THOMSON, Ga. - Longnose gar are considered a challenge to catch, but for angler Gerald Kennedy, age 62, of Murrayville, Ga., the effort was well worth it! Kennedy reeled in the new state-record longnose gar from the Chattahoochee River arm of Lake Lanier on Sept. 4, 2013.
According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division, this 30 lb, 13 oz, 58 3/4-inch catch beats the former state record by 9 ounces. This record was previously held by angler Chad Leonard with a 30 lb, 4 oz gar caught on the Alapaha River caught five years ago on Sept. 5, 2008.
"It is so exciting to hear about a state-record catch as it reminds us that Georgia is such a fantastic place for anglers with its numerous fishing opportunities and resources, from big rivers and reservoirs to small neighborhood lakes," says John Biagi, chief of fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division.
Longnose gar (Lepisosteus osseus) are members of the gar family and are considered relics from a large group of primitive fishes. Longnose gar have an elongated body, are greenish black on top and yellow toward the belly. They have black spots along their sides and fins. A long, narrow snout contains many sharp needle-like teeth. They prefer weedy areas of deep or shallow lakes and streams. Gar feed primarily on other fish.
Anglers must possess a current Georgia fishing license to fish in public waters. Where can you get a license? Buy it online, find a list of retail license vendors at www.georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes
or buy it by phone at 1-800-366-2661.
By purchasing a license as well as fishing equipment and related items, you and your fellow anglers help fund sport fish restoration programs, thanks to the Sport Fish Restoration Act. This Act allows funds accumulated from a federal excise tax on fishing equipment and related items to be directed to activities that benefit recreational anglers. A portion of these funds is provided to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources based on several factors, including the number of paid sporting licenses. Sport Fish funds make the following activities possible: managing sport fish populations, raising freshwater fish in hatcheries and stocking them in public waters, maintaining and operating public fishing areas and building boats and fishing piers, and much more!
Information about state-record fish, including an application and rules, can be found at www.georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/RecordProgram
or in the current Sport Fishing Regulations Guidebook.