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Lepisosteus Osseus



Onshore, Nearshore, Marsh, Rivers

30 - 55 pounds

28" - 72"

Longnose Gar Game Fish Quality Very Good
Longnose Gar Meal Quality Poor
Longnose Gar Fly Fishing Quality Excellent

Longnose Gar

Longnose Gar
Also Known As: Gar  

Guides Who Fish This Species


Port Sulphur, LA

26ft - 8 guests

Starting as low as



Dallas, TX

19ft - 4 guests

Starting as low as


Longnose Gar (Lepisosteus osseus) Fish Description

The Longnose Gar is what people probably refer to as the common gar. They’re known for their long snouts and can sometimes look similar to that of a Muskellunge or a Pike. However, the biggest difference is the long snout which is what the Longnose Gar has. The patterns are also different. The Longnose Gar has spots whereas the Pikes (particularly the Chain Pickerel) has a chain-like pattern.

The Longnose Gar is also a cousin to the Alligator Gar. However, the difference lies in the snout structure. The Alligator Gar has a wider snout, giving it an appearance akin to an alligator. Whereas, the Longnose Gar is known for a narrower snout. Its narrower snout also gives it the moniker, the Needlenose Gar.

The Longnose Gar is olive green in color. As a member of the Gar family, its body is shaped fusiform – giving it the shape of a torpedo. This assists it in being more of an ambush hunter as it snaps the necks of its prey in between its jaws. 


Longnose Gar Diet and Size

Longnose Gars eat a lot of small fish but they do go for an occasional insect or two. Sometimes, they can also be found eating crustaceans. Longnose Gars aren’t entirely picky. In places like Florida, Longnose Gars are reported to also eat Bullhead Catfish. But in other areas, Longnose Gars are known to ignore gamefish entirely. 

However, their diet depends heavily on their size and age. Adult Longnose Gars are also known to eat Sunfishes and the occasional Bluegill.

Adult Longnose Gars can grow up to 28-48 inches. However, they are known also to grow up to 6ft if left alone to their devices. The maximum weight of a Longnose Gar was recorded at 55 lbs.


Interesting Facts about the Longnose Gar 

  • Longnose Gars can live up to 15-20 years.
    • The maximum age of a Longnose Gar was at 39 years old.
  • The Longnose Gars are considered primitive.
    • Their being declared primitive may be a misconstruction however as they have evolved. It’s just that their species may have been around for a long time.
    • Other evidence of them being primitive includes their highly vascularized swim bladder. This gives them the ability to breathe in air and water.
    • They also have a spiral valve intestine like most of their Gar cousins.
  • Some people consider Longnose Gar a delicacy.
    • What makes them hard to eat however is their skin.
    • Their eggs are also poisonous so don’t eat them.
    • Gar meat has the same texture as chicken but tastes more like alligators.
  • Female Longnose Gars are bigger than males.
  • Longnose Gars are nocturnal by nature.


Longnose Gar – Fishing Techniques: How to Fish for a Longnose Gar 

When fishing for a Longnose Gar, you don’t use a hook. Their mouths are too narrow for that. Instead, use a nylon tail. Make sure it’s unbraided so that the teeth of the Longnose Gar will get tangled among the strings. As an opportunistic hunter, Longnose Gars can be caught via Sightfishing or doing the Figure Eight style of fishing.

Sightfishing is when an angler lets the lure run alongside the fish of choice. For the Longnose Gar, this will definitely get them biting. As ambush hunters, Longnose Gars can be quite opportunistic. They are also praised for their ability as a fighter which is why they are highly valued as a gamefish. 

While some use reels, anglers in other states do bowfishing when it comes to the Longnose Gar. Unfortunately, Bowfishing usually means that the fish you shot is already dead. There’s no chance for capture and release. People who bowfish usually do this to cull the numbers or to take down invasive species that could be affecting the ecosystem of their fishing ground.


Longnose Gar Habitat and Distribution

Longnose Gars prefer staying in freshwater bodies. They usually stay in streams, lakes, swamps, backwaters of rivers. However, they do have a certain tolerance when it comes to brackish water and can sometimes be found in coastal areas.

However, fishing for a Longnose Gar doesn’t always rely on the water body in question. Sometimes, it also has to do with the time of day. During the night, they are more active. They’ll most likely be swimming amongst the vegetation where they have a camouflage. When they see the prey of their choice, they’ll snap it up. In this case, if you’ll do sightfishing, letting the line run parallel to the vegetation is bound to get them biting.