User Tag List

  • Amused
  • Angry
  • Annoyed
  • Awesome
  • Bemused
  • Cocky
  • Cool
  • Crazy
  • Crying
  • Down
  • Drunk
  • Embarrassed
  • Enraged
  • Friendly
  • Geeky
  • Grumpy
  • Happy
  • Hungry
  • Innocent
  • Meh
  • Piratey
  • Sad
  • Shy
  • Sneaky
  • WTF!?
  • zzz
  • Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
    Results 1 to 20 of 28
    1. Back To Top    #1
      VIP Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       
      MSA's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 2015
      Location
      Minot
      Posts
      996
      NDA Points
      263,578
      NDA Level
      100
      Report Entries
      8
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 2,961
      Given: 515

      Trinity River alligator gar trip 2022

      Since I saw pictures of alligator gar in books in my elementary school library 35 years ago I've wanted to see them in real life. We attempted to take this trip in 2020, but had to cancel due to covid.
      After 3 years of research and following the local fishing forums and Facebook pages I rented a VRBO lake house for a week on lake Livingston right by the Livingston dam on the Trinity.
      Name:  IMG_20220604_085329378_HDR.jpg
Views: 634
Size:  98.8 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220604_085353128_HDR.jpg
Views: 638
Size:  98.7 KB
      After getting settled in on Saturday, we headed to the dam area to scope things out, round up some bait, and at least wet some lines. The shores were covered in trash, and trashy people, poaching in broad daylight, illegal size gar carcasses just left on shore and the boat ramps, my brother said Iraq was cleaner and had more decent people. Now I cringe every time I see a Texas license plate up here. Garbage aside, I cast netted some large shad, and we caught a variety of species on hook n line. The water in that area was too shallow (1-3') to hold gar that evening so we didn't try.
      Name:  IMG_20220528_192707342_HDR.jpg
Views: 645
Size:  98.9 KB
      Texas longear sunfish
      Name:  IMG_20220529_175855442_HDR.jpg
Views: 640
Size:  101.8 KB
      Smalmouth buffalo
      Name:  IMG_20220529_112122959_HDR.jpg
Views: 642
Size:  94.6 KB
      Blue crab and mullet make their way all the way up from the gulf over 100 miles away, and bull sharks have been caught in the area.
      Name:  IMG_20220530_091708878_HDR.jpg
Views: 642
Size:  99.4 KB
      Some gar carcasses left on the boat ramp
      Name:  7983.jpg
Views: 644
Size:  112.4 KB
      The Texas state seashell, very common along any shoreline
      Name:  IMG_20220530_103319688.jpg
Views: 643
Size:  103.2 KB
      My kid caught all kinds of stuff wandering around with a jig n a worm, crappie, drum, bass, sunfish, blue cats, channel cats

      The next morning we caught some drum, cut them in half or into three pieces and got some lines in further down the river where the water was deeper.
      Name:  IMG_20220601_082610363_HDR.jpg
Views: 644
Size:  93.1 KB

      Within a minute of getting our third line in we had a run, and then another, and then all three lines were peeling off. We let em run for about a minute to give them time to get the bait down into the gullet for good hook sets. We landed 2 of the three, a couple in the 4 foot range.
      Name:  IMG_20220529_071639651_HDR.jpg
Views: 643
Size:  97.9 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220529_072526668_HDR.jpg
Views: 645
Size:  97.7 KB
      And then run after run and muddy chaos ensued...the bait was harder to catch than the gar. Everything we tried worked, mullet, drum, buffalo, carp, bowfin, shad, sunfish, bluegill, etc... The biggest gar on day one was about 5 1/2 feet.
      Name:  IMG_20220529_091718657.jpg
Views: 645
Size:  101.1 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220529_091921363_HDR.jpg
Views: 640
Size:  98.0 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220529_091859642_HDR.jpg
Views: 645
Size:  99.7 KB

