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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all it's been too long, I've been busy with deployment and school after school the whole year . Finally got my boat out for the first time in almost 8 months and got my brother and wife a few fish on their anniversary. You know you got a good one when a fish fry is her anniversary wish!

Anyways, the water was glass this morning and we hit a few main river points and flats. Bait is everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Lots of bait was getting blown up on flats in 2-4 ft. We started with top water and had small blues busting almost every cast... It was exciting but they weren't big enough to be worth much. Couldn't get any trout or drum to hit top water. It started to get frustrating because in the first three or four spots on the main river we hit, blues were hitting every bait you'd throw, and plastics where obviously a waste of time because they'd chop em up every cast...

Put 3 or 4 small but edible blues in the boat and let another 15 or so go. Probably missed 50 of em, many were so small they'd simply foul hook themselves going after the top water.

Moved into the larger creeks to try and get away from blues and find some decent drum and trout and didn't do well. Again bait was everywhere so it was hard to narrow it down, but we threw everything - top water, mirros, swimbaits and shrimp plastics and only landed a small flounder, small drum good, a decent trout and the biggest croaker I've ever caught. Trout was 21 and not worth taking a pic after it splashed around in the hot livewell all day. Drum and flounder came on swimbaits. And the croaker which I didn't measure but probably would've fallen in the drum slot limit came on top water... I thought he was a drum even until I pulled him out of the net... I've caught lots of small croaker in cast nets but never seen one that big, **** thing pulled as hard a drum too I was surprised!

Anyway, the water is very stained from all the rain , the blues are definitely in there, lots if small ones but some good size eating ones as well. I know the trout and drum are there but I couldn't find em today! Gonna hit her up again tomorrow any tips?

Only pic worth sharing- I " quick released " the croaker before I could snap a picture and everything else would embarrass me to post
 

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sounds like a fun day and get the cobwebs out of the boat, dust off the fishing tackle.
 

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Red X Angler
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Welcome back, We've missed ya!!! I wanna fish the New River!! lol You guys coming to Bayboro m&g???
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll have to look at the dates, my wife is due oct 7th so it may conflict!

We will be out there tomorrow if your heading out! I have a full boat already but we will have to get together soon man it's been too long
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here's today's interesting mix. LOTS of blues on top water while looking for trout, I'm talking 100 fish between the three of us, it was nuts, every cast almost. The dang things are so aggressive they'd come after a top water 5-6 times if they missed it was a blast... It was fun but got old cause most were small, even the keepers we kept were small for blues.

Couldn't cut thru all the blues anywhere near the main river to find trout or drum.... So we tried going deep In the creeks, found tons of bait but nothin but pinfish back there.

We then made a big move and found lots if drum eating mullet on the flats, they wouldn't touch anything we would throw at em even tho we had good standoff and tried not to spook em. I was surprised at how lazily they were going after the bait, there was so much around I guess they didn't have to work hard at all.

Anyways, after all the blues and lack of drum and trout we decided to do a sure thing and go catch some dinosaurs. Only kept two decent eating sized gar and I nice 3-4 lb cat.

All in all a good day, also caught a bird and a 4 ft gator on a poppin cork!
 
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I've never tried eating gar.... interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't follow the publics opinion of anything as trash fish until I've tried it... I catch em on live menhaden so I'm pretty sure they have a nice healthy diet. People eat catfish just fine and look at their diet! Their meat is beautiful and firm white meat similar to shark but with a different taste.

Look up gar ball recipes and try it out some time! Just do not puncture the gut cavity when cleaning because their roe is poisonous to humans. I also let anything over about 36 inches go as well. The meat may not be funky but at that point I consider them gamefish
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Lady fish on the other hand- not edible haha learned that one first hand- they sure are a blast on top water tho
 

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Red X Angler
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Lady fish= poor mans tarpon!!Fun!!! And great cutbait! In the fall I through topwater on the surf during the mullet run, blues Spanish etc. Ya never know what will hit!
 

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Not criticizing... Just suprised. I've never even caught one, and I'm quite happy with that.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's a fact bigE- I've only ever caught a few, but they sure put up a fight!

Lenr- I didn't take it as criticism at all brother no worries! It all started when I realized the cost of running a 21ft boat with a 175hp outboard for a day of fishing, if I don't fill up the cooler with my target fish there are always gar rolling within 5 minutes of my usual launch, so I'll grab a few right before I go home .

I'm normally 100% artificial when it comes to fishing, however gar are a different kind of fun. Ncpierman taught me his tricks (I'm sure not all of them!) and catching gar is a unique experience... They chew their food and play a good bit before swallowing... So you drift across the hole with freelined menhaden, and your spool open... When a gar picks it up you feel then chewing and throwing the bait around but that tiny boney snout won't let you set a hook, so you wait... I normally wait until I'm approaching my reel backing to set... The gar will chew a bit, make a run, chew some more, make another run, Etc and the whole time on a sensitive rod with braid you feel every movement! Then when you finally peg the fish he really goes nuts.... It's different than what I'm used to but an all out blast!

Word of advice, if you ever go for em, don't let them touch your gelcoat, their slime is harder to scrub out than oil stains!





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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Btw, at my last two fish fry's I left the gar and catfish as mystery fish- believe it or not without knowing the which fish was which everyone preferred the gar to the cat hands down!


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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A hacksaw horizontal to the body begind the head, just deep enough to fit tin snips... Then tin snip the length of the back and open her up like a space shuttle.... Then simply use a fillet knife and slide it between the skin and meat and remove the back straps. Just don't puncture the gut cavity... Also wear fish gloves the scales are very sharp... It's really not as hard as it sounds I clean a gar in the time most clean 2-3 trout with an electric knife


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