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View Full Version : Cleaning a Bat Ray and other questions...



sethonious
02-22-2007, 01:49 PM
Can anyone give detailed instructions on cleaning a bat ray? I have read many great stories about how they fight and that they taste great, but looking at photos of these fish the cleaning part seems a bit complicated. I think I am going to go sit in the rain this weekend and try to hook into one of these guys. Are there size limits? Are there restrictions I should know about? Is this even Bat Ray season? I really don't know anything about them but I am intrigued. Thanks in advance for any help y'all can provide.

Rock_Hopper
02-22-2007, 02:04 PM
Not sure about cleaning a ray, as I have never kept one, but I can help with your other questions.


Are there size limits?
No, but I'd suggest you keep a smaller one just in case you don't like how it tastes.

Are there restrictions I should know about?
I honestly don't know if there is a take or posession limit, but (again) I'd suggest you only keep one the first time.

Is this even Bat Ray season?
It's not the best time to try for rays, but there is usually rays in the bays year round. Bodega and Tomales Bays both have pretty good year round populations. SF and San Pablo bay ray numbers drop this time of year, probably due to the large amounts of freshwater run-off into those bays. April - September have been the best months for me personally, but it's worth a shot any time of the year, especially if you can make it to Bodega Bay. No need for fancy baits, just throw a whole squid on a 2/0 - 7/0 hook and kick back and wait.

kromebrite
02-22-2007, 02:09 PM
Remember that a ray bite can be a very small "tap tap".
I second the whole squid on big hook idea. ;)
Hang on................ ;D

ZACK
02-22-2007, 02:36 PM
Nah,
you don't want to eat one of them things. I actually tried it once when I was a kid. NASTY!!! ;D
The only people I know who eat them are Chinese but they eat a lot of stuff I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole like Carp, etc. I always figured they come from such a heavily populated place that they make the most out of their salt water resource for sustenance and don't let a thing go to waste?

ZACK!

Below is a pic of one I caught just outside the gate on 10 lb test while fishing for Halibut. Also, they don't fight worth a crap! Hell on wheels for the 1st couple of minutes then they come in like a wet blanket.

http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/1261/zackslaystheraypostmk8.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

GCinGV
02-22-2007, 02:59 PM
No kidding about hanging on and use some pretty heavy gear, the big ones are like trying to stop a station wagon. They definitely love whole Squid.
GC

tarbuckle
02-22-2007, 03:26 PM
Strong hooks are a must. Rays are the only fish I've caught that have straighten out my hooks

striper_assasin
02-22-2007, 03:53 PM
they used to sell them in the grocery stores as scallops(punched out circular chunks).its illegal to do and i dont think anyone trys to do that anymore,but from what ive been told there wings taste just like scallops so if you like scallops then you should like them.personaly i have never caught one.

jerdh71
02-22-2007, 04:23 PM
heres my 2 cents, I d treat them like a shark. As soon as you land it I d cut the wings off and make a few slices in it to help bleed it. Next let them soak in the water the whole time your fishing. When you get home cut nice size strips out of the wings fillet the skin off remove any discolored meat and then just like shark meat let them soak in milk over night in a ziploc. FYI I have never tried it but update us if it works out

I totally disagree with the statment that they dont fight, maybe the other guy uses a wench or crain to reel them in but I use somewhat light gear and they are monsters they'll peel your line and not stop until they re in the next county. I love the fight thr put up.

Toxic_Waste
02-22-2007, 05:24 PM
I have also heard that they used to make "scallops" outta the wings. They said you could tell the difference even before tasting them because the scallop's meat grain was vertical and the skate or ray wings had a horizontal grain. I never got to try them, but the local seafood wholesaler/retailer says they can get some for me, so they must be used commercially....which means somebody's eating them!

NRJohn
02-22-2007, 06:24 PM
Mud Marlin not fight?? Last summer we were fishing for wsb and I hooked up one. Thing fought like a son of a gun. Also a commerical boat next to us hooked one. He fishes 80lb. 2 speed with 2 hooks. He fought it for over 30 minutes. Thought it was a bsb and was planning on keeping it until he finally got it to color. Yes some commercials are allowed one bsb per year depending upon which permits they have.