      The following days we began missing alot more fish, our hook up ratio fell to maybe 10-20%. We had lost all of the 6/0 wide gap heavy duty treble hooks I brought to snags, and big gar cutting thru our braid with their sharp bony scales. It also seemed alot of longnose gar had moved in the next day, I could see them surfacing for air along with the gator gar. Longnose will take the bait, but since they have such a small but equally hard beak and an even smaller mouth, they're nearly impossible to hook. I did manage to land one that got the leader wrapped around his nose.
      Name:  IMG_20220530_114827586.jpg
Views: 646
Size:  99.4 KB

      By mid week we had experimented with several different hooks and found some that worked well, mustad 8/0 (paddlefish hooks for those of you who don't know hook sizes like myself) bronzed trebles that I sharpened and sanded a bit to speed up the rust process for the few gar that got the hook to deep for us to remove. And some gar just smashed em flat before spitting it out.

      And I just got the nodak angler message that I can only upload 15 files per post, so I'll keep going via replies.

      25 Not allowed!

    2. Back To Top    #2
      VIP Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       
      MSA's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 2015
      Location
      Minot
      Posts
      996
      NDA Points
      263,578
      NDA Level
      100
      Report Entries
      8
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 2,961
      Given: 515
      Name:  IMG_20220615_194628625.jpg
Views: 640
Size:  43.1 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220615_194612960.jpg
Views: 637
Size:  35.7 KB

      Our goal we set for ourselves was to each land a gar over 6 feet and 100+ lbs, which I finally did on Wednesday after losing gar well over 6-7 feet daily. My buddy was a bit shy about getting in the water and wrapping a rope around a fish that size with big jaws and bigger teeth, and the hook kept coming loose and working it's way out of the mouth so I finally had to hand off the rod and get a rope around her. 73" long gar on the sand, and the hook literally fell off her beak when the line went slack.Name:  IMG_20220601_165541084.jpg
Views: 635
Size:  96.4 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220601_165549628.jpg
Views: 640
Size:  99.1 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220601_165555731~2.jpg
Views: 644
Size:  102.4 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220601_165646928~2.jpg
Views: 639
Size:  99.5 KB

      The next day my buddy landed his big one
      Name:  IMG_20220602_182733674_HDR.jpg
Views: 645
Size:  97.0 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220602_182921999_HDR.jpg
Views: 646
Size:  104.5 KB
      Name:  8345 (1).jpg
Views: 640
Size:  102.1 KB

      And Nick's biggest
      Name:  IMG_20220602_092054250~2.jpg
Views: 653
Size:  97.2 KB

      And several more gar photos.....idk how many we caught, I lost count, it was a very successful trip
      Name:  IMG_20220603_082314603~2.jpg
Views: 639
Size:  100.5 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220603_063810795_HDR.jpg
Views: 646
Size:  75.5 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220602_183135863~3.jpg
Views: 641
Size:  97.7 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220602_091952880.jpg
Views: 638
Size:  98.3 KB
      Attached Images Attached Images  

      29 Not allowed!

    3. Back To Top    #3
      Ultimate VIP Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       
      guywhofishes's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 2015
      Location
      Faaargo, ND
      Posts
      13,435
      NDA Points
      472,555
      NDA Level
      100
      Report Entries
      2
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 20,394
      Given: 17,913
      Excellent!!!

      2 Not allowed!
      If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles.
      ~Doug Larson

    4. Back To Top    #4
      VIP Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       
      MSA's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 2015
      Location
      Minot
      Posts
      996
      NDA Points
      263,578
      NDA Level
      100
      Report Entries
      8
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 2,961
      Given: 515
      Name:  IMG_20220601_165806714_HDR.jpg
Views: 635
Size:  100.5 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220601_165447726_HDR.jpg
Views: 641
Size:  99.0 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220531_184552960_HDR~3.jpg
Views: 637
Size:  103.9 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220601_090616215.jpg
Views: 634
Size:  99.4 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220531_204459001_HDR.jpg
Views: 635
Size:  60.0 KB
      Name:  IMG_20220531_184640778_HDR.jpg
Views: 636
Size:  98.5 KB

