Two East Texans Obsessed With Hunting Giant Alligator Gar - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/20/05-Anderson County

Two East Texans Obsessed With Hunting Giant Alligator Gar

They're a holdover from the dinosaur era and they're lurking all around us... in swamps and streams in East Texas. The Alligator Gar is a scary-looking beast, but for a few brave souls, the bigger the gar and the bigger the teeth the better.

"We love to hunt and fish, and this is an opportunity to hunt... fish!" says Steve Barclay, one of the "Gar Guys."

Some folks might just say they're crazy... hunting for the fish with the sharp teeth.

"It's a lot of fun when you fight a two hundred pound fish and have to fight him with just your hands and a string," says Sam Lovell, who along with brother-in-law Steve are two of the most successful big Gar bowhunters anywhere. 

Yes, they do hunt with a bow and arrow. 

"The water is moving, the fish is moving, and the boat is moving, and you factor in you have less than a second to make that shot, and it's not shooting fish in a barrel." Steve says.

Gar don't go without a fight. 

"[Sometimes] we just give out, at the end of an hour fighting with a two hundred pound Gar.   We're exhausted," Sam says.

Others they encounter are amazed, and they'll ask incredulously...

"'You bring them in the boat alive?' and I say 'Yeah', and that's part of the excitement. And they see that on the video too, they try to bite us and we have to get out of the way," Sam says.

Ross Lovell is behind the camera when the Gar go wild. 

"They just start flying out of the water, they just start flying out of the water, just start jumping everywhere," Ross says.

Steve Barclay: "The other fishermen love us out here because we save so many game fish. Gar eat an enormous amount of game fish."

They want others to learn of the joy of Gar fishing. Just make sure your nerves and your line can take it.

"We started out with two hundred pound test line and we got it broke so much," Steve says.

The "Gar Guys" are now taking orders for their first full-length big gar video.  They mainly fish in the Trinity River.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.

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