SOCIAL CIRCLE — Angler Chad Leonard of Nashville, Georgia (Berrien County) had more than just a great day of fishing on the Alapaha River on Sept. 5 — he managed to catch a new state record. Leonard reeled in a 30-pound, 4-ounce, 56-inch longnose gar, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife
Resources Division. The most recent state record for a longnose gar was a 28-pound, 6-ounce fish caught in the Flint River in 1995.
"It is always exciting for anyone to reel in a state record and this reminds us that Georgia is such a fantastic place for anglers because there are so many fishing opportunities and resources available," says WRD Fisheries Management chief John Biagi. "We hope that the recognition of this new state record will inspire experienced and novice anglers to get out and fish at any one of Georgia's numerous lakes and rivers. You might not catch a new state record, but odds are you will still have a great day of fishing."
Longnose gar (Lepisosteus osseus) are members of the gar family and are considered relics from a group of primitive fishes. Longnose gar have an elongated body, are greenish black on top and yellow toward the belly. They have black spots along their sides. A long, narrow snout contains sharp needle-like teeth.