      Some of the other species caught
      Name:  IMG_20220530_114924756.jpg
Views: 627
Size:  99.4 KB
      Longnose gar
      Name:  IMG_20220603_065731568_HDR.jpg
Views: 636
Size:  94.7 KB
      Orange spotted sunfish
      Name:  IMG_20220602_164515159_HDR.jpg
Views: 639
Size:  98.6 KB
      Spotted gar
      Name:  IMG_20220602_071535636_HDR.jpg
Views: 638
Size:  92.4 KB
      Spotted bass
      Name:  IMG_20220601_110803399_HDR.jpg
Views: 637
Size:  61.6 KB
      Bowfin
      Name:  8113.jpg
Views: 636
Size:  86.0 KB
      Yellow bass

      Our tackle was a basic paddlefish set up. 80-100lb braid, large slip bobber, no weight, 300lb hollow core braid leader and 6/0 or 8/0 mustad bronzed treble hook. Best bait was any legal cut bait fish that was recently caught. Yesterday's bait from the cooler barely worked. Oh, and spend 1/2 to 1 hour cleaning the shoreline so our pics didn't look like we were fishing a landfill. The biggest gar we saw were easily 7.5-8 feet long and as big around as a 55 gal drum. They looked like manatees when they hit the surface for air, and it looked like a stick of dynamite went off in the water when the big ones would bust into a school of carp.

      22 Not allowed!
      Last edited by MSA; 06-15-2022 at 07:45 PM.

    5. Back To Top    #5
      Ultimate VIP Member
      Life is Good
       
      Mood:
      Happy
       
      Davey Crockett's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 2015
      Location
      Boondocks
      Posts
      6,261
      NDA Points
      102,747
      NDA Level
      100
      Report Entries
      1
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 4,930
      Given: 4,877
      Awesome pictures. Thanks for sharing.

      1 Not allowed!
      Life is Good

    6. Back To Top    #6
      Ultimate VIP Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       
      SDMF's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 2015
      Posts
      5,237
      NDA Points
      77,506
      NDA Level
      100
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 6,802
      Given: 364
      Cool to read a good story when someone “checks a box”.

      3 Not allowed!
      This has been like listening to Nancy Pelosi argue with Ozzy Osborne.

    7. Back To Top    #7
      VIP Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       
      CatDaddy's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2015
      Location
      Casselton
      Posts
      1,257
      NDA Points
      101,244
      NDA Level
      100
      Report Entries
      12
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 1,796
      Given: 1,942
      Congrats MSA! Sounds like a lifelong dream fulfilled!!!! And a DIY to boot!

      This is the best NDA post in quite awhile. Thank you for sharing!

      4 Not allowed!
      "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth" - MT

    8. Back To Top    #8
      VIP Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       
      Sluggo's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2015
      Location
      Bismarck
      Posts
      1,177
      NDA Points
      135,062
      NDA Level
      100
      Report Entries
      18
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 1,951
      Given: 2,555
      Awesome! Thanks for the narration!

      2 Not allowed!

    9. Back To Top    #9
      Premium Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       
      Wirehair's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2015
      Location
      Bismarck
      Posts
      260
      NDA Points
      13,570
      NDA Level
      50
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 257
      Given: 827
      Simply Incredible!! Thanks for sharing!

      1 Not allowed!
      Wirehair

    10. Back To Top    #10
      Silver Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       

      Join Date
      May 2015
      Posts
      63
      NDA Points
      6,533
      NDA Level
      34
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 40
      Given: 238
      This is great, thanks for sharing!

      1 Not allowed!

    11. Back To Top    #11
      Ultimate VIP Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       
      JayKay's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 2015
      Location
      Southeast Bismarck
      Posts
      3,267
      NDA Points
      264,420
      NDA Level
      100
      Report Entries
      7
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 6,391
      Given: 9,272
      Awesome! That sounds like an absolute blast. I bet you had sand EVERYWHERE.

