Q&A: What you may want to know about garfish

by California Outdoor Pro on May 03, 2021

What is a garfish?

The garfish (Belone belone, Gar), also known as the garpike or sea needle, is a pelagic, oceanodromous needlefish found in brackish and marine waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Black, and Baltic Seas.

Is garfish good eating?

However, although the fish are edible, their eggs are toxic to mammals and birds. Many people say that gar are not a good fish to eat. However, most of them have probably never eaten a gar. Most gar grow large enough to provide thick “steaks” of boneless meat that is both delicious and edible.

Are Gars dangerous?

Although they may look ferocious, alligator gars pose no threat to humans and there are no known attacks on people. They can pose a passive danger, though: The fish's eggs are poisonous to humans if ingested. The toxicity of gar eggs serves as a defense mechanism against predators such as crustaceans.

What is the best bait to catch garfish?

Small whole fish such as sprats, sandeels or whitebait work very well for catching garfish. Fish strips such as mackerel and herring are also effective, as are lugworm, ragworm and prawns. Artificial baits such as spoons or devon minnows can also be used to catch garfish.
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