Local man has quite the fish tale in catching new state record gar

Austin White with his record spotted gar

Some “fish tales” are too good to be true, but Austin White of Ruma has quite the tale to tell about catching a new state record fish, and it’s all true.

On Aug. 13, White went with his friend Mike Lampkins to fish in the Kidd Lake Canal out by Fults. “People think there’s no fish there as it’s shallow and muddy,” White noted. But the pair likes to fish there for catfish and bowfin. He said these types of fish are a lot of fun to catch.

That evening White was using a lipless crankbait (a bass lure) that the bowfin tend to like. “I was just throwing it around,” White said. But then he got a bite.

As bowfin (as well as gar) tend to be very bony, he set the hook hard in hopes of landing the fish. The fish began to fight back. “I thought it was a big bowfin. It was fighting hard and then as it came to the surface I saw it was a gar and was disappointed.”

With the steep bank, Lampkins worked the net and helped bring in the gar. “Without him, I probably wouldn’t have landed it.”

White was about to push the gar back into the water, when he realized how big it actually was. He noted that the gar he’s normally caught are around two to three pounds. This one looked bigger.

For more on this story, please see this week’s print edition.