Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Fishing for Gargantuan Gar – Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]

Fishing for Gargantuan Gar – Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]


>>THEY LOOK PREHISTORIC.>>THEY’RE AWESOME LOOKING FISH.>>LOTS OF TEETH.>>THEY’RE SOMETHING THAT WOULD BE DREAMT UP AS A MONSTER IN A HOLLYWOOD MOVIE, BUT THE TRUTH IS THEY’RE JUST NOT SUCH MONSTERS. (splash)>>THEY GET A BAD RAP A LOT. (splash) HAVE A GOOD LIFE!>>IT’S LATE SPRING ON THE TRINITY RIVER, BETWEEN DALLAS AND HOUSTON.>>THAT’S BASICALLY IT.>>FISHING GUIDE, DAWSON HEFNER, IS ON THE HUNT FOR ALLIGATOR GAR.>>WE’RE LOOKING TO GET SOMETHING OVER SIX FOOT HERE TODAY.>>BUT CATCHING A GARGANTUAN GAR FIRST REQUIRES CATCHING SOME SMALLER FISH….>>THAT’S A HAUL!>>…THAT’S THE EASY PART. (net opens)>>ARE YOU KEEPING THESE?>>WITH BAIT ON BOARD, THE GAR ANGLERS HEAD DOWN RIVER TO TRY THEIR LUCK. (motor starts)>>Y’ALL READY? (engine) AS FAR AS ROD AND REEL ANGLING FOR ALLIGATOR GAR, MOST PEOPLE GIVE YOU A STRANGE LOOK WHEN YOU TELL THEM THAT’S WHAT YOU DO. THEY JUST LOOK AT YOU DUMBFOUNDED, LIKE, REALLY? (music)>>ALONG WITH DAWSON ON THIS GAR QUEST IS HIS FRIEND, JASON.>>I’VE ALWAYS FELT LIKE A GAME FISH IS WHAT PEOPLE TELL YOU YOU SHOULD CATCH, BUT A SPORT FISH IS WHAT YOU WANT TO CATCH. SO I DEFINITELY CONSIDER IT A SPORT FISH.>>JASON ONCE LANDED A GAR HERE THAT WAS BIGGER THAN HIM.>>MY PERSONAL BIGGEST IS SIX FEET, SEVEN INCHES. I LIKE CATCHING ALL DIFFERENT SPECIES AND THE BIGGER THE BETTER.>>JASON’S FRIEND, JOHN, IS ALSO AN EXPERIENCED ANGLER, BUT HE HAS NEVER FISHED FOR ALLIGATOR GAR.>>THEY GET TO SUCH HUGE SIZE, IN THE FRESHWATER ENVIRONMENT OF TEXAS, I THINK MOST PEOPLE DON’T REALIZE HOW LARGE THEY GET, AND REALLY WHAT AN EXCITING ADVENTURE IT WOULD BE TO CATCH ONE.>>IN TEXAS WATERS, THE LONGNOSE, SHORTNOSE, AND SPOTTED GAR CAN ALL BE FOUND, BUT THE ALLIGATOR GAR GROWS THE LARGEST OF ALL, WITH CATCHES WEIGHING AS MUCH AS 300 POUNDS.>>EIGHT FEET IS NOT UNCOMMON.>>HOPEFULLY A HUNGRY FISH WILL COME THROUGH HERE AND FIND IT.>>THOUGH TROPHY-SIZED GAR CAN BE CAUGHT AROUND THE STATE, THE TRINITY RIVER IS KNOWN AS ONE OF THE BEST ALLIGATOR GAR FISHERIES IN THE WORLD… …THOUGH YOU MIGHT NOT GUESS THAT TODAY.>>HAVING A PRETTY SLOW DAY HERE SO FAR. WE’VE BEEN SET UP ON THIS SPOT FOR ABOUT AN HOUR AND A HALF, HAVEN’T HAD ANY RUNS. IT’S LOOKING LIKE WE MAY NEED TO MOVE AND SEE IF WE CAN FIND SOME MORE ACTIVE FISH SOMEWHERE ELSE.>>PEOPLE DON’T TRAVEL THE TRINITY RIVER… (boat motor) I DON’T THINK IT’S PUBLICIZED OR PROMOTED AT ALL, BUT THERE’S A LOT OF NATURAL BEAUTY HERE, TRANQUILITY, AND JUST THE ABSENCE OF PEOPLE. I’M A PEOPLE PERSON, BUT NOT WHEN IT COMES TO FISHING. (laughs) THE FEWER THE PEOPLE, THE MORE PLENTIFUL THE FISH, I THINK.>>THE CREW FINDS ANOTHER PROMISING SANDBAR ON A BEND IN THE RIVER AND SERVES UP A VARIETY OF CUT BAIT. (casting) ROD ALARMS WILL SIGNAL A BITE, SO THERE’S ONLY ONE THING TO DO…>>THERE IS A LOT OF WAITING INVOLVED.>>…BUT THEY HAVEN’T WAITED FOR LONG WHEN THERE’S SOME ACTION ON THE FURTHEST ROD.>>SOMETHING IS TAKING THIS ONE. (rod alarm)>>SOME DAYS THERE’S ACTUALLY ENOUGH ACTIVITY THAT YOU DON’T GET TO RELAX BECAUSE YOU GET TO RUN BACK AND FORTH TO RODS MOST OF THE DAY. (reeling)>>HE LET IT GO. THAT’LL KEEP US GOING FOR SEVERAL MORE HOURS FOR SURE. WE’RE GETTING CLOSER! (laughs) (music)>>AS CATCHING GAR HAS BECOME THE FOCUS OF MORE ANGLERS, STUDYING THEM HAS BECOME A FOCUS OF FISHERIES BIOLOGISTS.>>HISTORICALLY, NO ONE REALLY CARED ABOUT THEM, NO ONE REALLY FISHED FOR THEM, SO THE MANAGERS DIDN’T REALLY SPEND TIME COLLECTING DATA ON THEM EITHER.>>THAT MEANT LITTLE WAS KNOWN ABOUT THE LIVES OF ALLIGATOR GAR. BUT BIOLOGISTS DAN DAUGHERTY AND KRIS BODINE ARE CHANGING THAT THROUGH STUDIES LIKE THIS ONE ON CHOKE CANYON RESERVOIR.>>ANGLERS HAVE GOTTEN MUCH MORE INTERESTED IN FISHING FOR ALLIGATOR GAR, HOOK AND LINE AS WELL AS BOW FISHERMEN. THE INCREASE IN POPULARITY OBVIOUSLY IS PUTTING GREATER PRESSURE ON OUR POPULATIONS.>>WE’VE GOT A FISH ON ALREADY.>>HOPEFULLY IT’S A GAR.>>TEXAS IS HOME TO THE BEST POPULATIONS OF ALLIGATOR GAR LEFT IN THE UNITED STATES, AND WE WANT TO KEEP THEM THAT WAY.>>THE ONLY WAY TO DO THAT IS TO COLLECT DATA ONE GAR AT A TIME.>>WE GET FISH IN THE BOAT AND YOU ALWAYS WANT TO BE A LITTLE BIT CAREFUL AROUND THE HEAD BECAUSE IT IS FULL OF TEETH, BUT THE COOL THING ABOUT IT IS THAT THEY ARE OVERALL A PRETTY DOCILE CREATURE. THEY JUST SIMPLY WANT TO GET BACK IN THE WATER. (crunch)>>WE TAG THE FISH WITH TWO DIFFERENT TAG TYPES. AN INTERNAL TAG CALLED A “PIT TAG”… (beeping) …AND WE ALSO TAG THEM WITH AN EXTERNAL TAG. IF AN ANGLER CATCHES THAT FISH HE CAN CALL THE NUMBER THAT’S ON THAT TAG AND REPORT THAT CATCH TO US. THAT’S VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR AN IDEA OF HARVEST RATES.>>1-4-3-9>>LENGTH AND MAXIMUM GIRTH. WE ALSO TAKE A GENETIC SAMPLE.>>5-8-5>>ONCE A FISH IS RELEASED… …RINSE AND REPEAT…. (groans)>>THEY ARE FULL OF SLIME.>>…NETS ARE RESET… (splash) …SCANNED FOR FISH…>>BIG SPLASH!>>…AND RETRIEVED.>>IT’S BUFFALO CENTRAL TODAY. FRESHWATER DRUM.>>UNFORTUNATELY, THEY CATCH ANYTHING BIG THAT SWIMS BY. (splash)>>NOT QUITE THE RIGHT KIND, BUT WE ARE CATCHING FISH.>>BY THE END OF THE DAY, DAN AND KRIS HAVE CAUGHT ONLY FOUR ALLIGATOR GAR…>>DEFINITELY DON’T WANT THAT DUDE IN OUR GILL NET.>>…BUT THEY DO FEEL LUCKY TO HAVE NOT CAUGHT AN ALLIGATOR. OR THE OTHER TOOTHY CREATURE THEY SPY ON THE LAKE AS THEY PULL IN THEIR NETS.>>WHAT IS THAT? IS THAT A RATTLESNAKE?>>DUDE, IT IS A RATTLESNAKE!>>LOOK AT HIM STICK HIS HEAD UP LIKE THAT. I’VE NEVER SEEN ONE. RATTLESNAKES IN THE WATER? NOW I CAN SAY I’VE SEEN IT ALL. (music)>>THAT’S GOT TO BE AN ALLIGATOR GAR.>>THE NEXT DAY OF RESEARCH HAS A SLOW START…>>NEGATIVE!>>…ONLY ONE GAR BY MID-AFTERNOON. BUT AFTER HOURS OF LOOKING, THEY FIND THE FISH.>>THEY’RE SURFACING LIKE CRAZY, SO- OH, THAT WAS A BIG SPLASH! THIS IS GOING TO BE EXCITING.>>MOMENTS AFTER BEING SET, TWO NETS ARE FULL OF GAR.>>LITTLE GUY. (music) EASY, EASY!>>WATCH YOUR LEGS!>>SOON THE BOAT IS JUMPING. (fish thrashing)>>LORD HAVE MERCY! IT’S KIND OF LIKE THE ANGLER COMING OUT TO FISH. SOME DAYS THE CRAPPIE BITE AND SOME DAYS THEY DON’T.>>THEY MUST WORK FAST FOR ALL THE FISH TO SURVIVE.>>IT’S AMAZING, IT’S AMAZING.>>DONE?>>YES SIR. (splash)>>COME ON, BUDDY. PLAY NICE.