Skip to main content

Texas Alligator Gar

Trinity River, Texas Alligator Gar—Here is a fish that may grow to 400 pounds, may live for 75 years, and fights like a professional wrestler with a system full of steroids. Set the hook and Old Tooth Face is coming up for a look, head and three-quarter body length above the water, jaws ajar, teeth slashing and gnashing, one of the most awesome and unique sights in freshwater fishing.

Anglers traveling to fish the Trinity River, with a main stretch running from Dallas to Livingston Reservoir, have an excellent chance of tangling with gar surpassing 100 pounds—especially if they choose to fish with Capt. Kirk Kirkland. Indeed, hook-and-line gar fishing as we know it today was pretty much pioneered by Kirkland, who insists on releasing everything that's caught.

Gator gar can be on the move in the Trinity by March, but the best fishing transpires in warmer weather, from May through July into the dead of summer if you can stand the heat. The fishing slows again in fall by November.

I have caught large specimens of all the largest freshwater fishing in North America: white sturgeon, gator gar, lake sturgeon, blue catfish, flathead catfish, king salmon, and carp. As a group these fish are brutes and fight brutishly determined battles, pulling long and hard. The sturgeons and gator gar add to that mix their spectacular ability to jump. Because they get so big and fight so hard—and they come up to survey the situation with a jump—surely sturgeon and gator gar aren't just among the greatest freshwater sportfish in North America, they are the greatest. And the Trinity River is arguably the best waters remaining for giant gator gar.

Contact: Capt. Kirk Kirkland, 204/490-0284.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

In-Fisherman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the In-Fisherman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top In-Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now