If you're a young angler, getting a fishing lesson from a pro, you know you're going to learn something that—and for the young angler out with Bass Pro and Guide Jake Ormond on July 17, he learned how to hook and set a record-breaking catch.
Ormond, of Sterlington, Louisiana, was giving a fishing lesson in an oxbow off the Ouachita River not far from his home when he saw a massive longnose gar roll on the surface of the water. Initially, he intended to hook the fish and give the rod to the young buck with him.
But something changed his mind: He shared with Louisiana Sportsman that he had hooked a big gar in the same place a few days earlier, but broke it off. Knowing gar like flashy bait, Ormond had used a flutter spoon in the lesson, and now, the pro angler thought this might be the same fish.
After no luck on his first cast, Ormond closed the distance and, using his boat's LiveScope, he cast again. The fish moved, showing Ormond which end was the head. He then cast right over the fish's nose, and the big guy took the bait.
It took a few minutes to wear the gar down, but Ormond was able to haul in the longnose gar using 20-pound test monofilament line. Without a net big enough for this monster catch, he had to tow the fish back to the ramp at his home and get a rope around his gills to haul him in.
Luckily, he was only 300 yards away from home.
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Knowing this catch was a big one, Ormond looked up the previous Louisiana record for a longnose gar: 30 pounds, 14 ounces. He checked his catch on a hand scale and it weighed in at 31 pounds.
After locating a place with a certified scale, he was able to have it weighed. It was a whopping 31 pounds, 7.7 ounces, and it was measured at a length of 65.5 inches long.
Ormond shared with Louisiana Sportsman that he didn't want to break the fish off partially because he was giving the kid in his boat a fishing lesson, and partially because he wanted his spoon back.
Over the past year, Ormond has been getting into taxidermy and intends to mount this fish himself. He shared that the scales were so tough he had to use a dremel to get through the back side.