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Alligator gar


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#1 Pablo

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 11:43 AM

These prehistoric mouth breathing monsters started showing up in Johnson Bayou a few days ago.

I made some special leaders with Malin® wire, small sharp treble hooks, and swivels then handed some out to neighbors.

 

I tied a long handle net to the pier and waited. Sure enough, yesterday evening a knock on my door:

"My dad caught a Gar!"

 

IMG_5750.JPG

 

We bled him out and tried cutting him in half with both a wood saw and a hacksaw to make him fit my 25 qt. cooler.

No go :laugh2:  (native Americans used the scales for arrowheads). I iced the bad boy down until morning.

 

IMG_5754.JPG

 

Nailed him to a board with a sharpened piece of 3/32 piano wire between the eyes and removed the fillets.

Tin snips worked great for cutting the scales/skin

 

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Fillets are now soaking in a salty slush brine for a few hours. Probably cook some tonight :dance3:

 

IMG_5766.JPG

 

 


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#2 Mike K

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 02:10 PM

Used to catch those in the canals around Orlando/Kissimmee when I was a kid......before Disney arrived in the area.


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#3 Bill from NH

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 04:48 PM

I never went fishing with a hammer. :laugh2:  But I once dragged an eel behind my bike on a tar road until it stopped moving.


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#4 CoastalAngler1

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:32 PM

Once you get through the skin, it is still gar. Curious how the eating goes...we got plenty gar fish in the St. Johns River. 


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#5 Pablo

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 09:02 PM

Cooked 2 different ways, since this was my first time:

1. Big chunks boiled for 5 minutes in Zatarains Crab/Shrimp boil flavored water

 

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2. Chunks rolled in Zatarains lemon flavored fish fry coating, then deep pan fried in 375 deg. peanut oil for 4 minutes

 

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Neighborhood taste test results:

-boiled was very good, along with the corn and potatoes

-coated and deep fried in oil was absolutely perfect :good: In fact, made a lot of Gar loving converts, including me :yes3:

 

Gar is very high quality. The trick is in the care and cooking, as in any fish.

I like mine deep fried. Man that is good stuff :dance3:

 

As good, if not better, than any fish in this world.

God made a very hard shell over that flesh for good reason :)


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#6 Pappy

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 05:39 AM

The biggest fish I ever caught was a catfish down on the Ohio River. It was so big we didn't have a scale big enough to weigh it, so we took a picture of it and the picture weighed 8 pounds.

Here come the fish stories. lol
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#7 CoastalAngler1

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 02:14 PM

Glad I broke that bad taste objection beforehand - knew you would love it.  Looks delicious!  

Nice work Captain  :good:


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#8 Pablo

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 02:57 PM

Charlie, the bad taste is in the guts. If you puncture the guts, the smell gets on the meat.

Do it like this guy. The guts stay completely unpunctured, out of the equation, and there is absolutely zero smell from the fish

 


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#9 Pappy

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 06:24 AM

Pablo,

Do you know if this method of cleaning a fish would work on Pike. I've had Pike and in my opinion it's better than Walleye. The only problem was all the bones.
Jim "Butch" Dunaway
 
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#10 Pablo

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 08:00 AM

I have no experience with pike. But I had no experience with gar until I researched it, either.

Google and You Tube searches are your friends.

 

Gar meat is completely bone free when using the above method.

I gave out more wire leaders yesterday....only a matter of time before I get another knock on the door..... :D


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#11 Pablo

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 09:10 PM

Yup, sure enough, a knock on the door at 8 pm tonight.... "got another one".

 

"Awesome, ice 'er down and we'll fillet 'er in the mornin' " :dance3:


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#12 Pablo

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 10:18 AM

The one fish gave about 5 times what you see here.

 

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I baked a piece for JoJo at 350 degrees for 20 minutes wrapped in foil.

He liked his, too! :)

 

IMG_1206.JPG


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#13 Bill from NH

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 12:16 PM

Those look good enough to eat! :)  I hope you took the foil off JoJo's, otherwise you may end up with a chromed dog. :laugh2:


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#14 CoastalAngler1

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 10:45 AM

My GF calls me Hannibal Lecter when I clean fish.  LMAO  I fillet around the ribcage and don't even cut thru the ribs.

 

Hey Pablo, that's not a Coastal Angler Magazine... :acute:  


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#15 Bill from NH

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 10:52 AM

His free subscription to CAM must not have started yet. :laugh2:


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#16 Pablo

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 01:12 PM

The whole neighborhood has converted to being gar fans.

Since they usually catch them after my bed time, I made a system.

 

Bleed 'em out, place 'em in my cooler under the balcony with a bag of ice.

Then in the morning I do my thing.

 

Happy now, Charlie?

 

IMG_5815.JPG


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#17 CoastalAngler1

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 10:43 AM

Sweet! - I can see you are in the know...

 

Here's a couple I grabbed a month ago when the spawn was on:

 

Epic St Johns 3-11-2017.jpg

 

KaitieRae_3-3-2017.jpg


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