Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch...

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dickestep
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2007/08/09 05:37:21 (permalink)

Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch...


On May 3 Stafford was fishing in the Mississippi River when he hooked a 215-pound alligator gar. He fought the gar for more than an hour before landing the monster alligator gar.

He weighed the fish later at the Natchez Seafood Company where the owner Steve Satchfield contacted Mississippi DWF.

Fisheries Biologist John Skains, and Icthyologist Dr. Todd Slack positively identified the species, witnessed the certified weight, and photographed the fish.

The big gar measured a half inch shy of 8 foot when measured from snout to tail and had a girth of 41 inches.

If offical tests on the line Stafford submitted confirm that it is 50-pound test, Earl will be recognized as the world record holder for the 50-pound line class for alligator gar. Earl's fish is being mounted for display at the Natchez Seafood Company.

The fish will also be the Mississippi state record.
http://www.thejump.net/fishing/1fishphoto5/fish-pic-15.htm
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    dickestep
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    RE: Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch... 2007/08/09 05:40:59 (permalink)
    Here's how I learned from watching the Boudreauxs in Texas City clean big gar and cook gar balls. I was small so I may have forgotten something. Nana Boudreaux's cooking was excellent! :-)
    1. You take your good sharp filet knife (and you put it out of your way so you don't cut yourself).
    2. You rummage in your tool shed and find a good sharp hand axe. Put the gutted gar on a stump or plank and chop it into thick steaks. (If you caught it yourself that day it may still be wiggling, these things are tough!) Skin the steaks, and debone and throw away any gelatinous tissue or cartilage.
    3. Some of the rich folks use a meat saw to steak them. I don't have one. A coarse wood saw would probably work.
    4. Boil the gar meat (crab meat or another firm white fish can be substituted here for us lazy folks) in crab boil or the other spices you would use for crabs or crawfish. It won't take long to turn pretty and white. Drain the meat well.
    5. Mash the gar meat with an equal amount of boiled potatoes. The potatoes can be boiled in the same crab boil, depending on how spicy you want this to be. Add green onion tops, finely chopped. I like a lot of them in mine. Add plenty of bell peppers, some green, some red for added color. Add several cloves of diced garlic per pound of mixture.
    6. Mash this mixture until you can form patties or balls with it. Dip the firm patties or balls in an egg and milk mixture then dredge in corn flour (corn meal can be used if you pulse it a few times in a blender) or your favorite fish fry. Deep fry at `350 for ~8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
    #2
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch... 2007/08/09 06:52:47 (permalink)
    I do not believe we have alligator gar in the Tennessee River in Knoxville although I have seen small gar at my dock but nowhere nears the size of the monster posted. Those things look dangerous with some mean teeth.

    We got some big catfish though.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    jimcor
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    RE: Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch... 2007/08/09 10:23:03 (permalink)
    I was riding the Natchez Trace on my little bike, an '80 GS550L Suzuki 4 cylinder classic, and was camped at Rocky Springs outside of Port Gibson, Mississippi. Fish market in town had a big plywood sign up for the day, three letters and an exclamation mark...GAR! Place was doing a good business. Just a roadside shack. I've caught long nose gar down at the dam in Dale Hollow Lake in TN and have seen plenty of big ones in the Ohio River south of Cincinnati on the KY side, but no gator gar.

    I've read a big gator gar is the only thing that will prey on giant catfish. Some aquaintances from Louisiana told me gator gar will not attack swimming people. I'll take their word for it and not test that out personally!
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    dickestep
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    RE: Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch... 2007/08/09 15:04:08 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    I do not believe we have alligator gar in the Tennessee River in Knoxville although I have seen small gar at my dock but nowhere nears the size of the monster posted. Those things look dangerous with some mean teeth.

    We got some big catfish though.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    I'd bet the farm on you having big gar there, Pard. They are quite hardy critters. They do look vicious, but I've only heard of one person being bitten by one while swimming.
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    dickestep
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    RE: Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch... 2007/08/09 15:08:46 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by jimcor

    I was riding the Natchez Trace on my little bike, an '80 GS550L Suzuki 4 cylinder classic, and was camped at Rocky Springs outside of Port Gibson, Mississippi. Fish market in town had a big plywood sign up for the day, three letters and an exclamation mark...GAR! Place was doing a good business. Just a roadside shack. I've caught long nose gar down at the dam in Dale Hollow Lake in TN and have seen plenty of big ones in the Ohio River south of Cincinnati on the KY side, but no gator gar.

