A gar is a unique critter. And so too, are gar guides. Guides that ply the waters for those lesser species, bass, trout, marlin, are as common as black flies. But an angler with the experience to put gar in the boat is a truly rare breed. In the four years that GASS has existed, we have met only four guides that we can officially endorse. We have found only these four that have the experience and conservationist attitude needed to be considered in among that rare breed, Gar Guide.
Of these GASS Officially Endorsed Gar Guides only one, Mike Faulkner of Airboat Guide Services, targets the fascinating giants of the gar world, the alligator gar. Fishing the storied Oklahoma-Texas border water, the Red River, Mike has landed many 'gator gar over 100 pounds. He has the experience to get those gar in the boat and he has the skill to release them with gar and gar angler unharmed. We had the opportunity to fish with Mike and his son in the summer of '02. With his powerful airboat, he raced over inch-deep shallows to get us to pools only very rarely fished. And, even after ten hours of fishing, some of that in the rain, Mike still had fascinating stories to share over plates of catfish at dinner. His support for catch and release gar fishing has earned him a place helping the Oklahoma Fish and Wildlife Department tag giant gar for research. This same attitude has earned Mike Faulkner our support as our only Officially Endorsed Alligator Gar Guide.
Two Southast US longnose anglers have earned our official endorsements. The Jack-of-All-Trades, Jack Barnett guides for longnose gar on Atlanta's Lake Lanier. Very much like the gar, Jack is a fascinating old-timer. A printer by trade, Jack uses his talent to produce beautiful, unique fish prints in the Japanese style of gyotaku. Jack has spent over 10 years developing his Jack's Original Gar Lure. He provides the lures, tackle and knowledge needed for his clients, some from as far away as Germany, to land thrashing, monstrous longnose. Like Jack Barnett, Terry Smith of Glencoe, Alabama, guides for longnose gar in the Southeast with his own GarGetter gar lure. Terry has appeared on videos and outdoor shows and is a tireless champion of gar fishing.
For those who have the opportunity to travel far afield, Phillippe Tisseaux of San Carlos Sportfishing can lead you to massive Tropical Gar in wild and beautiful Costa Rica. Fishing Nicaragua Lake, the Rio Frio, Caņo Negro, and the San Juan River, Phillipe averages five gar per outing. The exciting "by-catch" on these outings is often massive tarpon or snook. Gar are caught year round, but fishing seems to be best during the dry season, from January to June. The aggressive tropical gar are more than willing to smash a lure or race off with live bait.
As of this printing, December 2002, only these four professional anglers, have earned the rare title of GASS Endorsed Gar Guides. Use the contact information below to be your link to many memorable, unique, and rare gar outings.