      Looks like the entire party had a lot of fun, and that's truly what fishing is about. The cabin you rented looked pretty nice too. I bet at the end of the day, you guys just crashed.

      How was the weather/temps? I would guess it felt pretty good to get in the water.

      Oh, one other question, about the lassoing of them. Was there ever a point where a guy jumped out of the way? They're toothy critters.

      1 Not allowed!
      Me, to Shadrap65:
      "What the heck kinda line you got on?!"
      Shadrap65, to me:
      "Fish catchin' line, son!"

    12. Back To Top    #12
      Ultimate VIP Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       
      WormWiggler's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 2015
      Posts
      3,462
      NDA Points
      748,280
      NDA Level
      100
      Report Entries
      5
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 5,660
      Given: 13,215
      Congratulations on the awesome trip and thanks for sharing with us. I occasionally think of your brother having read the book. Still hope to find the movie. Have a great day.

      1 Not allowed!
      I'm here to chew bubble gum and kick ass.... and I'm all out of bubble gum. RIP Rowdy

    13. Back To Top    #13
      VIP Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       
      MSA's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 2015
      Location
      Minot
      Posts
      996
      NDA Points
      263,578
      NDA Level
      100
      Report Entries
      8
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 2,961
      Given: 515
      Quote Originally Posted by JayKay View Post
      Awesome! That sounds like an absolute blast. I bet you had sand EVERYWHERE.

      Looks like the entire party had a lot of fun, and that's truly what fishing is about. The cabin you rented looked pretty nice too. I bet at the end of the day, you guys just crashed.

      How was the weather/temps? I would guess it felt pretty good to get in the water.

      Oh, one other question, about the lassoing of them. Was there ever a point where a guy jumped out of the way? They're toothy critters.
      Weather was nice, upper 80s low 90s, we spent 11-12 hours a day on the water. Lines in by 6am, break at noon to beat the heat and veg out at the house, then back on the water around 3-4 until dark at 9.

      We only lassoed 4, but yes, lots of thrashing and swinging. I took a 4 footers beak to my leg and it looked like a row of bloody nail holes. The big ones aren't nearly as crazy once they're landed, but definitely dangerous when they're still in the water, especially after they take a breath.

      2 Not allowed!

    14. Back To Top    #14
      Ultimate VIP Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       
      Allen's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 2015
      Location
      Lincoln, kinda...
      Posts
      4,528
      NDA Points
      79,834
      NDA Level
      100
      Report Entries
      11
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 5,358
      Given: 2,140
      Pretty sweet trip. My cousin and I were talking about doing a gar trip down south. Sure looks like you nailed it in timing and location.

      How long was the average fight for a 4+ ft gar? 10-15 minutes?

      0 Not allowed!
      "Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself." Mark Twain, speaking on Congress.

    15. Back To Top    #15
      Gold Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       

      Join Date
      Nov 2015
      Posts
      165
      NDA Points
      6,149
      NDA Level
      33
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 72
      Given: 12
      Crazy how does any fish live with them. Looks like a blast. Did it in Florida many years ago with guide

      0 Not allowed!

    16. Back To Top    #16
      VIP Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       
      MSA's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 2015
      Location
      Minot
      Posts
      996
      NDA Points
      263,578
      NDA Level
      100
      Report Entries
      8
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 2,961
      Given: 515
      Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
      Pretty sweet trip. My cousin and I were talking about doing a gar trip down south. Sure looks like you nailed it in timing and location.

      How long was the average fight for a 4+ ft gar? 10-15 minutes?
      They're everywhere down there, literally as thick as bullheads. My brother was nailing them in the drainage ditch behind his hotel in Dallas. Timing is when it's hot, between may and October. They're waaaay easier to find than I expected.


