The large rivers in Texas often run muddy making a person wonder if there are any fish to be caught in them. There is the feeling that there are large fish present, but there is always the question, “How do you catch them?” Being such a nerd to watch such TV shows as “River Monsters” has paid off many times. In one episode, the star of the show fished the Trinity River to specifically catch a huge alligator gar. The guide he used is a guide available to anyone who has a few dollars to spend and who want an outstanding chance at catching one of these large prehistoric fish.
Before moving to Texas for a few months, we made reservations to go fishing with the guide from “River Monsters,” Captain Kirk Kirkland. As it turns out, he has been involved in 50 or so TV shows, and he is the best, or one of the best, alligator gar guides in the world. He even has his own signature fishing pole manufactured by Okuma.
His fame is well-earned and our experience with him was worth every penny we paid. Even at the time we went in late October, which is not the best time for these monster fish, he got us on some huge gar. And along the way, we caught some gaspergou (freshwater drum) and blue catfish.
Always looking for places to fish on our own, we made note of the location of our trip with Captain Kirk. We noticed there seemed to be bank access near where we fished in the boat with the guide. So, a few days after our guided trip, we went back to the Trinity River, below Lake Livingston, to try fishing on our own.
The fishing is excellent for small fish, but we haven’t figured out to catch the big ones yet. Having a 30 fish, or even a 50 fish, day is not unlikely fishing from the bank along this part of the river. A variety of fish are available to the shore angler, including blue catfish, sunfish, white bass, and a chance to get one of the large gar.
We are still exploring this massive river and the fishing possibilities. So far, we have successfully caught fish on live worms, chicken liver, manufactured catfish bait, cut shad (which can be caught with a throw net at the river, or bought in frozen form), and spinners.