Florida Gar

Appearance:

Florida Gar is a prehistoric fish with ganoid (bony) scales that have peg-and-socket joints forming a hard armor. Irregular round, spots occur on top of the head, all over the body and fins.

Habitat:

Florida Gar are found in Rivers, canals and waters east and south in peninsular Florida where they inhabit streams, canals and lakes with mud or sand bottoms near underwater vegetation.

Behavior:

Florida Gar use an airbladder to breathe air in low-oxygen water. Spawning occurs in late winter and early spring when both sexes congregate in shallow weedy waters where the females discharge adhesive eggs. Newly hatched young possess an adhesive organ on the end of their snout and stay attached to vegetation until 3/4-inch long. Adults primarily feed on fish, shrimp and crayfish.

State Record:

9.44 lbs. Big Catch: 28 inches or 5 lbs.

Fishing Tips and Facts:

Gar are sporty fighters and can be taken with minnows, artificial lures or frayed nylon cord that entangles the gar’s teeth. Florida Gar are also taken with bow-and-arrow, gigs or snag hooks.

This is a mid-sized species of gar. It measures from 51.7 to 132.2 cm (20.4 to 52.0 in) long and typically weighs 1.36 to 4.36 kg (3.0 to 9.6 lb).According to the IGFA, the record weight for this species is 10 kg (22 lb).This species has irregular round, black spots on the top of its head and over the entire body including the anal fin. The distance of the eyes is less than two-thirds the length of the snout. Also it has a shorter, broad snout with a single row of irregularly spaced sharp teeth on the upper and lower jaws. No bony scales on the throat. Their color is olive-brown on the back and upper sides, with a white to yellow stomach. The young may have dark stripes on the back and sides.

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