31-Pound Georgia Gar Breaks 9-Year-Old Record

by Megan Molseed

A Georgia woman has broken a nine-year-old record after catching a monstrous longnose gar. The impressive catch weighs in at just over 31 pounds. This breaks the previous state record of a 30 pound, 13-ounce longnose gar catch set nearly a decade ago.

An Adairsville, Georgia resident, Rachel Harrison was fishing along the Coosa River in the Rome area just last week when she felt the tug on her line. Harrison reeled in the enormous longnose gar catch. And, just two days later, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) confirmed the news. Harrison had caught a new state record with the 31-pound, 2-ounce longnose gar.

Georgia Is Seeing a Season Full of Some Record-Breaking Catches

After the news of the record-breaking catch was released, WRD fisheries chief Scott Robinson congratulated Rachel Harrison on her spectacular catch. The fisheries chief also notes in his message that Georgia’s waters are producing great fish so far this year.

“Congrats to Rachel Harrison!” notes Robinson in the statement.

“State records do not get broken every day,” the WRD fisheries official adds. Robinson goes on to note that Harrison’s record-breaker is one of three recent record-breaking catches seen so this year on Georgia waterways. A good sign for anyone hoping to snag a massive catch.

“For Georgia to have three new records in this short period just shows you that our waters are producing great fish right now,” the fisheries official says.

Georgia’s Coosa River Has Plenty of Gar Swimming Around, But Few As Big As The Record Breaker

Jim Hakala, a fisheries biologist, and supervisor at Region Fisheries for Northwest Georgia explains in a discussion with Newsweek that the longnose gar is a native species in the Coosa River. And, the long-nosed fish is quite common.

“Some anglers pursue longnose gar specifically,” says Hakala. However, Hakala notes, many are often caught by anglers who are fishing the area for other “game fish.”

“While not necessarily hard to catch, they can be hard to ‘hook,'” Hakala explains. “Given their armored, boney exterior, sharp teeth, and powerful body design.”

Hakala adds that even once hooked, a longnose gar can be difficult to reel in and land. The gar’s powerful body, sharp teeth, and rough skin have been known to be quite the match when up against a fishing line. This, Hakala says, results in “break-offs for many.”

According to international records reported by The International Game Fish Association, a man named Rock Shaw broke the world record for the biggest longnose gar in 2017. This fish came from the Texas Trinity River weighing 43 pounds. Angler Don Henson caught another 43-pounder longnose gar that same year.