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Best Setup For Shooting Rays

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

Cliffsharker

New Member
Nov 17, 2004
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Hey Guys,

Can anyone tell me what is the ideal setup for shooting 40lb -60lb rays starting from scratch?

Take into account that I am new to the game and want to start shooting rays as soon as I start as unwise as it may seem, but determined.

I am well aware that many a speargun has been lost to a ray.

A few question I have : Is a brainshot a must? Best kind of speartip? Sliptip for a wingshot? Long polespear or speargun ? What kind of speargun? size? bands? Would using a floatline be best and what would be the best setup? etc?

Great site guys. Hope to get some answers.

CHARLIE -from the Carribean.
 

miles

BORN WILD!!!
Supporter
Jun 13, 2003
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Hiya Charlie

Welcome to DB!!!

Shooting rays and skates is considered un-sportsman like and is generally frowned upon by most spearo's. Although they are edible, very few spearo's target them, and even then,only as a last resort, if nothing else is available.

Rays are usually very docile and are not generally scared of a diver. At one of the spots i dive at, we have about 5 of them up to 150kg's, that have become our pets. They'd follow you around and we'd normally shoot a small fish for it to feed on. Makes a dive sooo much more enjoyable.

Some rays/skates do have a venomous spike on their tail and can inflict serious injury should you get into an altercation with it!!!

I'm pretty sure that you must have some decent game fish out in the Carribean, that would make far better prey!!

What is the current set-up that you're using? And what is the terrain you're diving in??

Regards
miles
 

Cliffsharker

New Member
Nov 17, 2004
22
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Hey Miles, You were one of the people that I was actually looking forward to receive some insight on this question.

I am sure you can understand that what may be frowned upon in one culture may be completely acceptable in others.

I could say the same for cultures where dog, cattle, pigs, cat,monkey and so on are considered acceptable to eat. There are many animals that are considered docile and that we eat everyday . Through my travels and even before I have learned not to tell a man what he should put on his plate. If rays were endangered in my area then I could very well accept that for an argument. Undesized fish , pregnant fish, endangerd fish, etc are all fair arguments although in some cases how would you tell a man whose source of food has been depleted by foreign interests that he should not shoot an undersized fish to feed his family if that may be his only chance of food. This is not my case but just to indicate that there are so many variables to take into consideration before we make judgements on others.

Miles I am not calling you judgemental but i know your post may deter others from responding and I just felt that i had to make my case. Hope you understand.

Really it is a matter of perception- which is more of a reflection of what is acceptable in ones own culture or of a similar culture.

I have an old speargun but wish to start from scratch so consider it as if I have nothing to start with .The terrain will be a sandy bottom or hard ground if I am to be shooting rays lying on the bottom ?? Dont really know if that answers your question.

Still looking forward to your input and insight.

Sincerely , CHARLIE.
 
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Pablo

Breather... so far!
Mar 9, 2004
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I recommend a digital camera with an underwater housing and red filter. This way you can do movies too...

Picture and hungry sting ray ad the end of your spear... nothing you may want to get your hands close to! they are strong fast and take for ever to die. The only person I know have try this, have nasty looking scares on the fore arm, and is not really keen to try this again... Myself have ad a bad encounter with one of those (I accidentally ad a collision with a big specimen), and my right index will never recover the sense of touch. Since I have as much respect for rays as sharks, boat propellers or anything could do me arm during a dive.

But sting rays are on the friendly side too: a bit like shooting a dolphin or a turtle... too friendly!!!
 
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blumon

Free to be Free
Jun 30, 2004
74
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OK I'm in.
Cliffshark, is the practice of killing Rays that you are about to gear up for sustainable? How many Rays are there in your planned hunting arena? Is there any other way to exploit this resource to the benefit of everyone rather than just killing them for a meal?

I do know that these animals are intelligent and I believe if you kill them they will not be back - ie your over-exploited Carribean paradise will have lost (perhaps) another resource and your local ecosystem takes another hit.
 

Cliffsharker

New Member
Nov 17, 2004
22
4
0
54
Hey Blumon tune into 60 minutes right now and you can listen to a segment on a overly exlploited Florida. Except this story is on the landsharks.

