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Garfish Hunting : advice (uk)

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Aquatic shopper...
Jul 3, 2003
Hey - I am seeing alot of garfish - they taste pretty good.

Anyone got the lowdown on how to catch them ?

What set up do you use ?

Are they always near the surface ?

What locations do you see them in ?

Any special tips ?


Ed (trying to improve my bbq selection !)
I have tried to spear them couple of times... always at the surface, but I would say you need one of those trident spears to hit one.. suckers are so fast and very small target..

Good luck, oh I think I would have 130cm gun for them... I think..

Originally posted by portinfer
Hey - I am seeing alot of garfish - they taste pretty good.
You must have a very good eyesight:D:
Garfish (by babylon trnaslater):species of freshwater predatory fish with a long pointed snout (native to North America).
Did babylon got it wrong? or is it a local name for a fish that looks like it?

EDIT: added bold to further my point. :)
Last edited:
That's right Michael - long silver fish with a pointy nose - I see them in the top part of the water. Saw a large one and had a pop at it but missed ...

Might just leave it at looking at them - pretty nice fish to watch.

I bolded the point in my last post. What I found peculiar is that you are in the UK and see native north-american freshwater fish in your sea. :)
So I was asking if babylon got it wrong, or that you have a similar specie under the same name?
Brain dead me ! - had a 4 hour technical test yesterday - think the cells are still regenerating...

You get european ones here - I would look it up on the fish.org place but off to bed instead - sorry mate - they are about a foot to 2 or maybe 3 foot long, very thin, very silvery and pretty speedy.

How's the freediving going Michael ? Been anywhere cool recently ? Ed
:) It's ok. It's also not that important for you to start roaming the web for it. Was just wondering if babylon is full of sh_t. :)

What kind of technical test?

How's freediving been doing lately? haven't for a month and a few days. Started getting withdrawal symptoms a few weeks ago already. Not sure when's the next time gonna be, probably a matter of 2-8 weeks... patiance.. patiance...
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The Garfish that Ed is talking about is the Belone belone
It is common in European waters most of the year but especially in the summer months, a useful ID is that the bones are green, a little disconcerting but they are very tasty cooked.
here is a link

I believe that the Gar that you are referring to is the Freshwater Gar which grows to some colossal size and is practically a living fossil, here is another link to the freshwater gar

hope that this helps clarify things

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Yes, 10x. That clears things up completely. I was suspecting from the description that those might be needlefish, but I never saw them in a size worth eating... also didn't know if they live in cold waters.

The freshwater gars on the other hand, seems like some fish that mother nature might not want to have around anymore... slow, sluggish, slow reproducers...

Looks like the Belone Belone is a 'needelfish' - they look fast and hard to hit! Also not related to our freshwater dinosaur buddies. I've seen longnose gar and a very hefty alligator gar in the silver river in florida. The latter is as beefy as a carp but with a very strong looking toothy snout. They get very big. Longnose in particular is pretty quick, though they spend most of their time hovering in weed beds hoping something edible will swim by - Jurrasicish if I'm not mistaken - one of the older breeds.
I shot a garfish in my early days over 1m long in SA waters. they were in a group of 5 or 6.
I confused them with Wahoo at first which i still have not seen with my eyes till this day.

I took 3 pot shots at the long thin fish each time missing and after i had quickly re - loaded each time i was suprised to find them immediately again hovering under my Buoy.

Finally i wacked one and gave it to a hungry guy called Goofy as he said that "Old Women / batfish" were good eating too. ( and i knew that that is crap. )

I've shot a few with a bow. They are hard to hit and tough. They hang out alot in shallow water here. Along the edges of grass beds and in summer you seem to run accross them just floating around looking like old logs. I've never eaten them though, pretty wasteful of me to shoot them, looking back now.
i dont know much about the gar fish but i would try a pole spear with a paralyzer tip is the best for small fish cuz thats what i use and i've hit fis no more then 5in long it was a smelt for target practice and it hit it perfect so try that
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