Tuesday, May 6, 2014

GAR

A late post, but it's all good.

After I left Fort Meyers, I spent the remainder of my Florida vacation in Orlando. The hotel I stayed at had a big lake with kayak and 2 person pontoon rentals, but I only had 1 free day to do what I wanted while I was there. 

I was able to take advantage of the lake, and rented a 2 person pontoon (I should have taken a picture of it, because, it was pretty damn cool). My girlfriend and I just cruised around the lake as I fished. I was able to hook up with some small largemouth bass tossing some bait fish patterns with my 5 wt. I was hoping to find some big Florida bass, but they didn't want to come out and play.

These swamp donkeys loved my bait fish patterns.

After returning the pontoon, I fished from the pier. I was catching some more swamp donkeys, when I noticed something big cruising along the surface in the almost crystal clear water...it was a gar! (A Florida Gar to be exact.) I got excited, and made a perfect cast past the toothy fish....strip...strip...strip...across it's face and I paused...that gar had a face full of fur, and it was GAME ON! It was an awesome fight and definitely pushed my 5 wt beyond what it's used to. My one worry during the battle was my 9 lb tippet....it held. I was ecstatic! My first gar on the fly.

There was no one around to take a picture, and this was the best I could do. *sad face*
10 minutes after releasing the gar, I saw an even bigger one cruising. This one had about 1 foot and a few more pounds than the one I caught. Again, I made a perfect cast...strip...strip...strip...the gar turned and caught the back of the fly...strip...strip...strip...as the gar made a second attempt to demolish my fly, a huge bowfin came out of no where and went at the gar, scaring it off. My knees were shaking...this thing was big. The bowfin then took a look at my I gave it a few strips, and it followed...then it just slowly sank into the depths. Gasp.

That fish would have definitely tested all of the backbone my Orvis Access 5 wt had. 

When I was done fishing I saw the species list for the lake, and there was a fish on there that I would have absolutely loved to have hooked up with....an alligator gar. If I only had more free time.