Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fighting a Big Sting Ray

On the East Coast in the Summer , big Sting Rays are often around the piers. I try to avoid catching them , but that's not always possible. They put up a good fight that can last for an hour or two , but otherwise they are considered a trash fish , so they get thrown back or end up breaking your line. Other times they are simply too big to bring on deck and I end up having to cut the line after getting as much as possible back onto the reel. I don't like leaving them with a hook in their mouth , but I use regular hooks instead of stainless so they will rust out quicker.

The best fight I had during my vacation was a big ray. I hooked him on the north side of the pier and he pulled me all the way out to the end and halfway down the south side before finally breaking my line. Lots of fun , but a workout. It's unbelievable how strong they are , especially when they get to be six or more feet across , like the one I had hooked.

About 30 minutes into the fight.
They are fun to catch though. Even more so when they are big enough to put a bend in a 12 foot surf rod. I'd still rather have a big bull red or a king , but I'll take what I can get.

This guy was tagging rays , not sure why.
A small one on the planks.
The big thing is to be careful with their barb. It takes some practice to learn to cut them off so you can use the rays for shark bait , but some people do it. I just avoid the barb and get them back in the water as soon as possible. Hard to see in the pictures , but the barb sits on top of their tail at the base close to the body. Be careful if you hook one!

Have a great week!



No comments:

Post a Comment

Let's hear what YOU have to say...