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Did anyone see Emeril last night? He dusted some skate wings with flour and essance and "Bam" served to the crowd over sweet potatoes. Has anyone on the board ever eaten skate? How do you skin a skate? I am not afraid to try something new..especially since I(we) catch enough of these critters...he also baked somenice Black Sea Bass filets in the oven..skin side down..looked mighty good! I better go get some breakfast.:)
 

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If you do a search on this site for skate you can find some helpful info about eating skates. Me personally have tried skates and do like them. They have a nice white meat and a good flavor as well. They are a bit difficult to clean as you have to skin it like a catfish.
 

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I have had it

Its OK. Rather tough, but if you prepare it well (which I don't), it will taste ah-Ite. You have to soak it to take out the ammonium (like shark).
 

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I know we had this discussion before but

are you referring to skate or cow nosed rays? I know a lot of people refer to the rays that are common to the bay as skates. Skates aren't that common in the chesapeake bay in MD. I've only seen them at PLO and that is in the lowest part in the bay. Cow nosed rays are very bloody and has very red meat. I tried one once and will never do it again. I never had any problems with skate and have never had to soak one, but I could see doing that with a ray.
 

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cow nosed ray here

I was referring to rays, not sure about murphman. I assumed he was talking about rays, since that is what we have here locally. By the way, after two or three days of soaking the "red meat", it is actually very much white meat.
 

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Skates is what we normally catch down in the ocean when nothing else seems to be biting. Think they are the "immitation scallops" or bay scallops (could be wrong, but have been told that), though I have never tried since it seemed a pain in the arse to clean and prepare for the cooking part. Apparently the "good" meat is the wings, and, well, I guess some day I ought to give it a shot, what's the worst that can happen, oh yeah, get violently ill, keel over and die, and thanks to life insurance and a "fishing equipment" yard sale, the wifey and girls will live happily ever after :(

Have Jeep will travel. :D
 

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Just to clarify, this is a cownose ray



This is a (clearnose) skate



For some reason, bay anglers refer to cownose rays as "skates" when in fact you never see skates in the mid and upper bay. They hate brackish water. They are rarely over 10 pounds and have no stinger.

Cownose rays come into brackish water every May to spawn. They range from 30-60 pounds and are the bane of bottom anglers everywhere. They are the critters you see in the bay every year and have a potent neurotoxin in the barb on their tail.

This site talks about hunting and eating them. Blech.

In my opinion, they both suck and I hate to see them on the end of my line. :p
 

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Thanks for the pics SF, I'm sure that this will help a lot of folks. It seems that this comes up every few months.
 

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When I fish in SC we catch clearnose skates off the end at night on fish chunks. Annoying as all get out because they feel just like a nice fish but when you pull them up their mouth is so hard it is almost impossibe to pull out the hook when they swallow it, which they always do. I've heard some say that there is tasty meat right behind the eyes but I've never tried to get at it.

Once I saw a guy haul in a bat ray (I think this is the same thing as a cownose ray) on a drum rig. The thing was huge, looked like a doormat with wings. He pulled it up and it was 25 lbs and 3.5 feet across(I think, not exactly sure).

Evan
 

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Skate make damn good eating, but it's not worth the trouble unless you pull in a fair size specimen, they are a bitch to clean.

There is a thread on the New Jersey board (you'll have to search) with a post on cleaning them by either blanching of steaming first (I forget which).

They do taste a bit like scallop, in fact there was a big to do a number of years back, I think a few vendors at the Fulton Fish Market got busted for selling stamped skate wing as scallop!

PS
I went back and found the thread;
http://pierandsurf.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3369
 

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I wonder if i go out actually fishing for skates, or set me up a skate rig i might actually catch something else.:D
 

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Delboy,
I dunno if that will work but if it does get back here and tell me so I can stop bringing in skates and start bringing in the real fish :D.

Evan

PS: If you invent a rig that deters skates and attracts other fish,
you could be very rich. At least I would buy it! :p
 

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I wonder, has anyone from P&S tried using skate chunks for bait?
Wonder if it would catch anything? If it's ok to eat I figger it oughta be ok as bait?
 

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I would think that the wings could make good flounder bait if you cut into long strips. I know people use them to catch sharks. I have noticed though that skate will not hit skate, has anyone seen otherwise?
 

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For anyone that wants to give `em a try...

Pan-fried Skate Wings with Capers
4 servings

Cut the wings off the skate soon after landing it and keep them cool as the flesh is very perishable. I rinse the wings off when I get them home and soak them for a couple hours in a mixture of water to cover them with a couple tablespoons of lemon juice added to it. Pat them dry and put them back in the fridge for a couple days to age. The aging supposedly improves the flavor of the flesh.


Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless skate wings
(about 1-1/2 pounds total)
1/2 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour for dredging
3 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sweet red peppers,
cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/3 cup drained capers
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1. Put the skate fillets in a dish large enough to hold them in one layer. Pour the milk over them and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Turn the fillets in the milk so they are coated on both sides.

2. Scatter the flour over a large dish. Lightly dredge the fillets on both sides in the flour.

3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high setting. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the fillets. If it is necessary to do this in two batches, use the same oil. Sauté on one side until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side until golden brown, about 3 minutes more. When the fillets are done, transfer them to a warm platter or serving plate.

4. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and return it to the heat. Melt the butter and add the red peppers, shaking the pan frequently until the butter turns light brown. Add the capers, cook briefly, and add the shallots, vinegar, and parsley. Cook briefly then stir and pour the sauce over each fillet evenly. Serve immediately.
 

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i have tryed using skate for bait. nothing else was happening and i messed it up pretty bad. not much to report with it. i did get a sand shark but thats it. i don't think that they would be very good the meat is so tuff that it didn't take me as any good.

dan lee
 

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I've never used skate wing as bait, but I like the idea of cutting into strips for fluke bait, it would probably resemble fluke belly, I'll have to give it a shot.

The 1 thing I find usefull is to save the carcases for crab traps or my umbrella net (great way to snag spearing and other small bait).

If I don't catch anything, the carcas ends up back in the drink instead of the garbage can (crabs gatta eat to, ya know!)
 

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Skates and Rays

Skates and rays are frequently caught. Unfortunately, their appearance is so unusual that they are commonly killed and tossed overboard. They are, however, established in the European and Asian culinary traditions. They can be used interchangeably, although some species are considered superior to others.

Skates and rays are related to sharks. They are Elasmobranch fish; that is, they have skeletons made of cartilage instead of bone. Skates live in salt water and differ from rays in certain physical and biological characteristics. Most skates have rough, thorny skin. All rays have smooth skin. Rays have distinct barbs or spines at the base of their tails, and skates do not. Poison glands are attached to the barbs of some species of rays. These rays, called sting rays, can inflict painful wounds. Skates are generally sluggish and less active than rays, which tend to group into larger schools and hunt for food. Skates reproduce by laying eggs enclosed in horny capsules that often wash onto beaches. Rays do not lay eggs; embryos develop inside the mother.

Common skates in mid- and northern Atlantic waters include the big skate, the little skate, the clearnose skate, and the winter skate. Sting rays are most abundant in warmer waters south of the Chesapeake Bay, but some species range as far north as New England. Common rays include the bullnose and cownose rays.

Skates and rays are strong swimmers. It can take considerable effort to land them. When using a gaff or pick, avoid puncturing or damaging the wings (the edible portion). It's a good idea to stun rays and skates as soon as you land them. This is especially important with rays, which can cause injuries with their sharp spines. Use heavy gloves when handling them. Cut off the tails and spines of rays to prevent injuries.

The wings are the only edible part of both skates and rays. Remove them promptly and discard the rest of the body or use it for bait or chum. A sharp knife and a flat surface are required for removing the wings.

Pack the wings on ice in a cooler and then refrigerate or freeze them later. If you plan to refrigerate skate or ray wings for several days, leave them whole and packed in ice in the refrigerator. Some sources report that skate actually improves if left in the refrigerator for forty-eight to seventy- two hours. The texture is said to get firmer during this aging process. Skate can, however, be eaten earlier with good results.

To prepare skates or rays for cooking or freezing, fillet the meat from the whole wing. A sharp knife and cutting board are the only tools you need.

To freeze skate or ray, leave the skin on to keep the fillet intact. Wash each fillet carefully and freeze it as you would any other fish fillet. If the fillet is large, skinning will be much easier if it is first cut into strips two or three inches wide. Another way to skin the fillets is to poach them for several minutes in a solution of three parts water to one part vinegar. The skin should peel off easily after poaching.

Some cookbook authors suggest soaking skate and ray fillets in chilled salt water or vinegar water for several hours before preparing them. This will remove any ammonia or other off flavors that may have developed. If you have handled your catch properly, however, ammonia flavors should not be present. If you do wish to soak your fillets, use a solution of one cup of salt or one- half cup white vinegar for each gallon of water.

Skate and ray fillets are lean and light colored. An unusual delicacy, they have a firm texture and can be prepared by any cooking method used for fillets from fish with similar characteristics. Poach them, bake them, bread them, or fry them in the oven, a pan, or deep fat.

Enjoy :D
 
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