5-Foot Allatoona Gar Almost Breaks State Record

GON Staff | July 7, 2023

The new lake record longnose gar for Lake Allatoona weighed 27.25 pounds and was 5 feet long. Caleb McClure caught the tooth-filled fish on June 24, 2023.

The record for longnose gar on Lake Allatoona was smashed last week by angler Caleb McClure. The huge fish was just shy of 5 feet long and weighed 27.25 pounds. Caleb caught the gar while fishing with his friend Trent Hall.

“We were fishing right next to Sweetwater Campground in an area that we knew some good catfish were in. That was the main target species, so we had multiple rods with cut gizzard shad out,” Caleb said. “We had caught some good sized channel catfish when the catfish shut off completely and a huge school of gar moved in and started to surface around us. We decided to change tactics and we took the weights off the lines and put the cutbait under floats and drifted in and out of the school. After we had some missed hookups, I finally set the hook into my gar. I knew it was a good fish, but it wasn’t until she came up on the surface beside us that we realized that we had what was probably the biggest gar we had both ever seen in person on the end of my line. It took half an hour to get her in—every time she would come up and see the boat she’d take off screaming drag again. Finally I was able to bring her boatside and Trent got a towel around her face to safely get her in the small boat with us.

“The next big thing was getting it weighed. It was a Saturday night so everyone was either closed or couldn’t weigh it because of USDA regulations for supermarkets. I kept her in a huge cooler overnight and met with  state biologist Jackson Sibley at the DNR office in Armuchee the next day to have it weighed on certified scales,” he said.

Caleb shattered the previous Lake Allatoona mark for longnose gar by 15 pounds, and his fish wasn’t far off the Georgia state record of 31-lbs., 2-ozs. That state record fish was caught on March 19, 2022 by Rachel Harrison, of Adairsville. Rachel’s state record gar was caught downstream of Lake Allatoona—the Etowah River flows out of the Allatoona tailrace and forms the Coosa River in Rome at the confluence of the Etowah and Oostanaula rivers. Rachel was fishing for white bass with a 1/8-oz. jig when she caught her monster gar.

Coosa River Longnose Gar Breaks Georgia State Record


The new lake record gar caught by Caleb McClure is also quite a bit larger than the biggest gar ever documented by DNR on Allatoona, eclipsing a 24-pounder captured during WRD Fisheries gillnet sampling in the fall of 2021.

A great way to get a potential lake or river record fish certified is to contact WRD Fisheries and apply for a DNR Angler Award. That will check all the boxes needed to get a record fish verified.

Caleb McClure and Trent Hall with the Lake Allatoona record longnose gar caught on June 24, 2023. The 5-foot-long gar weighed 27.25 pounds.

Lake Allatoona Record Fish

Largemouth Bass16-lbs., 9-ozs.Greg Rymer08/31/82
Spotted Bass7-lbs., 11-ozs.George Clark11/18/74
Hybrid Bass13-lbs., 9.5-ozs.Danny Alsobrook02/07/90
Striped Bass42-lbs.Clint Hight02/15/02
Black Crappie3-lbs., 7.36-ozs.Corey Harmon03/05/22
White Bass3-lbs., 2-ozs.Darrell Baxter05/15/94
Flathead Catfish35-lbs., 10.88-ozs.Sandy Sanders06/20/08
Blue Catfish52-lbs., 1-oz.Aaron Churchwell10/27/20
Tiger Trout2-lbs., 12.8-ozs.Bob Geresti02/01/18
Yellow Perch1-lb., 1-oz.Blade Parker12/22/20
White Crappie3-lbs., 4.24-ozs.Cody Hopkins02/10/22
Longnose Gar27-lbs., 4-ozs.Caleb McClure06/24/23
Shellcracker1-lb., 8-ozs.Ryan Braggs05/22/23


See all of GON’s official Georgia Lake & River Records here.

Requirements For Record Fish

• Fish must be caught legally by rod and reel in a manner consistent with state game and fish regulations.

• Catch must be weighed on accurate Georgia DOA certified scales with at least two witnesses present, who must be willing to provide their names and phone numbers so they can be contacted to verify the weighing of the fish.

• Witnesses to the weighing must be at least 18 years old, and they must not be members of the angler’s immediate family nor have a close personal relationship with the angler.

• Catch must be positively identified by qualified DNR personnel.

GON’s records are compiled and maintained by GON, to be awarded at GON’s discretion. Additional steps may be required for record consideration.

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.