"The expression 'common as gar broth' is proverbial. The meat of this fish,
however, is well-flavored and wholesome, and its consumption should become
more general. There is limited demansd for the skin, which may be used for
covering boxes, sword hilts, etc.".
And here's an even older reference to the gar, or "guard-fish", cited in the
Lawson, John. 1709 (yes-- 1709). A new voyage to Carolina; containing the
exact description and natural history of that country: "The white
guard-fish is shaped almost like a pike, but slenderer; his mouth has a long
small bill set with teeth, in which he catches small fish; his scales are
knit together like armour. His meat is very white, and rather like flesh
than fish. The English account them no good fish; but the Indians do. The
gall of this fish is green, and a violent cathartick, if taken inwardly".
-- Jay DeLong Olympia, WA