      Yeah, if you include the wrestle mania time trying to get the hook out. Usually 3-5 minutes to get em to the bank, big ones 10-20, really big ones, idk if it's possible from shore. I hooked some over 7 feet and there was zero control of those fish, I don't think they even knew I was on the other end.

      3 Not allowed!
      Last edited by MSA; 06-16-2022 at 10:27 AM.

    17. Back To Top    #17
      Ultimate VIP Member
      Hold my beer
       
      Mood:
      Friendly
       
      svnmag's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 2015
      Location
      Here
      Posts
      6,683
      NDA Points
      45,001
      NDA Level
      93
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 3,755
      Given: 8,363
      Great post! Back in the 90's I caught a number of Florida gar on a 7in firetiger Bang-O-Lure. Always thought it would be cool to attempt hooking a 'gator on a muskie sized jerkbait. Your post has dispelled many TV shows. The "quest" is always "grueling" and success "elusive". Good read.

      1 Not allowed!
      Uncle Steve defines minnows as any small fish racing around to relax.

      You can't build a wall high enough to stop a vaccine.

      --the significance of the passage of time? RIGHT? So when you think about it; there is great significance in the passage of time and there's SUCH great significance in the passage of time

      Imagine, if you will, a world where every tweet and meme must be fact checked, but not a ballot.

      Im responsible for what I say, not what you understand.

    18. Back To Top    #18
      VIP Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       
      MSA's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 2015
      Location
      Minot
      Posts
      996
      NDA Points
      263,578
      NDA Level
      100
      Report Entries
      8
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 2,961
      Given: 515
      Quote Originally Posted by svnmag View Post
      Great post! Back in the 90's I caught a number of Florida gar on a 7in firetiger Bang-O-Lure. Always thought it would be cool to attempt hooking a 'gator on a muskie sized jerkbait. Your post has dispelled many TV shows. The "quest" is always "grueling" and success "elusive". Good read.
      Yeah, way easier to find alligator gar than I could've imagined. Every spot we fished, and every spot my brother fished had gar, and we were fishing the most public of places, parks and boat ramps, we did zero back road, off road, or hiking. The longest we went without a run was maybe 20 minutes. Keep in mind, I'd guess half our runs were longnose gar, small gator gar, and turtles.

      1 Not allowed!

    19. Back To Top    #19
      Premium Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       

      Join Date
      May 2015
      Posts
      572
      NDA Points
      21,050
      NDA Level
      63
      Report Entries
      4
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 662
      Given: 511
      Very cool post, thanks for sharing..
      couple questions;
      1. can you eat them? if so, did you, and are they decent tasting ?
      2. educate me on the gar biology, they have to come above the surface to breathe/take a breath? No gills?

      0 Not allowed!

    20. Back To Top    #20
      VIP Member
      No Current Status
       
      Mood:
      ----
       
      MSA's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 2015
      Location
      Minot
      Posts
      996
      NDA Points
      263,578
      NDA Level
      100
      Report Entries
      8
      Thumbs Up
      Received: 2,961
      Given: 515
      Quote Originally Posted by scrotcaster View Post
      Very cool post, thanks for sharing..
      couple questions;
      1. can you eat them? if so, did you, and are they decent tasting ?
      2. educate me on the gar biology, they have to come above the surface to breathe/take a breath? No gills?
      Yes, very tasty from what I'm told. I almost never keep and eat fish on fishing trips, mainly because I don't wanna spend valuable time filleting, cooking, and cleaning, that could be spent fishing.

      They have gills and a vascular swim bladder "lung". They can gulp air from the surface and extract oxygen from the water with their gills. They can also live in brackish and salt water.

      2 Not allowed!

    Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •  


    About Nodak Angler

      NodakAngler is a community of outdoors enthusiasts. Our primary focus is to provide a great place for North Dakota sportsmen to gather, discuss, and participate. All are welcome.

    Business & Contact

    Follow us on

    Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube