How To Clean a Gar

By Hunting NetworkJune 25th, 20202 Comments

Cleaning a gar isn’t hard and it’s well worth the effort. The only tricks are to have the right tools, a good attitude and a bit of patience.


The first thing is to get a hole started in the armor like shell of the gar. You can use a hatchet to chop across the head or tail to get a hole started. If you don’t have a hatchet you can just start snipping from the arrow hole.

Use a pair of tin snips to cut down the center of the back of the gar. then make a ‘relief’ cut down each side of the gar. (this helps when you peel the skin back) It will seem difficult at first, but after a gar or two, you’ll get the hang of it.

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Relief cut


Once the shell-like skin is cut, peel and cut it away from the meat. Don’t be afraid to use the knife.

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The fillets of a gar are two boneless strips on either side of the backbone. They are much like the backstraps of a deer. Removing them is a simple matter of slicing down along the backbone and then across the tops of the ribs.

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The end result.. two boneless and tasty gar fillets.

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Wipe the fillets down and they are ready for your favorite recipe. DO NOT SOAK THEM IN WATER!! (they will soak up the water and get mushy. I know from experience.)

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