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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had a fun trip the Roanoke this weekend, managed to get out both days and it was a blast. Beautiful weather, good friends and food, a happy dog...and lots of fun fishin!

Saturday was about perfect with fish on at first cast and all good sized. Fish were 20-23" on Saturday and it seemed a smaller class moved in on Sunday where it was 18-20" stripers. Caught a mixed bag Sunday with gar, bass, and crappie mixed in, all on same striper jigs.

Sunday was a good bit slower for us with less aggressive and smaller fish...but we started Sunday with a whopper! 40+ inch Gar!

1st time it flashed, we thought it was a cow striper (man those gar have stripes!) but it was a big ol gar, definitely above 40" and the biggest by far my friend has landed. Turns out...we need a bigger net! Fun stuff.

We fished from Jamesville on Saturday all the way down to below the 45 bridge on Sunday. It was really cool to see so much river, it's pretty wild out there.

Some friends did better at the 45 on Saturday but it was slow for us there on Sunday and, supposedly, much better up river.

Here's a few fish shots.

Tight Lines Y'all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yup, there seems to be some good crappie in those creeks, I had one inhale a pretty long shank 1/2 oz jig with a 4" grub. Just the tip of the head sticking out of the mouth. I crimped the barbs so it released good. There is some terrific crappie and perch fishing in the Chowan around the corner, really cool place and some huge bass too.

Swampin'- It was a biggun. Looked way over 40 but we didn't measure it, my friend is 6'2' or3" though so it was a big fish. I'm always trying to rush fish back to the water so if I photo sometimes I don't measure. Usually I don't do much of either, just hoot and holler or something, try to keep on catching. Realized later that the Gar would've been just fine since they can gulp air but....it's a good habit for me. Protects the resource...........don't get me wrong, I rush plenty of fish to the grease too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks. We are talking about targeting Gar some this year, great fight in the cold water. Not to many 40+ inch fish that are readily available in the South. And on light tackle, crazy! Wouldn't mind a citation either, time to start measuring them.

If anybody is good at this, speak up! I'm thinking frayed nylon rope with a siwash hook trailing a top water plug by about 2ft. on a wire or floro leader. Something like a giant clouser/deceiver. If it's not windy, then maybe a fly rod and it better be a 9 weight or up!
 

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I've caught them on a piece of frayed rope burnt around a small panfish size jighead. You don't want a big hook on a lure because it is a lot harder to get a hook set. The one I caught had gotten tangled in the rope and thrashed around until the hook found its way into his snout. Tons of fun on any tackle!
 

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Caught a bunch on diy rope flies. I was just tying nylon around key rings, fraying it a bit, and it worked great. Almost everytime i got a fly in their face it was hit even if it was dropped inches from their face.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Pull those backstraps out of the gar and fry them up....delicious.
Gonna try that. What's the trick?

I was hearing boil them almost whole then pick the meat out and fry up fish cakes....that didn't go over too well with the crew. Same crew loves some crab cakes...go figure.

LOL..if I go after gar filets, then this year I will have added Jacks, Skates, and Gar to the list of fish I can relatively quickly filet up and eat...and these are "trash" fish and plenty of them.

Anybody got a chest freezer they aint using? Trade you some fried fish and hush puppies.
 

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Gonna try that. What's the trick?
First I take a board, stretch the gar out on it, and then nail the gar to the board once through the top of the head and again through the meat just before the tail. Then I take tin snips and cut through the skin/scales along the top of the back from the head to the tail. Then I take two pairs of pliers and grab the scales/skin on each side of the cut I made and I tear the scales/skin from the meat working my way from the head towards the tail. Once, I've seperated the scales/skin from the meat, I just pull it back on one side of the fish and cut out the back strap (1 cut straight down to the spine, 1 cut from the side to the spine). Rinse and repeat for the other side. Once, you get the hang of it gar clean pretty easily and there are no bones in the back straps. Sometimes, in order to first get a good grip on the scales/skin you have to take a knife and fillet the scales back from the meat a little bit.

Another tip, don't use the wife's hobby scissors in place of the tin snips...It works for a fish or two but it ruins the scissors and your marital relationship...Learned that the hard way...

As far as cooking them, I always cut the backstraps into cubes between 1" and 2" square, dip in house of autry, and either pan or deep fry them. Serve with cocktail sauce. It is a mild firm white meat and very tasty even for people who don't really like fish.
 

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Wilykyote, when I started to read your comment I thought it was going to be similar to a comment I once heard about trying to cook bowfin. Me and user swampin' were out on the Neuse and had caught a big bowfin while going for big cats, and some fellas were giving us advice on how to cook one. Having never thought of bowfin as something we could eat, we were intrigued. He started off by saying "find a nice oak board, nail the fish to it, and cook it over a fire. Once the wood is good and burnt, throw the fish away and eat the board. That's how you eat a bowfin".


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the advice wily, I'm gonna definitely give that a try...was thinking about carrying the board with me and fileting on site to save cooler room...but it would've had to be a big board! Add the pliers and my filet kit is starting to look a little medieval lately. What's next?...a propane torch? LOL.

Thanks again.

First I take a board, stretch the gar out on it, and then nail the gar to the board once through the top of the head and again through the meat just before the tail. Then I take tin snips and cut through the skin/scales along the top of the back from the head to the tail. Then I take two pairs of pliers and grab the scales/skin on each side of the cut I made and I tear the scales/skin from the meat working my way from the head towards the tail. Once, I've seperated the scales/skin from the meat, I just pull it back on one side of the fish and cut out the back strap (1 cut straight down to the spine, 1 cut from the side to the spine). Rinse and repeat for the other side. Once, you get the hang of it gar clean pretty easily and there are no bones in the back straps. Sometimes, in order to first get a good grip on the scales/skin you have to take a knife and fillet the scales back from the meat a little bit.

Another tip, don't use the wife's hobby scissors in place of the tin snips...It works for a fish or two but it ruins the scissors and your marital relationship...Learned that the hard way...

As far as cooking them, I always cut the backstraps into cubes between 1" and 2" square, dip in house of autry, and either pan or deep fry them. Serve with cocktail sauce. It is a mild firm white meat and very tasty even for people who don't really like fish.
 

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First I take a board, stretch the gar out on it, and then nail the gar to the board once through the top of the head and again through the meat just before the tail. Then I take tin snips and cut through the skin/scales along the top of the back from the head to the tail. Then I take two pairs of pliers and grab the scales/skin on each side of the cut I made and I tear the scales/skin from the meat working my way from the head towards the tail. Once, I've seperated the scales/skin from the meat, I just pull it back on one side of the fish and cut out the back strap (1 cut straight down to the spine, 1 cut from the side to the spine). Rinse and repeat for the other side. Once, you get the hang of it gar clean pretty easily and there are no bones in the back straps. Sometimes, in order to first get a good grip on the scales/skin you have to take a knife and fillet the scales back from the meat a little bit.

Another tip, don't use the wife's hobby scissors in place of the tin snips...It works for a fish or two but it ruins the scissors and your marital relationship...Learned that the hard way...

As far as cooking them, I always cut the backstraps into cubes between 1" and 2" square, dip in house of autry, and either pan or deep fry them. Serve with cocktail sauce. It is a mild firm white meat and very tasty even for people who don't really like fish.
What he said. Tried this for the first time a couple years back and it was great. Very very mild fish and firmer meat. Now I cant wait to catch another one and fry it up!
 
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