MoMoney
02-22-2007, 06:33 PM
I ate some stingray that was from Mexico.It was simmered with onion peppers and some other stuff and served with corn tortillas and ate like soft tacos.I kept thinking how ugly they are and thats what bothered me!!But it was good!!I second the scallop taste idea,thats my take also!!I am not personally interested in catching and eating them.I do catch probably 50 from my boat every year while shark fishing but I release them.I have noticed some pics on this site of what looks like rays at peoples houses etc..,so someone is eating them!!

MB_Kevin
02-22-2007, 09:04 PM
I think they fight great...from shore at least.

When I was a kid me and my dad caught one. We ground up the wings in a meat grinder. Then breaded them and fried them up. They were not great but edible.

Now as far as keeping a small one I don't agree. I was told by a guy who ate them that you want to keep the big ones. That there is only 2 fillets on the wings close to the body that you want to eat. This was a huge sting ray and he said it was not big enough to be worth it :o I don't know if this is true but that is the part he said was good.

Let us know if you try it. We catch them year round in the SF bay but I don't think this is the best time with the fresh water. Good luck!

jerdh71
02-23-2007, 08:19 AM
It seems weird to me. A lot of guys complain about them, they wont use squid shark fishing so they can stay away from them(rays) and they still catch too many. I went shark fishing quite a bit last year maybe catching 150 sharks on my boat last year, and we only caught 2, neither that big. Maybe because I d rather drift for sharks when the tides allow, but I enjoy catching rays. I would appreciate some ray tips.

red_dog
02-23-2007, 09:54 AM
All the rays I have caught have fought for a long time. *They were memorable battles. * I have tried to eat them on two occasions when I was younger. *Both times despite bleeding them I could taste a faint but distinct ammonia flavor so quit eating them. *The meat was stringy and separated by rows of cartilage. *One thing you should keep in mind is the amount of mercury in the local bays. *I know for Tomales bay it is advised you never eat any ray because of the ultra high mercury in them. *Leopard sharks from Tomales should only be eaten once per month and not by pregnant women, if my memory serves me correctly. *The younger rays likely have less mercury than the older ones so if you were going to eat one you might want to eat a small one, besides how could anyone eat 40+lb of stingray meat? *

ocean_314
02-23-2007, 09:54 AM
Its the skate wings they use for scallops not the ray wings

ocean_314
02-23-2007, 09:56 AM
Its the skate wings not the ray wings they use for scallops

sethonious
02-23-2007, 10:06 AM
Thanks red dog I think I am going to stay away from eating them, but I am going to try and get a ray to fight me this weekend. I have sards in the freezer but the overwhelming consensus is that I should use squid. The wife is nagging me to get rid of the sards though. Do I have a shot or should I just pick up squid? Also I don't need a wire leader do I? I have some good 40 LB test fluorocarbon that I was planning to use.

red_dog
02-23-2007, 10:21 AM
Squid works real good, sard will probably work too. The best bait I ever used for them and sharks was blood worms but the local bait store does not sell them any longer and won't tell me where I can catch them. I always used 30lb test and no steel leader and rarely was my line broken. Buy you may hook up with a shark so the steel leader is probably a good idea. If you want to get rid of the sard you can cut some of them up real small and use them for chum. Just make sure your knots are good and your drag is set right. The best squid can be bought at Safeway its seawave brand for 6 bucks, it’s for human consumption so its’ as fresh as you can get. You will probably want to split the box in two unless you plan on doing a lot of fishing with several people.

Toxic_Waste
02-23-2007, 11:28 AM
Yeah, that's right about the skate wings/scallops....it's not the rays.

I used to always buy Sea Wave squid, but now the boxes I buy have some other brand name on them. I forget which one, and the chest freezer is in a shed outside and it's snowy, so I am too lazy (and warm) to go check. Doesn't matter anyway, I guess, as they are packaged exactly the same.

