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Thread: Brutal Cow-Nosed Ray Story

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Churchton, MD
    Posts
    120

    Default Brutal Cow-Nosed Ray Story

    If you're a tree hugging, anti-violence hippy or squeamish about blood, stop reading now.

    I launched late afternoon thinking I had the perfect conditions. 3 mph winds. The Bay looked like a lake. Haven't had a day like this in awhile. I was going to have a great day, right?

    Well, I didn't have a boring day. About an hour into trolling I slowed down to adjust the fish finder. As soon as the kayak dropped down to 1mph or so, my right poll bent violently and drag started to burn. No head jerks, just a dead pull. This wasn't the big striper I was looking for, but rather the dreaded Cow-nosed Ray. I had planned for this. This past winter, I decided to carry a 6" Buck knife in my yak with me so when the rays attack, I could try a recipe that my friend has for their wings. After a fairly long battle that was shortened significantly by the ray swimming straight towards me for about 40 feet, I finally get the ray to the side of my kayak and see that my lure, a 5" Windcheater Bomber, was lodged in one of the its wings. As soon as it surfaced, it flapped it's wings and soaked me. I tired it out some, got it close to the yak and stabbed it near it's head. The blade went all the way through. The ray was none too happy. It dove deep and nearly yanked me out of my seat. A few seconds later, it was at the side of the yak again, and again my knife struck. Now it was gushing blood from two places. Surely the battle was nearly over, right? 10 minutes later and a dozen stab wounds later, I'm still at it. The ray would dive, come back up, and I'd stab. Only now, it's tail was whipping into the kayak. Me no likey. I wanted to get it into the boat, but I wanted it dead first. The ray didn't get the memo. Finally, it gave me a clear shot to end it. I raised the blade one last time, it twisted and shook and threw the hook!

    I felt awful. The ray was able to swim away, but there was no way it would survive. I fished in the same area until sunset hoping it would float, but it never did. Moral of the story is, rays and kayak fishing don't mix, even if you have a big knife on board. At least not for me.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Carroll County
    Posts
    598

    Default

    Rays are good for giving you that free tow against the tide, current, & wind like when that happened to me @ Hooper's Island a few years ago. His tip was me cutting my line to set it free.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Churchton, MD
    Posts
    120

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    Haha! If only you could direct them where you'd like them to go. I'd use them for trolling if that were the case.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    St Mary's County
    Posts
    838

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    Haven't seen them yet in the lower slower but your story makes me fear they are close at hand. I pictured Jason in his hockey mask attacking those rays while reading your story.
    Mike
    Pro Angler 14 "The Grand Wazoo"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Salisbury, MD
    Posts
    1,067

    Default

    That's a tough break. I know you feel bad about it. It reminds me of putting a less than perfect shot on a deer. It's a crappy feeling that is part of harvesting any fish/animal in that way. If there is a next time, maybe towing him to shore would be an option.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Elkridge, MD
    Posts
    3,570

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    Tough break. When I decided to take one for dinner (never again). I beached the yak and pulled the ray on the beach and immediately cut off the wings. Needless to say, she didnt swim away.
    Ryan
    Blue 2016 Hobie Outback
    Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers, Inc

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    columbia
    Posts
    604

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    I think that we need to "adjust our attitudes" when it comes to Cow Nosed Rays.

    From your description, you had one hell of a fight on your hands, one that tested your skill as a fisherman.
    Isn't that what the essence of what sport fishing is all about?

    O.K., I get it, you didn't catch what you expected and didn't bring home "dinner" but CNRs give you everything they've got and you can't ask for more. Our attitudes are shaped by what we hope to catch as opposed to what bites the lure. We need to stop thinking of them as a "trash" fish, and that includes the Charter Boat I help out on. (Granted, I don't want to try to land one on a crowded deck, I will try to recover the lure with the fish in the water or cut them loose).

    Sorta like the much maligned Carp in fresh water.........
    Last edited by bignose; 05-23-2017 at 10:37 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    102

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    Perhaps add a gaff to your tool list next time? That way you can gaff it somewhere to hold it and then kill it!
    Green Old Town Loon 111

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    California MD
    Posts
    31

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    I went to Breton bay Monday afternoon there were some in there got me twice

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Churchton, MD
    Posts
    120

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    So it seemed like a minor detail not worth mentioning yesterday, but the cuts on my hands from the ray going on runs when I was trying to hold him by the braid are deep and painful today. I can barely bend the fingers on my left hand. Super rookie move trying to hold on by the braid. DUH!
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