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Florida Fish Species

Alligator Gar
American Eel
American Shad
Atlantic Croaker
Atlantic Sharpnose Shark
Black Bullhead
Black Crappie
Black Drum
Blue Catfish
Blue Tilapia
Bluegill
Bowfin
Brown Bullhead
Brown Hoplo
Chain Pickerel
Channel Catfish
Clown Knifefish
Common Carp
Flathead Catfish
Flier
Florida Gar
Gizzard Shad
Golden Shiner
Goldfish
Grass Carp
Green Sunfish
Hybrid Striped Bass(wiper/palmetto)
Inland Silverside
Ladyfish
Lake Chubsucker
Largemouth Bass
Longnose Gar
Longnose Sucker
Mayan Cichlid
Mozambique Tilapia
Oscar
Peacock Bass
Red Drum
Redbreast Sunfish
Redear Sunfish
Redfin Pickerel
Redspotted Sunfish
Shoal Bass
Spotted Bass
Spotted Sunfish
Spotted Tilapia
Striped Bass
Striped Mullet
Suckermouth Catfish
Sunfish (Bream)
Suwannee Bass
Threadfin Shad
Warmouth
White Bass
White Catfish
Yellow Bullhead

Lakes with Florida Gar on FishExplorer
Rivers with Florida Gar on FishExplorer
Florida Gar
The Florida Gar is found from the Savannah River and Ochlockonee River watersheds of Georgia and throughout peninsular Florida.  They inhabit streams, canals and lakes with mud or sand bottoms near underwater vegetation. They're often found in medium to shallow waters. They use an air bladder to breathe air which helps them survive in poorly oxygenated water.
 
Gars are covered with hard, thick, diamond-shaped plates called ganoid scales, producing a “armored” covering. Florida gars lack bony scales on the throat. They round, black spots on the top of the head, body, and fins. Coloration is olive-brown along top half shading to a white-to-yellow belly. They are distinguishable from other gars by the distance from the front of the eye to the back of the gill cover, being less than two-thirds the length of the snout. It is longer in other gars. Adults are typically 12 to 34 inches long, rarely weighing much more than a few pounds.
 
Spawning occurs winter/early spring (April-May) when they gather in shallow weedy areas. The females discharge adhesive eggs which attach to vegetation and are fertilized by two or more males. The eggs are greenish-colored and toxic. Newly hatched fry remain attached to the vegetation via an adhesive organ on the end of their snout until they are ¾ of a inch long.
 
Young feed on zooplankton and insect larvae. As they grow the convert to a diet primarily of fish, shrimp and crayfish. Gars typically hunt by floating silently until a suitable prey is near.  They then slowly position themselves to where they can take the prey with a sideways snap of the head. 

Florida Gar in Florida

Courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
 
Appearance: 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.
 
Habitat: 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.
 
Behavior: They 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: 28 inches or 5 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.
Most Recent Florida Gar Forum Posts
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Florida Gar Articles, Blogs, & Podcasts
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Blog: It's your fault! 02.21.12 by Tim Emery
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Blog: Clouser Pattern Detailed - New Article 12.16.11 by Matt Snider
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Recent Florida Florida Gar Photos by Fish Explorer Members
by Knot Tied - Son helped me land this guy.  Fun catch & release!