Michael Gatus is now holds the record for longnose gar in the Empire State.
Hoosick Falls resident Michael Gatus caught the 14-pound, 10-ounce longnose gar on the venerable Lake Champlain in Washington County Aug. 18, and it's now officially the new state record for the species with the needle-like snout.
The previous record for such a gar has held up since 1999, and Gatus' fish defeated it by nearly 2 pounds. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation reported that Gatus was actually fishing for catfish with a chunk bait when the big fish struck in South Bay near the town of Whitehall.
The big gar was the third record-breaking fish to come out of New York this year. The others were William Wightman's 4-pound, 1-ounce black crappie that came from Lake Flavia and Brian Hartman's 18-pound, 2-ounce slob walleye, which he pulled from the St. Lawrence River.
For a look at these record fish and a list of others, you can go to the state DEC website.
"Fishing is better than ever in New York State, and Mr. Gatus' noteworthy catch is a great example of the world-class angling opportunities our state has to offer." Commissioner Seggos said in the DEC press release. "Whether it's bass, trout, or lesser-known species like longnose gar, New York has something for everyone when it comes to fishing."
Congratulations to Michael Gatus on his great catch, and welcome to New York's record book!
If you want to catch a state-record fish, get out there and start throwing lines into those weedy areas at your local river or lake!