Wednesday, June 5, 2013

6/4/2013, Gar Fishing With Rope Lures

Tuesday, Amanda, Russ, and I took the kayaks out to a local creek again. We decided to float a shallow 3 mile section near the house. We floated this particular section last week and saw a pretty good number of gar in the slower moving pools in between riffles. Gar have been notoriously hard to catch in the past. We have had some luck with using cut bait under floats, in which we would let the gar run and swallow the bait down before setting the hook. However, this method wasn't fool-proof and we still hooked less than 25% of the fish that bit. We have also had some luck with artificial lures, Rylan has proven on the Ohio River that an in-line spinner bait is a most effective lure for both enticing gar and hooking gar. With that in mind, Amanda and I took some time Monday evening to make a few lures known for catching gar, the rope lure. After much researching, I found that many of the people using these lures had different techniques of attaching the lures to their lines. First and probably the most simple method was tying a 6" piece of rope in a knot and then taking a 1/4oz jig head and hooking the knot of the rope. The second method was tying a section of rope in a knot and then taking a spinnerbait and hooking the knot. Each method used hooks to attach the rope to the main line, but its important to note that the hook is not actually used to hook the may be helpful for those other species that are enticed by the rope lure.

Our experience has been that gar are attracted by flashing and vibrating lures such as the spinner bait, so we started going through old tackle boxes in search of old spinner baits that had been retired. Once we found our candidates, we began to cut sections of rope from our anchor lines. We then started the process of unraveling the rope, only after tying a knot at one end.  After we had fully separated the strands of rope we added some color with Spike It's brand of scented markers. At this point it was midnight and I decided to call it a night and get some sleep before work in the morning.
Tuesday we met up with Russ and hit the creek, and to our surprise Russ had also developed his own rope lures. We unloaded the kayaks and started fishing. Less than thirty minutes into the trip we had landed two gar. Of course Amanda's gar was bigger, mine was only 28" and hers went 36". Here's a picture of my gar with the rope lure entangled in its mouth.
Here's Amanda's 36" gar.
After spending an hour or so at the first hole I informed everyone that we still had 2.5 miles to go so we pressed on. As we went from hole to hole we switched to bass fishing the swift moving water until we got to the deeper slack water where we had spotted the gar previously. We ended up catching tons of spotted bass, very hungry longear sunfish, and a few smallmouth. Russ had the biggest bass of day, a smallmouth just over 14".
I'm not exactly sure what's going on, but the smallmouth bite has been super slow in the last week. My guess is that the smallmouth are in post spawn and have lock jaw. At least that's what I hope. On another note, Spotted bass may be my new favorite bass species. I was throwing a chug bug popper and the spotted bass were coming out of the water to eat my popper. I was surprised at how accurate they were, some leaping over 2' out of the water on the bite, landing with the bait still in their mouth.

We ended up landing 3 gar, and hooking up with over 50% of the fish we made bite....a much better hook up rate than any other method of gar fishing we had tried previously. Hopefully we get to fish the creeks a few more times before the rains hit and muddy them all up.


  1. Great site guys, I've kept up with a very similar style of outdoors blog (70/30 hunting to fishing content; for the past 6 years so I know how difficult it can be to maintain a steady stream of quality content. I am very impressed every time I visit the site. Posted an alert for my readers to visit 'ESBFishing' and enjoy the same great content I've been reading the past month. It will run Saturday I believe. Anyways, I'm new to Ohio as of 2 months ago and I'm already getting my feet wet floating some of the local rivers/creeks around the Columbus area. Anyways, keep up the good work. Maybe we'll meet on the water someday...look for the orange Coleman 14' canoe with the yellow kayak paddle.

  2. Thank you for your comment. To be honest its been getting harder and harder to squeeze time in once or twice a week to make the posts for the blog. We find ourselves at our computers staring out the window thinking about where we could be fishing, what we could be fishing for, etc. We have been sacrificing time we could have been spending on the water, and on many occasions time that should be spent sleeping in preparation for work the next morning.

    However we have been persistent in sharing our passion and experience with others. Comments like yours make it worth while.

    We will keep an eye out for you when we fish the Scioto River up that way.

    Your comment was very timely, and we appreciate it very much.
    Thanks again,

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