The Freshwater Phil guide to Montreal shore fishing spots

Montreal's best shore fishing spots

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sight fishing longnose gar

First real heat wave of the season, I decided to headed out to attempt some topwater pike fishing, as the wind was very calm as well. After catching a couple incidental bass, I switched spots. More bass.. I switched spots again. 3 rd spot was tougher to get to as I have to trek through some woods, no fish in sight. Finally, after some more trekking through woods, high grass and swamp, I found the sweet spot.

Hundreds of carp circling near the surface, intermingled with lots of longnose gar. Prime conditions for sight fishing, something I don't get to do very often. I decided to attempt getting the gar to hit, tied on a big Heddon lucky 13, and started popping it right in front of them, as the were all in less than 2 feet of clear water.

First gar hit immediately, I actually managed to hook it in the beak. It came off easily as it was thrashing around the surface. As I was on a small 4-5 foot cliff with no way of bringing up a gar by it's beak without losing it, I tried a trick I had once read about. I cut a piece of line and tangled it around the 2 rear treble hooks on my lure. Plan was to have the gar hit the lure and tangle their teeth in it as opposed to getting hooked.

First try, I spooked a nice big gar, probably in the 3 foot range. Targeting a smaller one on the next cast, a nice 4+ lbs largemouth bass came up and crushed the lure. Not what I was targeting, but a nice surprise. After releasing it, I cast to the same spot, only to catch another 4 lb bass. Though back to back 4 lb bass on a topwater lure are really sweet, the season is still closed, so I moved along the bank to sight more gar.

Didn't take to long, I spotted 3 gar circling in the shallows. After 3 or 4 casts, I caught my 2nd gar of the day. Despite being somewhat tangled in my line, I still couldn't get it up the steep bank. A couple minutes later, I had my 3rd gar thrashing at the end of my line. Though I could have kept going for hours, I had to cut my trip short in order to beat the traffic, as I still had a long trek back to the car.

Though my trip turned out very different than I had originally planned, I was quite happy to target longnose gar, a species a rarely get to encounter, let alone target. These unconventional fish call for unconventional fishing tactics, but sight fishing for gar is something I can easily get into. Hope to target some more in the next few days...

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