Ganoid vs cycloid scales - gar scales (ganoid) are interlocking platelets, muskie/pike (cycloid) are overlapping.I’ll bow to g-smolt. Where was it caught?
What makes it 100 percent alligator gar?
Eye position - muskie / pike eye is higher on cranium in relation to upper jaw structure (maxillary), gar it is nearly level with maxillary. *EDIT* - I have misspoken here, but in an "ID positive" way. The Lepisosteidae (gars) have a simple mouth structure and as such do not have maxillae.
Caudal peduncle ("wrist" of tail) is nearly nonexistnt in gar, with the dorsal and ventral fins crowding the caudal fin - pike and muskies have a larger gap between the dorso-ventral fins and caudal.