Florida gar are found in canals, lowland streams, and muddy lakes where there is ample vegetation. The most effective technique for catching Florida gar is bait casting or still fishing using cut bait or live bait, including shrimp or crayfish.
Habitat: Lake, River, Stream
How to identify Florida Gar
The Florida gar has markings on its body, fins, and top of the head, similar to that of the spotted gar. Other species of gars only have markings on their fins and lower part of their body. Florida gars have hard, diamond-shaped bony scales covering their entire bodies. These fish can be distinguished from spotted gars because of the shorter distance between the front of its eyes and the back of its gill cover.
Where to catch Florida Gar
Florida gars can be found natively in the eastern regions of the U.S., as far south as Lake Okeechobee, Florida. These fish tend to stick to areas with plenty of vegetation, often swimming among the weeds. They live in muddy lakes, canals, and lowland streams.
The following are habitats where you can catch Florida Gar:
- Cliffs and Steep Shore Banks
- Freshwater Lakes and Ponds
- Gradual Shores
- Inlets and Outlets
- Inside Turns and Coves
- Islands or Sand Bars
- Points and Break Lines
- Shoreline Shallows
- Springs Holes
- Sunken Objects
- Walkways and Bridges
How to catch Florida Gar
Florida gars can be very aggressive, so it’s often best to let the reel run before trying to reel them in. They can be caught with virtually any hook, though some prefer a single, Kahle, or treble hook. Some don’t use any hook at all, choosing instead to use a rope that is frayed on one side and melted on the other. They’ll then tie a swivel before casting it out. Piers are good places to look for these fish, especially those where anglers clean their fish because Florida gars love fish guts.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Florida Gar:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Florida Gar
Live bait, such as crayfish and shrimp, works best for Florida gars. Alternatively, anglers can use minnows as cut bait or try using lures, such as spoons and spinners.
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Florida Gar: