A number of 'merkin rivers are inhabited by a variety of brands of gar,
some of which are rumored/have been caught/typical fish-taled to rech
man size. They don't look like sturgeon, suck up dinner off the bottom
(as do paddle fish, the paddle for shoveling), and are not good to eat
(except in " and garballs", favored in Louisiana, where they eat all
sorts and conditions of acquatic critters).
Gar can indeed reach lengths of 6 feet or longer, especially if you include
the long, saw-toothed bill in the equation. The "greenback" or "alligator"
gar that I used to catch in the Tennessee River as a kid were pretty fearsome
Chip "and that ain't no fish tale" Taylor
God, grant me the Senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the
good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the
I used to bowfish for carp and gar (I mostly got into it because I had an older cousin who owned catfish ponds, and someone had released a few carp into them. He asked me to kill as many carp as I could).
I went to a river in north Alabama when I was 12 or 13, and had been bowfishing for 4 or 5 years. I spotted some gar swimming around in the 1-3 foot range. There were also some logs floating just under the surface. I missed a 3 foot gar, and hit a log about 10 feet long. The damned log swam away. I grabbed my rod and yanked back hard, and that stupid gar broke 50# line like it was nothing, and swam away with one of my best bowfishing arrows.