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Discussion Starter #1
just couldn't seem to keep the skates from eating my bait today, so out of curiosity, what is the biggest skate anyone around here ever caught? i didn't measure any of the ones i hooked on squid or shrimp recently, but they were much bigger than the 9 inch croaker i caught. if some folks on the board never caught a skate, they fight like a big rotten log, just dead weight.
 

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I have seen them 3 feet across. I have heard of them (hooked) "as wide as Grandview Pier". If I subtract the brag, that would probably be about 6+feet. All I have ever caught were 2and1/2 footers. I get highly annoyed when I see people slice them and throw them back into the water. :mad:
 

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you are right fishwagon!

I do most of my fishing in Maryland lower bay. I have seen my share of ignorant people with no respect of marine life what so ever. I don't care if they were skate!
All marine creatures play vital role in eco system. I saw people chopped off wings of skates at point lookout and they were laughing because it was making heavy breathing sounds. Not to mentioning those idiots who stabbed skakes nemerous times and get this!
they let it go just to see if it swims awy or not. where is Mother Of All Bomb when you need 'em? :mad:
 

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skates *shakes head*. I have had enough of those. They seem to come at the wrong time to. My biggest is probably about 4 foot span. Every year i catch them and they seem to get bigger and bigger. They fight like a log as sandcasting said. They eat almost anything they see. I have caught them on squid bloodworms bunker eeels ect. I even caught one that had nearly a tackle store hanging from his mouth. 2 bucktails, an eel, a rig and some more stuff. I have also seen skates cut up and thrown on the sand or in the trash ect. Im disappointed by that but what gets at me though most is when i see a undersized flounder or striper lying on the beach. To tell you the truth anything undersized that could of grown up and been on my line will get me mad if i see it lying on the beach.
 

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Biggest I have ever caught was about 4ft across and weighed between 40-45 pounds. Caught it on chunk of ladyfish (I think) off the Tybee pier in July last year. Took 150-175 yards of 40lb mono before I could turn it around. Went back in the water, safe and sound.
 

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Resurrection Bay in my home state of AK...
big, nasty skates in excess of 100 lbs are common. My biggest is around 115, although we didn't keep it to get to a good scale.
It's disheartening when you're after halibut to have to spend 20 minutes cranking in skate. Skate wing is good, but I've never kept one myself.
 

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I've noticed they love bunker. I won't fish with it anymore after realizing they seek it out. I have to say, I would hate to think I was fighting a 100 pound halibut only to find a pancake special! :rolleyes:
 

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last summer i landed a 48 inch wide skate. at lynnhaven pier. whats the difference between a skate and a ray? i will try to find the pic and send it in
 

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Also, typically, rays are a solid color on the back while skates are mottled. Around here, most of the larger ones people are talking about are rays. Very rare for a skate in this area to top 20 pounds. However, I have seen rays well over 100 pounds. The largest, I believe it was a southern stingray, had a wing span that equaled the stern of the boat I was on when it was caught.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
with all the big skates and bigger rays around, maybe the state should offer some citations. virginia should use fishing for giant skates and rays as a tourist attraction. everyone is certain to catch one. thanks for the info, everyone, on the monster bait snatchers.
 

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I fought a Jeep Hood for over an hour before down at Hatteras. I was fishing a tournament and had something pick up my bait about five minutes before the end of the morning session. At first I thought I hooked a big drum - it acted as though it was anyway.

It picked up my bunker chunk and started swimming down the beach (just like a drum does - with the head shakes and everything). Then after I set the hook, it was all Ray.

It started swimming straight for the gulf stream and didn't stop - drag screaming. A couple of times, I was able to get about 30 - 40 yds back at a pop, but then he just settled down on the bottom and would'nt budge. After a good 15 minute tug-of-war, I'd get a few back - he'd take a few more, then he'd bury him self again. this went on for sometime (over an hour) when I finally decided, he was either gonna get turned toward the beach - or bust off. My back couldn't take it anymore!! :mad:

Well folks, I proved my knot tying ability to myself that day. I locked down the drag on my 7500SS and actually had to palm it hard to keep the line (20# Stren) from peeling and started walking backward up the beach. After walking backward about 25 yars, she finally popped. Busted the twenty-pound running line about 20 feet up from the shocker.

We estimated it went over 75 pounds. Most likely either a cow nose or a sting ray......

They're loads of fun when they get up on the surface and start flapping their wings to try and take flight. You cobia fisherman know what its all about hooking these suckers. Also known as Hatteras Flounder.
 
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