4 best freshwater fish for alligator gar bait
Photo credit: Bubba Bedre
If you are looking to learn how to catch alligatorgar, it only makes sense that you want to use the most effective type of bait available. Plan on using naturally cut baits as these are the most tempting for an alligator cook. There are some anglers who enjoy using gar fishing lures or flies made from rope caught in the alligator gar’s teeth, but natural fishing lures work best when you learn how to fish.
Since the alligator gar is a species of fish with a particularly toothy snout, it is important to know which gar fishing tackle and freshwater bait can increase your chances of catching these giant fish. Use a sharp circle hook, steel leader, and slip float or bobber to prepare your alligator gar bait. Due to the size and strength of alligator yarn, your rig should be tied to a test main of at least 40 pounds.
Wondering what types of freshwater fish are good for alligator bait? Consider these four options, but don’t forget to check the local fishing reports to find out which baits work best at any given time of year.
Best bait for alligator gar:
Sliced carp are often used as bait for alligator cooking. In fact, carp can be the best bait for alligatorgar when there are significant carp populations in the large rivers and reservoirs where you plan to fish.
2. Small mouth buffalo
These freshwater fish are bottom-eating members of the sucker family. Small mouth buffalo make good natural cut baits for alligatorgar in states like Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
3. Gizzard Shad
Stomach shadows can be caught with a cast net in freshwater lakes, reservoirs, rivers and streams. They are one of the best baits for alligator cooking and can be used as cut bait.
4. Scale barbel
Mullet is also considered to be one of the best alligator-gar baits. Though it’s even easier for an alligator to take a mullet once it’s scaled. When fishing for alligatorgar, you can easily remove the scales from a mullet with a spoon or knife.
Once you’ve decided on the best freshwater bait to use in your fishing spot (alligator fish are most common in the southern US), there is an important tip to keep in mind. An alligator gar usually swims away with its prey before attempting to eat and swallow it. This means that if you try to hook the hook too soon, you will miss the opportunity to catch one. If you see your bobber or swimmer go down, wait for the gar to take your bait and start swallowing it before you hook the hook.
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, advocate of sport fishing for women, IGFA world record holder and freshwater guide in southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has been featured in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @ shefishes2.