- 58 ¾ inches long
- 30 lbs, 13 oz
- Beats old record by 9 oz
Television shows such as Animal Planet’s “River Monsters” have given viewers a glimpse at many of the bizarre creatures that inhabit freshwater bodies around the world.
Some of these “monsters” are even lurking beneath the surface of Lake Lanier.
Gerald Kennedy, 62, of Murrayville, set off from Laurel Park north of Gainesville on Sept. 4 just looking to keep himself busy until his brother arrived in town later in the day. Less than 30 minutes later, Kennedy hauled a state record longnose gar into his boat.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources said the prehistoric-looking longnose gar that Kennedy pulled out of Lanier tips the scales at 30 pounds, 13 ounces and is nearly 5 feet — 58» inches — long.
“It was an accidental catch,” Kennedy said. “I catch a lot of gar, (but) I’ve never caught one that big before.
“I put a bream behind the boat and pulled him ... and that’s what he hit on. I catch bass, stripers, catfish, gar, a little bit of everything when I’m pulling bream behind the boat that way.”
The longnose gar is considered a surviving relic from a large group of primitive fish. They have long, narrow snouts with many sharp, needlelike teeth.
Kennedy said he had only been on the water about 10 minutes and traveled about 300 yards away from shore when the fish hit his lure. After a 15-20 minute struggle, Kennedy, an avid fisherman, hoisted the behemoth into his boat.
“You never know (if you’ll be able to make the catch) when you hook up on one of these boys, for the simple fact that their mouth is so bony that very seldom a hook gets in them (well enough),” Kennedy said. “I just happened to have this one hooked in the bottom part of his mouth.
“Most people think (longnose gar) are a trash fish, but if you ever catch one, you’ll be surprised how much pulling power they’ve got.”