One thing I have noticed, whether it be Sea Wave or other brands, is that the frozen and boxed squid are a lot smaller than they used to be. That might not be an issue if using them for bait, but I cook with them a lot and it's such a hassle to clean those really small ones. Dunno why the package is so full of little ones as compared to before.....didn't know of any market squid shortage. Maybe all the good ones are snapped up by restaurants.

hqly2001
02-23-2007, 04:54 PM
I'm sure there are some things from every culture that people will find disgusting. Carps are bottom dwellers in the US and are not desired but they may be a prized fish in other parts of the world.

I've tried some bat rays before on vacation in malaysia and they were very good. I only ate the wings... very moist. It might taste nasty to some because they do not know how to cook it right. But if prepared properly..very very good.

ZACK
02-23-2007, 04:59 PM
All the rays I have caught have fought for a long time. *They were memorable battles. * I have tried to eat them on two occasions when I was younger. *Both times despite bleeding them I could taste a faint but distinct ammonia flavor so quit eating them. *The meat was stringy and separated by rows of cartilage. *One thing you should keep in mind is the amount of mercury in the local bays. *I know for Tomales bay it is advised you never eat any ray because of the ultra high mercury in them. *Leopard sharks from Tomales should only be eaten once per month and not by pregnant women, if my memory serves me correctly. *The younger rays likely have less mercury than the older ones so if you were going to eat one you might want to eat a small one, besides how could anyone eat 40+lb of stingray meat? *

Red dogs post is the best post in this thread IMO.
When I tried it a bizzillion years ago the meat was stringy and would have to be treated / mixed in with a bunch of other stuff before that crap would taste decent. I have heard it used like scallops but with the texture of the meat I can’t imagine how you could pass some off. For health reasons it is also a good idea to limit eating these as well as sharks in the bay period. I personally wouldn't eat a shark unless I caught it off the coast. As for rays fighting abilities pound per pound they fight like junk. Sure they are all hell on wheels for the first few minutes and then you have that weight to drag in from their slow pulling selves but that’s it. If you are horsing them in sure they have some power in the beginning but like I said before I fish with 10 lb test in the bay and I let them do their thing for the 1st 5 minutes but after that it is their weight that is a pain for me to haul up not the fight they have, or don’t have. From shore they are a lot more fun but as far as bending your hooks, etc, all that tells me is you need to adjust your drag.

Squid would be my 1st choice and if you call a few safeways you can buy a bunch for hardly nothing. Sardines, Anchovies, or any fish meat that is dead and beginning to stink will work as well. On a day of poor fishing they can give you a thrill or from shore if you want to kick back with your clicker on they are all good. I lost a pole once at the Berkeley pier when I was a kid when I forgot to put on the clicker and couldn't run over to it fast enough while it was teater totting on the rail and away it went! :o

ZACK! ;D

tarbuckle
02-24-2007, 12:21 PM
"From shore they are a lot more fun but as far as bending your hooks, etc, all that tells me is you need to adjust your drag"

That may of been the case but you can't deny it takes a lot of force to bend a 5/0 hook.

ZACK
02-24-2007, 03:04 PM
"From shore they are a lot more fun but as far as bending your hooks, etc, all that tells me is you need to adjust your drag"

That may of been the case but you can't deny it takes a lot of force to bend a 5/0 hook. *

Is that all it takes to impress you, bent hooks? Are you a salt water Angler or a trout fishermen? ;D

Just yankin your chain. ZACK! 8-)

tarbuckle
02-24-2007, 03:43 PM
"From shore they are a lot more fun but as far as bending your hooks, etc, all that tells me is you need to adjust your drag"

That may of been the case but you can't deny it takes a lot of force to bend a 5/0 hook. *

Is that all it takes to impress you, bent hooks? Are you a salt water Angler or a trout fishermen? ;D

Just yankin your chain. ZACK! 8-)


Both

doneli
02-24-2007, 10:27 PM
i use to fish for them and eat them.... is not a crap....is a good meat all you have to do is cook it right....you get two fillets off each wing.. one form top one from bottom.. they have the long bones on the midle ...the big ones have more meat .. the small ones not worth to fillet them... besides good meat great fighters . i had a post where i mentioned how i cook them
http://www.fishsniffer.com/cgi-bin/forumsyabb/YaBB.pl?num=1138153759
hope this can help -doneli-

greggywhat
02-24-2007, 11:34 PM
behind the dumps in berkeley is a good spot havent been there in years but it use to be good only rays and we caught some over 100lbs and the berkeley pier is good last may we went down there and i caught soo many rays all over 50lbs one was sooo big it wouldnt fit in a huge crab net thing we made finally got him half in there and it took 4 people to pull it up and it had a baby ray on the pier lol but there goood to eat just dont get the slime on the meat

fishing brian
02-25-2007, 10:05 AM
Ive caught 6 or 7 bat rays and let me tell ya, They fight harder than any other fish ive ever caught. I dont think I'd keep one to eat though.Hey Zack that bat ray must have been sick or dying if it was like a wet blanket. Or you were using a winch.

blue_chrush
02-25-2007, 11:39 AM
I would pay good money to see anyone eat one.......
its like an urban legend, I heard they were good....
the wing meat is gooey and the right way to prep it is
to scoop it out and boil it till firm, then when its white
you can fry the sm balls up, and some think they look
like scallops, NO FRIGIN WAY...it taste like crap.
I waited many yrs to find someone to show me how
to prepare these fish, a polyanisian guy and his wife,
and it is not worth your time believe me....
lepoard shark is awsome, and by far and away a better fish,
so throw back the "mud marlins" after your pics and go on....
another bay loosers are sculpins, dogfish, kingfish.....
fried herring is good though...

ZACK
02-25-2007, 04:13 PM
Ive caught 6 or 7 bat rays and let me tell ya, They fight harder than any other fish ive ever caught. I dont think I'd keep one to eat though.Hey Zack that bat ray must have been sick or dying if it was like a wet blanket. Or you were using a winch.

Sick? A winch? Not unless you call a Quantum 1310 loaded with 10 lb test used for black bass fishing a winch. ;D I have probably caught close to a 100 of those things over the years of all sizes and when I was new to salt water fishing I really enjoyed catching them but after getting a broader perspective lb per lb their fight is lame! Hell on wheels and then they peter out. Leopards are fun on 10 lb test too but they also have a stamina problem and submit fairly quickly. Stripers are a tuff beast that will fight good for an extended period of time if you have a good one and Salmon or good too and can go from 0 to 60 pretty quickly. Sturgeon can be Badd A$$ getting airborne and fighting tuff as nails till the very end, or they can be weak as heck and put up little resistance before boating them irregardless of ones size. Very individual those guys. The Ling Cod can be a blast too with their initial SLAM suicidal self hookset. I have never caught a 7 gill and I am intrigued with them because of this. Do they fight good? Is the fight comparable to a sturgeon of equal size or better, or worst? Or are they real tuff like the Ray *for the 1st couple of runs and then go belly up???

ZACK!

doneli
02-25-2007, 05:10 PM
I would pay good money to see anyone eat one.......



...

I'LL TAKE IT!!!!!!! * * * ;D :P * * * by the way i have 10lb of fillet in my freezer just waiting for the weather to improve so i can cook them on my back yard.......
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * -doneli-

fishing brian
02-25-2007, 08:20 PM
ZACK-Thats awesome on 10lb. test. Ive never caught a seven gill. Couldnt tell ya. but I agree on the striper thing.

greggywhat
02-25-2007, 08:59 PM
i caught a seven gill that was 100lbs maybe some more i had a 100lb scale and it bottomed out then i released it they fight hard the ones i caught jump and i dont mean alittle thing had wings and was flying i thought i had a ray tell it started jumping then wouldnt give up but who ever says rays fight for a min are wrong if you caught one on 10lb that weighs over 100lbs i say fish story:) cause u cant pull 100lbs off the bottom with 10lb test lol sorry and ive had those things spool me 300 yards with 20lbs of drag running 80lb braid

sethonious
02-26-2007, 08:19 AM
Well I went out and had a great time on the pier near Crissy Field. I got one strong bite in the first hour of fishing which may have been a halibut, but then it really slowed off and I started to get bored. Just for S%&*s and Giggles I threw out my snare and rocked the crabs. I got 2 dungies that were both >2 lbs. (I know, I know I didn't keep them) I got at least 10 red crabs and about 6 or 8 rock crabs. I lost track. But I did have one new experience, I had my first tripple crab snare. Felt like I was hauling up a tire. One bad thing happened. The lazy park maintenance guy drove his stupid truck out on the pier and drove over the butt end of the pole. Flattened the last 6"on my handle. No apology, he acted like it was my fault. Even a real jerk couldn't put a damper on my good time.

