- A teenage angler in Texas caught a Longnose Gar that could’ve been a potential state fishing record but he opted to release the fish back into the wild
- The Longnose Gar was caught while fishing Lake Sam Rayburn near the Texas-Louisiana border and it’s a truly spectacular looking fish
- Read more BroBible Outdoors stories here
A teenage angler in Texas nearly fished his way into the state fishing record book after landing a massive Longnose Gar. 16-year-old Callan Frazier was fishing Lake Sam Rayburn near the Texas and Louisiana border on April 25th when he reeled in the potential record-setting fish.
Instead of keeping the fish just to try and get in the record books, he opted to release it. The Longnose Gar went back into the water after taking some photographs so the prehistoric specimen could go get even bigger and potentially lead to giant offspring.
Teen Caught A Potential Texas State Record Longnose Gar But Released It
The existing state fishing record for Longnose Gar is a 30.30-pound fish that measured 58.00 inches in length. That fish was caught by angler Amanda Martin fishing the Clear Fork Brazos River on June 22nd, 2021. So it’s a relatively recent state fishing record in Texas.
This Longnose Gar caught by Callan Frazier also measured 58-inches. They didn’t get a certified weight on the fish but at the very least it tied the existing state fishing ‘length’ record for Longnose Gar. Check this fish out and tell me it’s not a dinosaur!
While some people might question his decision to release the potential record-setting gar, it was the right decision. He has the memories that will last a lifetime, photographs to back up the memories, and there’s really no reason to keep any species of gar other than vanity. They don’t get eaten, they just get displayed by anglers who (commonly) shoot them with a bow and arrow.
The Decision To Release A Trophy Fish
According to the Star-Telegram, the decision to release the fish wasn’t made 100% by Callan. His father told MySanAntonio that “Gars are kind of hard to hold because from the gills up it’s just solid teeth. So we went ahead and put it back in the water. We know it was a trophy class but, at that moment, it was good to let it go and watch it swim away.”
Callan and his father told the local news it took about 10 minutes to reel in the potential record-setting fish and they thought it was a largemouth bass at first because of how much it was fighting. Even though the Longnose Gar can be found all throughout Texas they are still pretty rare. His dad added “We were so surprised. They are so rare to come by, and we weren’t even fishing for them.”
Gar Fishing In Texas
Gar fishing is quite popular in the state of Texas. I tend to associate ‘trophy fish’ being caught in Texas more than any other state. But it’s primarily instances where people are bow fishing for Alligator Gar (not Longnose Gar). They stand on the bow of a boat, shoot the fish, take a picture, and that’s it.
Texas anglers do shoot Longnose Gar as well as Alligator Gar and another teen fisherman in Texas just shot the heaviest longnose ever captured in the Lonestar State. This fish was caught on Lake Palestine back in April:
That Longnose Gar from Lake Palestine clocked in at a whopping 56.2 pounds and 63.5-inches long. You readers will notice that’s quite a bit bigger than the state fishing record for Texas for this species of 58 inches and 30.3 pounds but the distinction here is one was caught using a rod and reel.
These fish are quite difficult to catch on a rod and reel, and they’re easier to shoot with a bow. Most species of gar will float up near the surface and they an be spotted just below the water. That’s why the records for bow fishing gar species tend to be bigger than on rod and reel.
Alligator Gar vs Longnose Gar
The IGFA all-tackle fishing world record for Alligator Gar is a 279 lb 0 oz fish caught in Rio Grande, Texas all the way back in December, 1951. Within the species, there are 22 line class world records that were caught on conventional tackle (rod + reel) and another 14 world records for fly fishing.
And what I find the most interesting about there being 30+ world record categories is the Alligator Gar is most commonly targeted by anglers using a bow in place of a rod. These ENORMOUS fish will float up near the surface and stay motionless so anglers will target them with a bow and arrow or crossbow.
Did I mention that these living fossils grow to enormous sizes? Here are some others recently caught around the country:
Alligator Gar is the king of the gar family. They get the biggest but there are seven species of gar and each of them has a very cool fossil record. So definitely do yourself a favor and learn more about these species!