>>FOURTEEN FISH IN FIVE MINUTES.>>THAT’S GAR FISHING AT ITS FINEST THERE.>>IT’S A BIG CONTRIBUTION TO THE RESEARCH…>>BYE BABY.>>…AND IT’S A SURE SIGN THAT CATCHING BIG GAR HAS A LOT TO DO WITH BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME. BACK ON THE TRINITY RIVER, TIMING HAS NOT BEEN RIGHT FOR JOHN, JASON, AND DAWSON. IN SPITE OF GETTING SOME BITES, AND FISHING ALL NIGHT, THEY HAVE NOT LANDED A GAR. BY MORNING, THEY HAVE OTHER PROBLEMS.>>WE’VE GOT THUNDERSTORMS ON THE WAY AND IT’S ALREADY STARTED TO RAIN, SO, UNFORTUNATELY WE WON’T BE ABLE TO FISH ANY MORE TODAY. (boat motor)>>BUT DETERMINATION HAS THEM BACK ON THE WATER IN THREE WEEKS. THE WEATHER IS CLEAR, AND THIS TIME DAWSON HAS SOME ADDED SUPPORT.>>MY WIFE’S ALONG TODAY FOR GOOD LUCK. SEE IF THAT WON’T HELP STRAIGHTEN THINGS OUT.>>IT SEEMS TO HELP. WITHIN MINUTES OF THE FIRST CAST, THERE’S A FISH ON THE LINE.>>REEL, REEL, REEL!>>STRENGTH, JUST MASSIVE STRENGTH.>>IT’S A CHALLENGE, AND I ENJOY A CHALLENGE.>>AH, HE’S A FIGHTER! WOOHOO!>>IT’S A LOT OF WORK, BUT IT’S A LOT OF FUN. THE ADRENALINE RUSH YOU GET IS TOTALLY WORTH IT.>>AW, THIS IS GREAT!>>NOT A BAD FISH TO START THE DAY.>>MY FIRST ONE. OUTSTANDING.>>ALRIGHT. IF I CAN JUST GET BACK UP THE BANK WITH IT.>>HE’S A GOOD FOUR, FOUR AND A HALF FEET LONG, WOULD BE MY GUESS. I CERTAINLY WANT A PHOTO OF THAT ONE.>>BE GOOD, FISH. (camera clicks) WE HAVEN’T SEEN A GIANT GATOR GAR TODAY, BUT YOU KNOW THEY’RE STILL FUN TO CATCH. ALRIGHT, AWAY HE GOES.>>WHILE THIS FISH STORY COMES TO AN END, THE STORY OF ALLIGATOR GAR ANGLING MAY BE JUST BEGINNING.>>IT DOES SEEM LIKE THEY BECOME MORE POPULAR EACH YEAR.>>A FACE ONLY A MOTHER COULD LOVE. (laughs)>>WITH ANGLERS AND BIOLOGISTS TAKING CARE TO PROTECT THESE FISH, GARGANTUAN GAR SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE A HOME IN TEXAS WATERS. (splash)>>HAD A GREAT TIME.>>PEOPLE TRAVEL FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD TO FISH FOR THESE FISH, AND THERE’S NOT A LOT OF OTHER EXPERIENCES LIKE IT.

9 comments on “Fishing for Gargantuan Gar – Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]

  1. I was fishing in the trinity one time and I almost caught one but I had a backlash so I wasn't able to catch him

  2. My Dad used to take me fishing for Gar on the Sabine River. Great fighting fish.

  3. Check out This HUGE Alligator Gar being Bow-fished! youtube.com/watch?v=Deo_DbVezJg&feature=share&list=PLw9BqZlBP_KMMZ3QKIBn3oaEtGJdqpNBq

  4. I have loved catching them for years. A great sportfish,deserves much more respect than they have gotten over the years.

  5. Dude I've been trying to get out on the trinity for a while now but in dallas it's taboo due to pollution but I've been there scouting and with all the rain it's seems pretty clean to me

  6. There's a hide in a museum in Texas from a Gar caught over a hundred years ago- it's over 20 feet long. No wonder Lewis and Clark wrote about monsters in rivers. If you've never seen one, pause the video and look closely at the head of the fish that was caught- NEVER put your hand near it's mouth- it's called "alligator" for a reason.

  7. AWESOME!!

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