The biggest gar I have ever seen was a picture in a town museum. Supposedly it was about 19 feetlong, they had it in a wagon bed with some people hanging on and holding th tail off the ground. I was never able to find out if it was fake or not. I'm bettin it was. Kind of funny, every other picture in the place from the same period had all the participants names.
Watching that video brought back some memories. We used a 20' jon with a short stand bolted on the front. Carp and gar were regular targets. I used a recurve, though, because thats what I had at the time. We'd go out and run trotlines or jugs in a oxbow and bowfish on the way out and back. Carp and gar went to a family that lived just next to where we usually dropped the boat. Catfish went home with us. Biggest one I ever shot was over 5 feet. Bowfishing is not as easy as you might think, and if you are a bass fisherman you might appreciate having a couple of guys come out to your local reservoir at night at start taking out all the gar.
I too lived in SW MO, E AR, S AR and San Angelo, and of course knew people that baited, but never used it myself. I think it has its place, but it's another one of those things that if you allow it, you open up the whole can of worms. Some people will always abuse what some other people see as a management tool.