew and I were out there Saturday and Sunday. Only things worth mentioning were a 5' gar and a 27lb flathead. Saturday afternoon we had 4 18-22 inch cats. Sunday morning, the big flathead and gar along with, I think 8 smaller cats.
Sunday afternoon, we walked out with 10 cats but they were stolen, along with the cooler at the DQ when we stopped for supper.


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Old 04-27-2019, 10:40 PM   #16
bmac
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Looks like a good time. I always liked the straighten hooks as it leaves you wanting to come back and catch a mystery monster.


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