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Old 05-10-2015, 02:36 PM   #1
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Default Questions about rays

Been visiting and fishing the Perdido Key area for years and I'm seeing more and more rays swimming between the beach and the first sand bar. What kind of rays are these and are they the type that can sting you with the barn in their tails? If you catch them surf fishing, any tips for safely getting the hook out?
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:43 PM   #2
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I've caught a few different kind of rays out there. The southern stingray (I think that's what it's called). It's just your typical "stingray." I've also caught cowboy rays and butterfly rays. Cowboys rays have pointed wings and a very blunt nose that looks like a cow's nose. O honestly cant remember if these have barbs or not. Butterfly rays are very wide and eliptical with a tiny tail and no barb.

I always just flip them over and step on the tip of their tails when I remove the hook. If they swallow the hook, which they do quite often, I just cut the leader as close to their moths as possible.
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:23 AM   #3
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:19 PM   #4
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The Southern rays are the one you really need to be wary of.
They are the ones that like to lay covered & hidden in the sand, and will put a hurting on you if you step on them or even get too close. Their barbs are down on their tails and made for whipping up into a perceived danger. Shuffle those feet.
The ones you see swimming are generally the brown colored Cownose rays and other species of Eagle rays, even including Mantas.

They all have barbs and are potentially dangerous, but much less so than the Southerns.
Generally these only pose a danger if you ask for it by trying to catch/handle them, their barbs are close to the base of their tails, so you have to be very close.
Some of these will come right up to you, a handful of shrimp or chopped fish can bring them closer and get you a close look.

Flip them over and dehook them, you can step on the tail or use pliers.
Just be cautious and use common sense.
Please don't cut their barbs off and release them, they need to protect themselves too.

Also, they make great shark baits.
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Last edited by ChileRelleno; 05-11-2015 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:24 PM   #5
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the wings are quite tasty too. i have several recipes for these.
substitute for scallops.

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Old 05-11-2015, 09:34 PM   #6
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Lets make this a bit clearer.
The ones you see swimming up in the water column are almost all various species of Eagle Rays or Mantas.
The ones you generally don't see or see laying on or cruising the bottom are Stingrays or skates... The one you are most likely to get hit by.

And do take note that Spotted Eagle rays & both the Mantas are protected.

Dehook & release them with care & quickness.
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Last edited by ChileRelleno; 05-11-2015 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:17 PM   #7
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I saw a bunch if them a couple of weeks ago while surf fishing at Navarre. Caught one and it had the barb towards the end of the tail. I flipped him on his back, used my PVC sand spike to hold the tail down and removed the hook with pliers. Make sure that tail is immobilized. He can whip it around and nail you.
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