Bow Fishing for Gar
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Bow Fishing for Gar

August 13, 2019


CAPTAIN WILLIE DYKES IN A FEW MINUTES. IT’S THE TIME OF YEAR FOR FISHING ON DELMARVA, BUT WE’RE CHECKING OUT A NON-TRADITIONAL METHOD OF CATCHING FISH, THAT INVOLVES A BOW, AN ARROW, AND SOME LINE, AND IT’S CALLED BOW FISHING. DUSK IS APPROACHING AS ADAM WILSON AND PAUL HENRY SHOVE OFF INTO THE NANTICOKE RIVER NEAR SHARPTOWN MARYLAND. THEY’RE LOCKED AND LOADED FOR A NIGHT OF BOW FISHING, AND TONIGHT THEY WILL BE TARGETING GAR, A LONG CYLINDRICAL FISH COVERED IN DIAMOND SHAPED SCALES, WITH A LONG SNOUT FULL OF SHARP TEETH, SOMEWHAT RESEMBLING AN ALLIGATOR. THEY HAVE REAL THICK, IT’S ALMOST LIKE ARMOR SCALES ON EM, WHEN YOU CLEAN EM YOU HAVE TO USE A PAIR OF TIN SNIPS TO GET PAST EM THEY’RE LONG PRETTY THIN, HAVE REAL BIG TEETH ON EM BUNCH OF TEETH, WE’LL SHOW YA IN A LITTLE BIT. AND THANKS TO THEIR ARMOR PLATED SCALES, LONGNOSE GAR HAVE NO MAJOR PREDATORS ARE QUITE FORMIDABLE FISH. THEY LAY MOTIONLESS IN THE WATER WAITING FOR A FISH TO PASS BY BEFORE PUTTING THOSE LONG JAWS FULL OF TEETH TO THE TEST. POTENTIALLY GROWING TO 5 TO 6 FEET IN LENGTH, THE LONG NOSE GAR CAN BE RATHER INTIMIDATING SHOULD YOU COME UPON ONE IN THE FRESH AND BRACKISH TRIBUTARIES THEY LIKE TO FREQUENT THROUGHOUT THE CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED. I’VE HAD A FEW BITE MY BOOT BEFORE BUT THEY’RE USUALLY PRETTY DOCILE ONCE YOU GET THEM IN THE BOAT, YOU CAN JUST TAKE THE ARROW OUT OF EM. USUALLY PUT MY FOOT OVER THEIR JAW JUST TO BE SAFE. THE TIME HAS FINALLY COME TO POWER UP THE LIGHTS AND HEAD INTO THE SHALLOWS. BOWS ARE AT THE READY AND IT DOESN’T TAKE LONG. RIGHT THERE LOOK AT THAT BIG FISH. BIG FEMALE. THAT WAS QUICK. SHE WAS RIGHT THERE THOUGH SO IF I MISSED HER IT WOULD’VE BEEN BAD. THAT’S ABOUT AN AVERAGE SIZE FEMALE. MOVING INTO THE CREEK AND WE SOON SEE ONE OF THE MANY BENEFITS THOSE ARMOR PLATED SCALES GIVE THE GAR. OH THERE SHE IS. I STUCK HER BUT THE ARROW CAME OUT. SCALES LIKE ARMOR WENT RIGHT OFF OF EM. CRUISING DEEPER INTO THE CREEK IT’S EASY TO BE DISTRACTED BY THE SCENERY. CERTAINLY LOOKS LIKE ANOTHER WORLD BACK HERE, BUT ADAM AND PAUL HAVE TO KEEP THEIR EYES ON THE WATER, BECAUSE THERE ARE GAR IN THESE WATERS. SHOOTING GAR NOT ONLY ARE THESE WATERS FILLED WITH GAR, WE FREQUENTLY SEE SNAKES, MUSKRATS, AND A HUGE SCHOOL OF–SOMETHING. FIRST WE THINK MINNOWS, BUT NOW WE’RE LEANING TOWARDS RECENTLY SPAWNED ROCKFISH. THE ABUNDANCE OF LIFE IN THE WATERS OF DELMARVA IS TRULY REMARKABLE. WE ARE DONE WITH OUR SECOND CREEK NOW WE’RE GOING TO CHECK OUT PART OF ANOTHER TO SEE IF THERE’S ANYTHING IN THERE OR NOT. SEEMS LIKE THE MOUTH AND THE HEAD OF THE CREEKS HAVE THE MOST FISH. SHOOTING GAR ADAM AND PAUL THE MOST FISH. SHOOTING GAR ADAM AND PAUL FINISH THE EVENING WITH 16 GAR AND 1 CARP. FORTUNATELY FOR THE GAR THERE WERE PROBABLY JUST AS MANY MISSES AND DEFLECTIONS, THANKS TO THAT TOUGH SKIN. 1061 1090 1094 WE CAN’T FORGET ABOUT THOSE TEETH. YOU CAN SEE WHY THESE FISH ARE SUCH AWESOME PREDATORS, AND KNOWING THEY’VE BEEN AROUND SINCE THE DINOSAURS ROAMED THE EARTH, MAKES THE LONG NOSED GAR AN EVEN MORE IMPRESSIVE FISH. COMING UP NEXT, DOLPHIN

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  1. We used to throw beef jerky to these sapsuckers on post at Dam Neck base! Never heard or seen these type fish until I moved up here in 09.

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