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Old Mar 27, 2010, 7:03 AM   #11
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When I was a young boy back in Indiana the river near where I lived would flood about two or three times a year. Nothing real bad most of the time, just get out acxross somr roads and flood some fields. Anyway when the water would go down and leave large puddles in the fields some friends and I would play in the water. One of us noticed all the little fish in the water so we went and found nets and buckets to catch the fish. When we came up with a gar about 10 inches long it both scared us and excited us. We thought we had a "Dinosaur" fish. After all look how scary that thing looks. My Dad informed us that it was indeed not a prehistoric specimen but rather a common junkfish called a Gar. Back then I did not know how large they could get. I wasn't into cameras at that time so I did not even think to take a picture of the fish. Oh well bock
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 7:31 AM   #12
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For those of us not into fishing (and not in the US) why are these "junk" fish? not edible, common, etc etc?

I would be pretty happy reeling in one of those if it tasted ok. Would be a heck of a BBQ.

*edit*

Forgot to say, cool photo's as well, did you use a polarising filter for these?
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 2:03 PM   #13
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Years ago, I and a group of friends went angling for one of Florida's premier game fish, Tarpon. Everyone else caught their Tarpon, albeit small ones (caught and released) - I got the best fight of all, and they all thought I had the largest Tarpon, but it turned out to be only a garfish. They are all probably still laughing!

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Originally Posted by Tachikoma View Post
For those of us not into fishing (and not in the US) why are these "junk" fish? not edible, common, etc etc?
GW ha been doing a fine job showing us a good sampling of Florida's rich fauna. To answer the questions about this example, Gar are primitive fish - literally living fossils. The are common (there are several species in the U.S.) They are edible, but no one bothers as they are unskinable - they have heavy bone-like scales that form a tough armor-like shell over the body, formed by ganoid scales (made of a bony substance called ganoin). They are called trash fish because they are common and, and along with other unpopular but more edible trash fish - catfish and Bowfin (or Mudfish, Amia calva, another primitive fish) - survive periods of drought in large numbers because they can breathe air through their mouths into their primitive open lung-like swim bladders and survive, while the more preferred fish - bass, bluegill, croppies, and sunfish - die off from lack of oxygen in the drying pools. The Florida Gar (Lepisosteus platyrhynchus), the subject of this thread, grows to 3 1/2 feet, while the largest one, the Alligator Gar (shown in GW's borrowed picture) is found only in the Mississippi drainage, along with several other smaller species. The only practical human use for a Gar (or for a Bowfin) is as a classroom example of a primitive fish, and I have used them as such. Some catfish are pretty good eating, though, and are raised commercially for the restaurant trade, but I have never seen Gar or Mudfish on a restaurant menu.
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Last edited by penolta; Mar 27, 2010 at 7:42 PM.
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 2:28 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info!
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 6:30 PM   #15
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Thank you for the all the info Pen. I didn't realize the gator gar was only found in the Mississippi and a different species. Frankly, I'm glad they don't get that big here!

And to answer Tachikoma's question, no, I didn't use a filter. If I had one it would have made a bid difference I'm sure. That's one of the items I still need to get.
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 8:16 PM   #16
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I know you said you played with the images, but they are pretty good for no filter! I found it pretty hard taking photo's of things above the water, let alone underneath!
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Old Mar 28, 2010, 1:14 AM   #17
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Great Shot Gold Winger I seen some while fishing in the dark in Branson, MO it would swim right by the dock but would never bite... Glad though I would of never been up to cooking something I did not know how to prepare... Cat fish was bad enough good ol fashion Rainbow trout or salmon for me please!
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