ZACK
02-26-2007, 09:49 AM
but who ever says rays fight for a min are wrong if you caught one on 10lb that weighs over 100lbs i say fish story:) cause u cant pull 100lbs off the bottom with 10lb test lol sorry and ive had those things spool me 300 yards *with 20lbs of *drag running 80lb braid

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh Grass Hoppa,
I have sooooo much to teach you and so little time to do it in.... ;D

100 lbs in the water of a fairly buoyant creature isn't the same as a 100 lb iron plate that would sink like a rock to the bottom. Yes 10 lb test is all you will ever need fishing the bay (unless you are fishing for 7 gills which I have no personal knowledge of and if they do fight like a sturgeon or better I might gear up for them with 30 lb test like I do for sturgeon).

80 lb braid is for Marlin. Do you really find using 10 lb test not worthy of landing a couch potato of a want a be fish like a ray? *As anglers we don't fight fish we fatigue them. Anyway no disrespect to your experience but I have been fishing salt water hard for over 10 years and most of it was done with 10 lb test and with the exception of the 7 gill I have easily conquered all other specie in the bay.

I'll post this pic again so you can get a visual of a ray I would put at 100 lbs, or close to it for you to view that I caught outside the gate while fishing for halibut with you guessed it “10 lb test”. This ray is one of many that I have caught this size and bigger. I happened to have my digital with me this day and took his pic. Also note for scale purposes factor in that I am not a tiny man holding a decent fish I am 6-1, 215 lbs. Still not convinced? I sent you a pm and if ever you want to fish the bay this summer and get enlightened a bit pitch in a little bit for boat expenses, meet me at the Berkeley public boat launch and your in.

ZACK!

http://img400.imageshack.us/img400/5346/zackslaystheraypostzu9.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

sethonious
02-26-2007, 10:01 AM
Oooh. Zack's throwing down the gauntlet! ;D

striper_assasin
02-26-2007, 03:09 PM
ive never caught a batray,but the the time i went halibut fishing i was so disapointed.they dont fight for crap.only tug is when you set hook,after that they just come right up,now that is boring right there.i would imagine the fight of a bat ray(mostly due to weight and the wings)would be better than a halibut in our bay.
however the halibut i caught were bomb tasting,man they were good,not as good as the seabass that was caught but still very good.

greggywhat
02-26-2007, 06:27 PM
yes i will come down there this summer i know where some big rays are always and we will see your 10lb test either get broke off or spooled cause you cant slow them down you know what the prob is you cant set the hook hard enogh ::) sooo they never know they are hooked wonder why they dont fight lol im setting the hook to

greggywhat
02-26-2007, 06:31 PM
and your picture thats a baby fish behind the dumps in berkeley like in may i dont know what there doing in that water i think spawning cause i catch them and they have babys bigger then that ;D

ZACK
02-26-2007, 06:51 PM
and your picture thats a baby fish behind the dumps in berkeley * *like in may i dont know what there doing in that water i think spawning *cause i catch them and they have babys bigger then that ;D
Post a pic.
If that is a baby Id like to see what your talking about. Fish for rays? No, that's kids stuff. However running into them can be un avoidable while I, or we fish with live bait for butts, and bass. We may have the mis fortune of hooking one of these no class club fighters. ;D

I don't fish from shore and maybe that is your perspective. A reel loaded with 10 lb will slay any ray, in the bay, easily. “They don't know their hooked”? Then I wonder what they are thinking when they are boat side belly up waiting for the net. *;D

You have much to learn and I am sure you will enjoy the journey. Just be careful *you don't stunt your growth with a lot of pre conceived notions. *As I have said before

1) SEEK and you shall find.

2) KNOCK and it will be open.

