Florida Gar: Lepisosteus platyrhincus
Prehistoric fish with ganoid (bony) scales that have peg-and-socket joints forming a hard armor. Irregular round, spots occur on top of the head, all over the body and fins.
They are found in the Ochlockonee River and waters east and south in peninsular Florida where they inhabit streams, canals and lakes with mud or sand bottoms near underwater vegetation.
Use an airbladder to breathe air in low-oxygen water. Spawning occurs in late winter and early spring when both sexes congregate in shallow weedy waters where the females discharge adhesive eggs. Newly hatched young possess an adhesive organ on the end of their snout and stay attached to vegetation until 3/4-inch long. Adults primarily feed on fish, shrimp and crayfish.
State Record: 9.44 lbs.
Big Catch minimum: 28 inches or 4 lbs.
Fishing Tips and Facts: Gar are sporty fighters and can be taken with minnows, artificial lures or frayed nylon cord that entangles the gar’s teeth. They are also taken with bow-and-arrow, gigs or snag hooks.
Image Credit: Duane Raver, Jr.