White bass and Gar

Don Alcala Crappie Fly Fishing Nueces River

It seemed to me about two weeks before duck season ended, the birds stopped coming into the decoys. It didn’t help that most of the flats had thousands of redheads on them. Kind of hard to compete with thousands of live ducks. For the fishermen/outdoorsmen this means just a change of game plan.

With unusally warm weather and water, Adam and I decided to run up to the Neuces River outside of Mathis for some gar. I have had a lot of luck in the past at this spot, I don’t think I have ever been skunked here.

Fishing for gar is a lot like fishing for tarpon. It requires a lot of patience and willingness to hook up on multiple fish, but only catch a few. Like tarpon, gar have have incredibly hard mouths. Unlike tarpon, they also have a mouth full of sharp teeth. Between the the teeth and hard mouth, getting a good hookset is tough, and even if you do get a good hookset, there is no telling if the fish’s mouth or teeth will still cut your line. Another good thing about gar fishing is you can sleep in late because they like the water warm. The longer the sun has been out, the more active the fish will be.

Since the drive to Mathis is about an hour, Adam and I get on the road around 9 am. After a couple of tacos and coffee at La Tapatia we are on our way to Mathis. We arrive around 10 am to windy conditions with the sun high. When we get down to the river we instantly see gar rolling. After dozens of casts and a few missed fish, I start getting frustrated and decide to put the rod down. Adam brought his new DSLR, and I decided to play with it. While I was toying with Adam’s camera, he hooked up on a longnose. Continue reading…