Alligator Gar – The Biggest of the Gars

There may be a lot of tournaments and events revolving around trout and bass, but this doesn’t mean that the more “exotic” of fish catches aren’t without their own line of avid followers and aficionados, with huge trophy catches like the alligator gar, the biggest of the gars.

Famed for its alligator-like physical appearance, alligator gars are also famed for their size, with photographic evidence dating back to the early 1900s showing ten foot alligator gars caught by fishers.

Also known as “gator gar”, alligator gars belong to the gar family of ray-finned fishes, and the biggest rod and reel catch on record weighs at 127 kilograms, while its bowfishing record weighs at 166 kilograms. Kenny Williams of Vicksburg, Mississippi is known for holding the latest (February of 2011) alligator gar catch on record, with his catch weighing 148 kilograms, caught with the use of a net.

They are predominantly encountered in freshwater areas in North America, found in the Gulf Coast states and in the lower regions of the Mississippi River Valley. South Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Missouri and Florida are known to be the prowling homes of alligator gars, where their regulated catch as sportfishes are closely guarded in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma.

Alligator Gars can grow up to eight to ten feet in size, which puts the big in “big deal” when talking about catching one. Given their size, they are often the target of bowfishers, and the process of catching them is not always one which can be described as “easy”.

Given their “well-rowed-of-teeth” jaws, seeing an alligator gar would speak much over the species carnivore inclinations, with the method of lurking in dark areas in waters covered with dense vegetation and reeds being its popular mode of catching prey.

Tales of alligator gars ambushing unwary humans have been told and retold for a long time now, but none of those stories have ever been officially confirmed as true.

If you’re keen on catching bass and trout, but intent in giving the catch of an “exotic” fish a go, the alligator gar, with its massive size and serious alligator-like resemblance may just be the fish which fits with your fancies.

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  1. Sara Smith says:

    I just caught one today in the IL river in Bartonville IL, only about 2 ft. long but Im pretty proud of myself:):)

    • Hey Sarah! Thanks for dropping by and grats on the 2 ft gar! If you want, please feel free to share your pics!

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