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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Caught a ray today wading in the Del Bay that wasn't a cow-nosed. I've seen some big cows (50lb+) in and around the Bay beaches lately, but this one I caught today was only about 15lbs (put up a great fight on my 7-8wt; didn't run at all like a cow-nosed, fought more like a big striper or weakie). It was very dark brown with a bright white bottom, with a rounded nose, and no real distinguishing markings. Wing-to-wing was about 2ft, nose to tip of the tail about 3.5 ft. I'm sure I just described 27 different species of rays ;) . Caught it on a very sparse shrimp fly, dead drifted. It was hooked in the middle of the snout, so it wasn't snagged at all. It took me by suprise, as I was fishing for some snapper blues; it almost yanked the rod out of my hand. Anyone know what it was? As an aside, the water was almost 80* with tons of different jellyfish swimming around, so it may have been something tropical.

[ 07-03-2004, 08:35 PM: Message edited by: Fly Ty R ]
 

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Dave Can't help with the ray but I bet it was fun catching. Trust your being careful with your wading. I do know some who have been stuck. Not a good thing. Ron
 

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Dave,

I don't know what kind it was but I caught one two weeks ago that sounds similar. I never gave it a thought, just another stingray to me.

Wading huh? Up your way or down by me?

I'm laying low due to the fact that this weekend usually brings out every knucklehead within 100 miles. I don't feel like wading out to the sandbar and getting plunked or hooked by some nimrod who sees me catching and decides to cast behind me.

Give me a shout, we'll give my spot a try.
 

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Did some one say Ray? Perhaps it was a CapeMayRay :D Sounds like a good battle on a light flyrod. Don't know if I would like the wading with the tail flying around. I am sure it had you real excited.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I talked to our resident Marine Biologist Jay and he says it was probably a small Southern Stingray.



Looks about right to me. Pretty boring looking :D .

Ron,
I had waders on with thick neoprene ankle supports, so that might help a little if a ray gets me, which I hope never happens. I also did the flats shuffle, like they do in the tropics, to spook any rays out from under my feet. But I wasn't expecting to get one on out where I was, as I could see several others in shallower water swimming along the surface. I kept my distance from them, as they were the big cows and I didn't want to catch one on my 7-8wt.


Steve,
I was down on your flats. By the way, I'm not telling anyone where they are (aside from people I already know, who already know where the flats are, and who won't normally fish there anyway) ;) . I don't want the chuckleheads out there either! I've been down there several times in the past few weeks. There don't seem to be many chuckleheads out there lately, though. Yesterday I was the only one, on miles of open flats. I had to wade out a couple hundred yards to hit chest deep water, though, so that's why there wasn't anyone out there with me. The water is very warm and full of jellyfish, so that may be why as well. I saw some pretty big cow-nosed rays spawning or something a few evenings ago. There was a school of 5 or 6 huge ones circling around on the surface at high tide. I nipped one with the fly, but that was it. I'll try to sight fish for them later with my 10wt.

Ray,
I don't know about excited, more like spooked. When you're chest deep in murky water with something very big bending your small rod in half, coming towards you and you have no idea what it is, you tend to get spooked, waders or not :D . I had brought it up to the surface a couple of times, and I still couldn't see what it was. At times I thought it was a shark or a big turtle. At other times I was hoping it was a monster tiderunner.
 

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apparently a number of southern species are in the area. in the press (Asbury Park Press) they had a picture of a houndfish, the largest needlefish species, about 9 lbs and looked to be some 30+ inches long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A 30"+ needlefish? I wouldn't want to be in the water with that thing! Sounds like a small alligator gar.

As an aside, I was fishing the top secret flats again and I saw a nice dead southern ray way up on the beach. Why do people have to randomly kill "trash fish"? I'd like to catch them all day on the fly, so they aren't trash fish to me. Like there aren't a zillion more out there, anyway... I also saw a cow-nosed almost take flight. It was flapping its wings really fast on the surface splashing water all over the place. Almost looked like a mini bluefish blitz at first.
 

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Dave,

Any takers at the "top secret flats"? I picked a few small bluefish at first light Sunday, but I cheated and got them on a teaser. I should have brought the long rod down with me but decided to plug instead.

Tons of bait, small stripers and blues breaking everywhere but they wouldn't touch the plug, just the deceiver.

If you want to give that area a try this weekend, give me a shout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I haven't been doing too well on the flats. I see fish, but can't catch them. I think I'm going at the wrong times, to tell you the truth. I like it out there at the lower tides when I can wade out forever, but I guess the fish are in at higher tides? I'll e-mail you.
 

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Houndfish have been know to jump towards lights on boats and have injured several people. Lots of teeth and pointed like a spear.
 
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