Giant Gar From Alapaha River

Capt. Bert Deener | October 1, 2008

Chad Leonard with a 30-lb., 4-oz. gar caught from the Alapaha River. The fish is working its way through the certification process as a new state record and will soon be hanging on Chad’s wall. The current record is a 28-lb., 6-oz. gar caught from the Flint River in 1995.

This longnose gar weighed 30-lbs., 4-ozs. on certified scales and measured a whopping 56- inches long. It’s working its way through the Wildlife Resource Division’s certification process as a new Georgia state record.

Chad Leonard of Nashville was catfishing on Sept. 5 along the banks of the Alapaha River near Willacoochee. He was casting a stout spinning outfit and using nightcrawlers for bait. Accidentally, he threw out into an area of heavy timber, so to avoid getting hung he quickly began reeling in his bait. As a result, since gar like fast-moving baits, the giant fish took the worm.

According to Chad, the gar put on quite a show of flailing and thrashing before he and his fishing buddy, Chad Troupe, managed to land the fish. Gar are distributed throughout many of Georgia’s water bodies.

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