Gar Fish


The accessibility of Gar fishing makes it great for budding young anglers. You don’t need fancy, complex equipment, just the basics will do, making it the perfect introductory species to target when out with your kids.

I recently took my boys out in Southern Queensland and almost as soon as the floats hit the water, we started pulling them out and didn’t stop all afternoon. We were almost on autopilot, catch and release, catch and release. But it was great for the kids, now they won’t stop asking when we can next get out to the water with our rods. I’m not complaining!


An ultra-lightweight 1-3kg rod and 1000-2500 reel will be just the ticket. Think about what you use for chasing Whiting and you can more or less use the same setup. 4-10lb lines, #12 long shank, or the smallest you can find.

Sinkers and weights aren’t always necessary in freshwater situations but they can be useful. If you are jetty fishing, consider using a split shot for a bit of depth. A small float will be sufficient, if you don’t have any to hand, you can try making your own out of corks, straws or ping-pong balls for a bit of fun with the kids.


When choosing burley for Gar fishing, keep it simple. Old bits of cereal, bread or the pre-made burley pellets will work fine. Be careful not to overfeed them on burley. If you have a burley cage, I would recommend using it. The smaller fish fill up more easily so you only need a few pellets at a time to attract them.


Again, simplicity is key. I just use worms I find in the garden. It makes for a great activity the evening before, rummaging around my wife’s flowerbed for worms (for me and the boys, my wife is not best pleased). I attach about half a worm, if that, to the hook and I’m ready to go.

In saltwater, I put some bread dough on my hook, or if I have some small frozen prawns kicking around the freezer I might try those. You can really be sparing with the bait when Gar fishing. They are so small they don’t need much at all.


Most of Australia’s freshwater sources have Gar. Creeks are usually full of them and you can find saltwater Gar littered around jetties, rocks, piers and pontoons. Once you’ve got them attracted with the burley, they usually hang around quite a while.

It’s not just Gar you will hook. If your kids are anything like mine, after one afternoon on the water you will have them hooked. This is perfect if you like to use Gar as bait fish for Jewies, Bream, Flathead, Mackerel, Snapper and Trout. Your kids will be catching your bait for you and having a blast in the process. Make a day of it, find some worms and head to the water today!


Is there anything you would like to add to this article? Share your experience through the comments section below.

Peter Hollingsworth
Peter Hollingsworth

Peter has been fishing all around Australia since he was a boy. He loves camping, fishing and kayak fishing.