3) ASK and you shall receive. ;D

ZACK!

greggywhat
02-26-2007, 09:38 PM
haha im just messing with you

ZACK
02-27-2007, 09:22 AM
haha im just messing with you
;D like wise but the offer still stands....

ZACK! 8-)

greggywhat
02-27-2007, 09:46 AM
for sure this summer if you land one in the 100lb classs i will give you all my roe cause im going to stop fishing rule is i jerk and have to catch a live one ;D

red_dog
02-27-2007, 09:51 AM
Quote from ZACK

“I don't fish from shore and maybe that is your perspective. A reel loaded with 10 lb will slay any ray, in the bay, easily. “They don't know their hooked”? Then I wonder what they are thinking when they are boat side belly up waiting for the net.

I can only find three plausible reasons why it’s possible to catch a large powerful ray on 10LB test. *The first is listed above, because the rays do not know they are hooked they do not put up a fight. *Second they might have been fighting the tide or other underwater current before they got hooked. *Third they are elderly and near death. *I only put these up because I have been in Tomales bay with three buddies in a 12 foot aluminum anchored and we hooked a ray that ray pulled us and the 10lb anchor through the sand/mud for at least a quarter mile on 30lb test. *It took about 30 minutes to land the ray. *This ray was only about 60lb. *In the middle of Tomales bay there is virtually no current in the shallows so the current may be the deciding factor. *

ZACK
02-27-2007, 02:12 PM
Quote from ZACK

“I don't fish from shore and maybe that is your perspective. A reel loaded with 10 lb will slay any ray, in the bay, easily. “They don't know their hooked”? Then I wonder what they are thinking when they are boat side belly up waiting for the net.

I can only find three plausible reasons why it’s possible to catch a large powerful ray on 10LB test. *The first is listed above, because the rays do not know they are hooked they do not put up a fight. *Second they might have been fighting the tide or other underwater current before they got hooked. *Third they are elderly and near death. *I only put these up because I have been in Tomales bay with three buddies in a 12 foot aluminum anchored and we hooked a ray that ray pulled us and the 10lb anchor through the sand/mud for at least a quarter mile on 30lb test. *It took about 30 minutes to land the ray. *This ray was only about 60lb. *In the middle of Tomales bay there is virtually no current in the shallows so the current may be the deciding factor. *

I have caught loads (unfortunately) of them for a good part of the 38 years I have been alive either from shore or boat. They used to impress me too when I was new to salt water fishing before I had a much broader experience to reference them. I have caught a ton of them of all various shapes and sizes in all different situations. Why would you let a ray pull you around? "Dragging your anchor"? Now you have me in disbelief???

If you ever find yourself getting even close to being spooled, or schooled pull anchor and get on top of it and lift it up. That is your one advantage of being on a boat I suggest you use it. This summer I will have to start bringing my video camera aboard again and upload some of the many specie I own with 10 lb test on youtube for all of the non believers. It's no trouble for me. Wait till you see my pole. I have many expensive rods for live bait fishing from Lemiglas mooching rods, to my favorite which is a cheapie signature David Fritz Browning 7 ft glass rod with a quantum 1310. David Fritz for those who don't know is a pro black bass angler and the rod is designed for black bass. It is very noodle like at the upper portion but has a bit of back bone. I think it weighs less than 6 ounces. I am not saying these fish don't fight. What I am saying is lb per lb they suck! Hell on wheels for the 1st few minutes then they down shift into an annoying slow but steady pull that is their signature and lets you know
"You've Got Junk Fish" *;D
Their is some time envolved bringing in a large ray like the one in the pic with 10 lb line but it is boring and has more to do with me only being able to apply just enough pressure on them to lift them up to the surface inch by inch without breaking my line due to their weight not to any fight after they have shot their wad.
I hope seeing is believing and we will have to continue this in May. ZACK!

catfished
02-27-2007, 04:45 PM
[quote author=red dog link=1172180982/30#42 date=1172598692]Quote from ZACK
I have caught loads (unfortunately) of them for a good part of the 38 years I have been alive either from shore or boat. They used to impress me too when I was new to salt water fishing before I had a much broader experience to reference them.

