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  • Scientific Name: Lepisosteus osseus
  • Found in Illinois: Statewide
  • State Record: Hook & Line: 22 lbs/1 oz (2006); Bowfishing: 32 lbs/3.2 oz (2017)

Angling Tips:

Gars are commonly targeted by bowfishers, but can also be caught on rod and reel using a variety of lures (e.g.; rope lures) and bait (live or cut bait). Due to their aggressive predatory nature and long muscular bodies, gars will strike hard and give a powerful fight when hooked or speared.

Habitat: Longnose Gar can be found in sluggish pools, backwaters and oxbows of rivers, streams, and lakes. They are often found near vegetation and submerged terrestrial structures.

Feeding and Habits: Longnose Gar are opportunistic ambush predators that primarily prey on a broad variety of fishes, but will also target large invertebrates if abundant.

Reproduction: Longnose Gar typically spawn in relatively shallow open water on rocky or vegetated shorelines. Female Longnose Gar attract one to several males and leads them around an elliptical path for a period of time before spawning occurs. Longnose Gar provide no parental care.