Lake Oconee Gar Record Broken Again

Brad Gill | October 11, 2019

For the second time in less than a month, the Lake Oconee longnose gar record has been broken. The latest angler to hold the record is Dustin Turk, of Eatonton. Dustin caught his fish on Oct. 5, and it weighed 20-lbs., 13-ozs. and was 52 inches long.

“Me, my son Maddox and Michael Brock were fishing for catfish that day,” said Dustin. “We had fished in some deep coves that morning at daylight in a couple of different spots with catalpa worms and only had caught a couple small catfish. We also had a few big rods out with some cut bream that Michael had caught a couple days ago in a private pond.”

Since the fishing was pretty slow, they decided to ride down toward the dam. After the move, drift fishing with some downlines in 40 feet of water wasn’t really working out either, so Michael decided to take an old fish head and try something a little different.

“I had a huge bobber that I bought from the Greshamville Mall years ago somewhere in the boat,” said Dustin. “I dug it out from under one of the seats and put it on about 4 feet above the big weight I already had on the line. Normally I would’ve changed the setup a little being I had put a bobber on, but the weight didn’t sink the bobber. I threw it out and left my bail open on the reel. It had drifted out probably 100 yards in an hour’s time, and I had flipped the bail back closed.”

Dustin said the weather was nice that day. In fact if it wasn’t so comfortable, they would have quit fishing earlier.

“It felt too good outside to leave,” said Dustin. “Probably 30 minutes later the gar hit the head. I couldn’t feel much but some weight and a little jerk when I was reeling him in because he was so far out. When he got halfway to the boat is when he showed out. My drag was locked down on the reel, and he still screamed it off. I had braided line with a 20-lb. monofilament leader. The fish had swallowed the bait completely. If he had not swallowed it so good, his teeth would’ve cut that line. As hard as he pulled, it’s a wonder he didn’t break off. If he had been at a different angle, the teeth would have cut the monofilament.”

Dustin’s new record beats out a 19-lb., 7-oz. longnose gar caught from Lake Oconee on Sept. 8 by Ed Robinson, of Griffin.

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