    I've read a big gator gar is the only thing that will prey on giant catfish. Some aquaintances from Louisiana told me gator gar will not attack swimming people. I'll take their word for it and not test that out personally!
    Yep, a gar will eat catfish. One of the best baits for them is mullet here in semi-brackish water. I'm sure they'd take it there, too. Unlike what most folks think most of there food is live.
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    Rusty246
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    RE: Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch... 2007/08/09 15:18:59 (permalink)
    We have them here in the Suwannee River, they scare the hell out of me. Years ago one actually landed in a guys boat while fishing. Camping along the river you can here them jump all night long. Can't say I've ever heard of anyone eating them here though. I'm one that would have to pass.
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    Sundancer7
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    RE: Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch... 2007/08/09 17:50:06 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by dickestep

    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    I do not believe we have alligator gar in the Tennessee River in Knoxville although I have seen small gar at my dock but nowhere nears the size of the monster posted. Those things look dangerous with some mean teeth.

    We got some big catfish though.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    I'd bet the farm on you having big gar there, Pard. They are quite hardy critters. They do look vicious, but I've only heard of one person being bitten by one while swimming.


    I guess you are right but I have never seen one although I have seen the smaller ones swimming around my dock.

    I thought the alligator gar were only around the warmer waters of the south???

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    dickestep
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    RE: Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch... 2007/08/09 18:51:56 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Rusty246

    We have them here in the Suwannee River, they scare the hell out of me. Years ago one actually landed in a guys boat while fishing. Camping along the river you can here them jump all night long. Can't say I've ever heard of anyone eating them here though. I'm one that would have to pass.

    I was raised knowing I loved the cooked gar, but I can understand their looks are off putting. To be honest with you the Cajuns, Creole, and ethnic groups are the largest consumers of them. I think more folks would love it if they were exposed to it.
    #9
    dickestep
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    RE: Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch... 2007/08/09 19:02:37 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    quote:
    Originally posted by dickestep

    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    I do not believe we have alligator gar in the Tennessee River in Knoxville although I have seen small gar at my dock but nowhere nears the size of the monster posted. Those things look dangerous with some mean teeth.

    We got some big catfish though.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    I'd bet the farm on you having big gar there, Pard. They are quite hardy critters. They do look vicious, but I've only heard of one person being bitten by one while swimming.


    I guess you are right but I have never seen one although I have seen the smaller ones swimming around my dock.

    I thought the alligator gar were only around the warmer waters of the south???

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN

    The alligator gar are thickest in the south, yes. Isolated populations of them can be found all over the U.S.
    #10
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch... 2007/08/09 19:06:07 (permalink)
    I also read that their roe is poison to humans and mammals. I thought that was very strange.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gar

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    jimcor
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    RE: Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch... 2007/08/09 21:50:48 (permalink)
    The longnose gar that we caught from Dale Hollow Lake were seriously, quite beautiful fish. Built for speed and agility. Long, lean and mean. We call 'em freshwater billfish. People say how ugly they are, but they're not. Fight like crazy too!
    #12
    dickestep
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    RE: Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch... 2007/08/09 21:50:59 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    I also read that their roe is poison to humans and mammals. I thought that was very strange.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gar

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN


    That's the first I recall hearing that, Paul. I checked around and it appears to be true.
    #13
    dickestep
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    RE: Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch... 2007/08/14 05:15:29 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by jimcor

    The longnose gar that we caught from Dale Hollow Lake were seriously, quite beautiful fish. Built for speed and agility. Long, lean and mean. We call 'em freshwater billfish. People say how ugly they are, but they're not. Fight like crazy too!

    Gar are a survivor species from thousands of years ago. I find them a pleasant reminder of our own specie's survival. :-)
    #14
    dickestep
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    RE: Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch... 2007/08/23 08:31:18 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by jimcor

    The longnose gar that we caught from Dale Hollow Lake were seriously, quite beautiful fish. Built for speed and agility. Long, lean and mean. We call 'em freshwater billfish. People say how ugly they are, but they're not. Fight like crazy too!

    Pard, I love it you appreciate these hardy survivors from our prehistoric past. They are lean, mean, survival machines! They eat pretty good, too. :-)
    #15
    chunbob
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    RE: Cooking Cajun Gar Balls from scratch... 2007/08/25 19:23:32 (permalink)
    In Nebraska, where I grew up, many people thought gar were poisonous and nobody ate them. I'm guessing that was because of the poisonous roe. Years later in South Texas I learned that the locals thought they were an excellent food fish. Never got a chance to taste a gar there and gar are pretty hard to come by here in Northwest Montana.
    #16
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