The Alligator Gar - A Living Dinosaur
The Alligator Gar
The Alligator Gar
I grew up going to a local church every single Sunday, and my family was very connected to the whole of the church's congregation. They knew everyone there, and still do. When I was growing up the church was actually larger than it is now - and we'd often load up some weekends in our good time vans and packing our tents - and we'd go camping and fishing on a man's property out in the woods a good ways from town. Of course I thought the man who owned the property was a very old man then - but he is only now an old man. I'd heard this man speak of these creatures called alligator gars, and again in the not too distant past, within a year or two - I heard him once again talking about them.
Old Joe was out at my place fishing, and he caught one of them alligator gars, and when I drove up, do you believe he was trying to clean that darn thing? I told him, "Joe, you can't eat no alligator gar!"
I hope the very good man who I'm paraphrasing - were he to know about this bit of internet article - didn't realize I was talking about him, but the facts are that alligator gar meat is not only edible, it is delicatessen cuisine that costs as much as lobster - you only DO need to know how to clean it, and which parts of it are the prize bits of meat.
The Alligator Gar - Atractosteus spatula
Six Foot Nine Inches and One Hundred Sixty Four Pound Alligator Gar
Right after Hurricane Katrina had ravaged Louisiana and the organization known as FEMA made it clear that they were a fascist group bent on denying American Citizens their rights under the Constitution of the United States Of America - I was listening to National Public Radio one day and there was the warden for the Louisiana State Penitentiary talking to whichever talk radio host it was that day, and he was telling us all about this giant gar they'd found in a ditch. The creature had gotten caught up in a place where he couldn't get out of because the waters had subsided too quickly. It was the second largest alligator gar in state records, and I have a picture of it right here.
Technically, this creature IS a fish - it only seems to be half reptile - but quite a large and nasty critter, wouldn't you say?
The facts are that alligator gars are not aggressive towards humans, but would you like to handle something that size with an alligator's mouth full of teeth? I thought not, and neither would I!
A Little Alligator Gar - Just Ten Feet Long
Atractosteus spatula - The Alligator Gar
Besides being the largest of the gars, the alligator gar is also the largest freshwater fish in the United States of America - some specimens have reached as long as ten feet in length, and these fish have weighed in at two hundred pounds, and that weight is merely an average. On Valentine's day 2011 a man named Kenny Williams caught an alligator gar that weighed three hundred and twenty seven pounds, and was thought to be between fifty and seventy years old - still that is not the record, the heaviest alligator gar ever caught weighed in a three hundred and sixty five pounds, and the thing is reported to have had very large teeth.
Fishing For Alligator Gar
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Fishing For Alligator Gar
While it is perfectly obvious what the fascination is with these very large freshwater fish from a pre historic age, I have a major problem with persons fishing specifically for alligator gar, and that problem has to do with the fact that seldom are fishermen doing anything but killing the things, and for no reason. The back strap of meat on an alligator gar is a delicacy so far as meals go, but I assure you that most persons do not know this - and are not interested due to ignorance. What this means is that people are fishing for these large and harmless fish - simply to show off the body of something they'd caught, and to me - this should be criminal, as it is a total insult to nature and the lives of these alligator gar that can and do sometimes outlive humans.
If you look around on the internet you will find all the typical bullshit one would expect - reports of alligator gars attacking humans. What you won't find are any reputable websites that say any such thing. The fact that these fish have teeth is enough for any small mind to cry wolf from the waters, and imagine for themselves a monster that this creature is not. This is the sad fate of most alligator gars caught by fishermen - "here, look at this monster I caught!"
The alligator gar is a predatory fish, but this fish is no river monster, and a great disservice is done to nature each and every time someone catches and kills an alligator gar simply to take a picture of the thing and pretend they are some sort of dragon slayer.
The Alligator Gar
In Search Of North America's Largest Freshwater Fish
- BBC NEWS | Programmes | From Our Own Correspondent | Fishing for prehistoric quarry
Kevin Connolly goes in search of North America's largest freshwater fish, the alligator gar.
Alligator gar reminiscent of ancient predator
The Alligator Gar - A Living Dinosaur.
As is typical, the Native American cultures that once ruled the lands of what is now the USA had a much better notion of how to interact with nature, and besides that, they appreciated and honored it all much more. To put it bluntly, the Natives respected the alligator gar because without the gar - they'd get a lot less done. What do I mean? Well, the alligator gar is covered with such thick scales of armor that the natives used alligator gar scales to make arrow heads for hunting and for battle.
Literally - regarding an alligator gar as some sort of trophy to prove that your penis isn't undersized is disrespectful not just to nature, ecology, and a testimony to ignorance in the modern world, it is also a slap in the face of Native American tribes who used such creatures for vital functions within their lives and culture.
Personally, I've never caught an alligator gar, and I don't know how to go about it were I seeking to try. I've seen these fish very often, however, as they must come near to the surface in order to breathe, and I've also seen them try to eat my crayfish bait I was using to attempt to catch hybrid bass or catfish, and then jump out of the water to spit my hook out of their mouths - you can well imagine that it isn't a small feat to hook one of these gars, as their mouth isn't much shaped like that of any other fish not a relative, and you can also well understand how and why nobody much is interested in attempting to retrieve their hook or bait from an alligator gar's mouth!
For one hundred million years there have been alligator gar swimming these lakes, creeks, and rivers - and still there are more questions about these creatures than there are known facts. I think it is high time we all start to show the alligator gars a little more respect.