Video: Pete Kutzer Meets a Monster on the Louisiana Marsh


Written by: Phil Monahan

While I was flipping through some of my old photos, I stumbled across a cool video from a trip I took to the Louisiana marsh in October 2011. Unfortunately, the quality of the video isn’t that good, and it cuts out after only a minute due to a camera fail. But I thought you might enjoy it, since it is not your average catch on a fly rod. I have caught longnose gar using rope flies, but I had never even seen an alligator gar other than in books until this day.

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As I consider how to land the damned thing, the guide has other ideas.

photo courtesy Peter Kutzer

My friend Dave and I were looking for redfish in a shallow cove. I spotted one and threw a bad cast at it. While retrieving my fly, I noticed a log in the water. I thought nothing of it and assumed that the dumbbell-weighted fly would just roll over the end of it. When my fly reached the log, however, it disappeared. No violent take or crash of water. It just vanished.

My line went tight and I thought I was stuck on an oyster or a piece of grass on the bottom. Then the log started to moved. After 15 minutes of trying to land this strange fish and getting a good look at its teeth, I began to consider how I was going to get a hold of the thing. I had to get a picture of this fish! I’d handled pike and bluefish in my home waters of the Northeast,and even a few barracuda in the keys, but I’d never had to deal with something close to a hundred pounds with teeth.

Kutzer Wound

This redfish clearly had a run-in with an alligator gar and survived to tell the tale.

photo courtesy Peter Kutzer

The fish sat in the water close to the boat rather calmly when Dave yelled down from the poling platform. “That thing is not coming in this boat!” Just as he finished telling me this, the fish slowly stuck its head up out of the water, gave me a smile, and then was gone. The hook fell out like it had never even attached. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. While redfish are the prize catch in the marsh, they are not the only big kid on the block.

Below are some of the less exotic fish I caught on that fantastic trip.

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Toothy beast aside, this is the kind of thing we were after.

photo courtesy Peter Kutzer

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Black drum were also taking flies and pulling hard.

photo courtesy Peter Kutzer

Kutzer 6

At the end of the day, it’s tough to beat sight-fishing to reds.

photo courtesy Peter Kutzer

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