I am not saying these fish don't fight. What I am saying is lb per lb they suck! Hell on wheels for the 1st few minutes then they down shift into an annoying slow but steady pull that is their signature and lets you know
"You've Got Junk Fish"



I've been reading your posts in this thread and am amazed at your negative opinion of mud marlin. I have caught quite a few of them in my 67 years on this earth and find them to be a very strong fighter with plenty of stamina. I do agree that they're not that impressive when caught in deeper (30 or more feet) water with strong currents. I caught most of mine in the South Bay flats and in the shallower parts of Richardson Bay. Even with fairly heavy surf rods and 30 lb test line they give me a darn good fight. JMHO ::)

ZACK
02-27-2007, 05:12 PM
[quote author=red dog link=1172180982/30#42 date=1172598692]Quote from ZACK
I have caught loads (unfortunately) of them for a good part of the 38 years I have been alive either from shore or boat. They used to impress me too when I was new to salt water fishing before I had a much broader experience to reference them.

I am not saying these fish don't fight. What I am saying is lb per lb they suck! Hell on wheels for the 1st few minutes then they down shift into an annoying slow but steady pull that is their signature and lets you know
"You've Got Junk Fish"



I've been reading your posts in this thread and am amazed at your negative opinion of mud marlin. I have caught quite a few of them in my 67 years on this earth and find them to be a very strong fighter with plenty of stamina. I do agree that they're not that impressive when caught in deeper (30 or more feet) water with strong currents. I caught most of mine in the South Bay flats and in the shallower parts of Richardson Bay. Even with fairly heavy surf rods and 30 lb test line they give me a darn good fight. JMHO ::)


From shore, or boat? Your tackle choice (surf rod) and location suggest to me your reference is from shore and in the flats giving ALL fish a little bit more animation due to their is only one place to run, AWAY. I have to disagree with your current comment though. Current usually helps fish avoid being landed not the other way around. They swim with it. Sturgeon will also be more difficult to land when the tide is whipping but a bit easier if caught around slack. When fighting a good one you know you have a pig on and he isn't your average bear when he swims against current or any where else he wants to go. From shore you are right the ray may seem a bit more impressive but on a boat where all things are equal to other specie he flat out sucks!
I say that with all due respect Sir....

ZACK! ::)

hookncook
02-27-2007, 05:29 PM
we got a ray that we estimated to be a good 400 lbs. i have an 8 foot beam on my boat and it was a little short that but, we never got it within ten feet of the boat. it would just sit on the top of the water and "surf" the current. after 10 mins of that he took one last run and broke 80 lb spectra

catfished
02-27-2007, 07:33 PM
Quote from ZACK:

From shore, or boat? Your tackle choice (surf rod) and location suggest to me your reference is from shore and in the flats giving ALL fish a little bit more animation due to their is only one place to run, AWAY. I have to disagree with your current comment though. Current usually helps fish avoid being landed not the other way around. They swim with it. Sturgeon will also be more difficult to land when the tide is whipping but a bit easier if caught around slack. When fighting a good one you know you have a pig on and he isn't your average bear when he swims against current or any where else he wants to go. From shore you are right the ray may seem a bit more impressive but on a boat where all things are equal to other specie he flat out sucks!
I say that with all due respect Sir....

ZACK! ::)


Ok Zack, I'm not going to argue with you. You are most certainly entitled to your opinion as am I. ::)

I caught many bat rays in the San Mateo flats from a boat using light steelhead gear with 10 lb line and I caught many off the shore in the south bay with light surf gear. I caught a few in a boat off Hunters Point in 35 to 45 feet of water and they were a bit slow after a few short runs as you describe. I take back what I said about the current being a factor, we usually were sheltered from the main current. The ones I caught in Richardson Bay were from a boat with light perch gear and 12 lb test mono, they were "reel" screamers. ;D

greggywhat
02-27-2007, 08:01 PM
i know where theres a spot you catch them as big as vw bugs and theres no way your catching one on 10lb test 20 is the lowest i seeen the big ones caught on and ive hooked some rays that never stoped have took 300 yards of 80lb braid they never slowed down abit

ZACK
02-28-2007, 09:10 AM
we got a ray that we estimated to be a good 400 lbs. i have an 8 foot beam on my boat and it was a little short that but, we never got it within ten feet of the boat. it would just sit on the top of the water and "surf" the current. after 10 mins of that he took one last run and broke 80 lb spectra

You weren't under the influence of "Majic Mushrooms" that day were you??? :o

I may be wrong but I think you are HIGHLY mistaken. There may be rays in other parts of the world reaching weights of 400 lbs but not around here. If anyone else can google up some life line info on our local ray that suggest different I would be very interested in seeing it.

