My oldest finally landed his first "bayou barracuda" this morning. His photographic skills need some work but this is a fine 25" aprox 3# alligator gar landed this morning. He & I have been chasing these in a local park in northwest Houston that is a part of a flood control system thus sees constant water rises and falls.
We do best on either first of the water level rise or end of water level fall. The gar tend to gather up near flow constriction. They will float under the surface facing the current. We cast flashy slow sinking streamers up stream for a drift within inches of the fish.
Water is not clear so they can't see or won't chase if the streamer is less than 4"-6" from their face.
Their prehistoric mouths are very boney and hard to get a good hook set in. Thus our hit to landed fish ratio is low. However they can be spectacular in their fight, landed or not. Hard hits and flashy jumps. Much of the time they run into snags and end the game quick. Bigger ones cut leaders are a constant problem, but heavier tippets tend to sink to quickly. All hooks are sharpened with a diamond file to a fine pyramid, otherwise we'd have far less hook-ups.
Lefty's Deceivers, SeaDucers, and epoxy headed 1-2/0 unweighted streamers are first choice. White seems to be best color. Often however flies don't last lond as the teeth tear 'em up quick.
We have three species of gar but the alligator gar is far the better figher. The spotted gar is better looking and long nose is more plentiful however each of these tend to give up the ghost in the fight often before it seems to start. They tend to be very long but light in weight. Alligator gars for us are best by far, our trophy fish.
The outfit he used 7wt TFO BVK, Lamson Guru 3.0, WF7F SA Bonefish, 2/0 epoxy head flashy streamer on a 15# tippet. Most casts have to be quick accurate 20'-45' casts, distance casting is seldom needed. A bassbug taper is also good choice but we fish the gulf coast much of the time thus the Bonefish line. If the gars are on the smallish size a 5-6 is ok. However there's always the chance of a real "brute" alligator gar showing up and you be undergunned.