Gar behavior I've seen when taking bait is to typically snag it from the side after slowly coming up on it depending on their activity and time of year it's ...more a patience game, but I wouldn't go more than 1.5 to 2 inch cuts of bait because they will chomp at it a bit and take longer to fully get into their mouth.
In my personal experience the first bite and drag/run is just getting it to a safe spot to eat it. So there's a typical hit and hard run, then pause to chew, followed by another run. at that point I'll decrease drag then set hard and keep steady reel till they come in. This is Gator gar though.. depending on the size you know are there you can weed out the smaller ones with larger baits, but the big ones will spool you if it's too big to take fully into their mouth.
@Caleb, man I typically used to use trebles, but didn't want to damage the Gar, so I switched to smaller hooks bridling the bait and that seems to work decently, ...more but they have to have the bait all the way in the mouth and it risks a deep hookset. this time it was simply a homemade leader of braided cable and a size 7 Gomagatsu circle and worked. it's random for sure, but I just don't like damaging them is my main concern to return them to the water.
thats what im talkin bout. good job man i always use bluegill abd they bite but i never get the hookste. they patrol the banks of douglas and i just put it on their ...more nose and the bites are flawless but i never get the hook set