ZACK!

ZACK
02-28-2007, 09:12 AM
i know where *theres a spot you catch them as big as vw bugs

Post a pic country boy. *;D

Just messin with ya, ZACK!

fence_man
02-28-2007, 09:32 AM
there are some that are legends in there own minds !!

vito
02-28-2007, 09:32 AM
Pierfishing.com lists the taste as excellent. I've caught a few but let them all go. I will eat pretty much anything - so maybe I'll give it a try and let you know next time I catch one.

ZACK
02-28-2007, 10:14 AM
there are some that are legends in there own minds !!

;D
Seriously though I found a link. It is a good one too and list the largest Bat Ray caught to date. ZACK!

www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/mspcont6.html

sethonious
02-28-2007, 03:41 PM
The CA record (as far as my searching reveals) was 240 lbs in Newport in 1957.

ZACK
02-28-2007, 03:59 PM
The CA record (as far as my searching reveals) was 240 lbs in Newport in 1957. *

Are you sure you are talking about the same specie???
Who is this record kept with if not DFG? Post a link if you would.
ZACK!

sethonious
02-28-2007, 04:04 PM
I tried to look it up in the IGFA website, but you have to be a member to be able to view records (which I think is pretty bogus). I googled to here:
http://www.pierfishing.com/resources/index.php?id=fish:bat_ray

The site doesn't specifically say that it is a record but contextually implies it.

FinshingSW
02-28-2007, 08:06 PM
Well i caught me one of those things earlier this week at the pier, too scared to take it though, fought good for a couple of minutes but did just burn out after like 3 minutes, mine was about 45 lbs. although i was using pro-line 45lb test, and used it all to keep that bat from running under the pier.

bankie_II
03-01-2007, 02:58 PM
Hi, here is fragment of Ken Jones article at UPSAC site:
Bat rays (Myliobatis californica) are the big guys of the three (although most of the truly large ones are female). They're big, they're strong, and you'd better be prepared if you hook one of the "freight train" variety because if you aren't that train's going to keep on going and leave you at the depot. They reach 4 feet across and over 200 pounds in weight and every year large fish exceeding 100 pounds are landed from piers up and down California's coast and bays. Up north, most people simply used to call them sting rays and discard them. Today, people recognize their sportfishing nature and fish specifically for them.

However, if you are still into catch and eat just use the following.
1. Lay the ray on a flat surface, head to the top.
2. Slice off the triangular, wing-like pectoral fins. (For this I use a sharp cleaver) The weight of the cleaver helps cut through the thick skin and the cartilage in the wing.)
3. Skin the wings using a sharp knife.
4. At this point some people simply cook the wings whole or cut them into scallop- like pieces; I prefer to fillet them.
5. Each wing contains two fillets divided by cartilage. To fillet, start at the thick side of the wing and run a sharp knife between the cartilage and the meat (or flesh). Turn the wing over and do the same to the other side. You will get two fillets from each wing and have only the inner cartilage left. This meat has a crab-like texture which is good pan-fried; it is also excellent in chowders.
Complete article about what to do with shovel nose, leopards and bat rays could be found at:
http://www.upsac.org/newsletter/
The Big Three...No Longer Just Trash Fish!
By Ken Jones
Personally, I caught 5 of 100+ bats and many smaller ones last year from pier and shore both. Kept some and found:
1. If not skinned they taste like a cat fish and you can bake them, barbeque or make a fish gello.
2. Skinned wings can be used as scallops or be pan fried. And they taste good!!!
To catch I use surf rode and 20-30 lb test line, one hook sturgeon rig bated with squid. *
And I like to fight them.
Bankie