CHARLIE.
 

Cliffsharker

New Member
Nov 17, 2004
22
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Hey Guys and ladies,

Perhaps I can be found guilty of assuming spearos to be more exposed and RECEPTIVE to cultural differences from their travels in pursuing their sport.

Before we hunt do we classify animals as being pretty or ugly and then determine what is fair game.

I would feel silly telling a hunter that he should not shoot a deer because I find it to be a beautiful animal. I would feel out of place being in a different culture and considering a person who eats turtles as being salvages merely because they are protected in my country. I am not new to the sea or fishing . I was born in a beachhouse and have been within a stones throw of the beach most of my life and worked on the beach half of my life .

I am getting mixed messages here on whether a ray is an easy hunt or not. I have hooked rays and in contact with spearfisheman daily and know otherwise. They are not members of message boards . This is their living - daily. They surely would not consider a ray an easy hunt as Allison claims (insinuating that they are only a challenge if taken with a knife) but rather a risk for various reasons. A matter of fact they would rather shoot a large fish that may initially be a harder target but much easier to subdue.
Or is it that a ray should not be shot because it appears docile? or because that I will wipe out rays from our shores-one every few weeks- myself only-doubt it.

I would not question whether ones ego is involved when he shoots a 100lb tuna and makes a report on DP or if the fish they shot are one of the already overharvested species in their area. Or if they have taken a shot at a fish larger than they know they can handle just to have that fish swim off to suffer and die. I am sure many can be found guilty of this event. Or if they shot more than they will eat. I dont need to ask.

When I said that Miles comments may deter others from responding to the post- I meant from answering my question pertaining to gear. However I did expect replies to the post .


I could go on especially when we get into the heavily exploited fishing industry in certain places. Rays are not targeted in my country.

I posed this question here because I thought i could get some info on the best gear required knowing that the people here would be more exposed to whats on the market.

I dont wish to trade criticisms on ones practices and its not that I am short for exchanges. Its just that I dont wish to- it can become unnecessarily personal merely based on assumptions, cultural differences, selfrighteousness, etc

Travelling to different cultures opens the mind in wonderful ways and being a spearo and travelling is a great combination- just inquire what is fair game in their oceans . Dont assume that what is acceptable in your country is ok in theirs and vice verca as I wouldnt think of shooting a ray in many countries.

Keep an open mind. CHARLIE.
 
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rigdvr

Not Available in Stores
May 28, 2002
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Alison said:
a high percentage of very talented spearo's here at DB and none of them shoot ray's, its a bit like taking candy from a baby.
Sincerely Alison

We shoot big rays in the north gulf. They are very hard fighting and are always a target of opportunity never the primary. By big I mean well over 100#. Any set up suffecient for large fish will do. Depending on the area, make sure you have enough float line to reach the bottom...these fish are incredibly powerful.

To the others? Why are we passing judgement on this guy? I would call shooting big aj's easier than big rays. Bottom line is it is a fish...and an edible one at that. Just cause its not a trophy to us.... :confused:
 

island_sands

Erection Supervisor ;)
Supporter
Jan 19, 2001
7,998
1,281
418
miles said:
Hiya Charlie

Welcome to DB!!!

Shooting rays and skates is considered un-sportsman like and is generally frowned upon by most spearo's. Although they are edible, very few spearo's target them, and even then,only as a last resort, if nothing else is available.

I'm with you Miles, rays and their distant cousins the sharks, fishing for them is a no-no... not only because of how friendly they are and the pure magnificience of these creatures, but so as not to contribute to the international carnage of these animals through trawling and specific shark fishing...

I guess Huan and Shadowkiller could contribute some thoughts on this...

hey Cliff, welcome to DB... Watch out for the sting... you'll be on whisky for a few days to ease the pain.. whereabouts in the Caribbean? Or are you based further north and travel to the Caribbean on occasion?
 
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Cliffsharker

New Member
Nov 17, 2004
22
4
0
54
Hey Island Sands,

Thanks for your input Island Sands.


"I'm with you Miles, rays and their distant cousins the sharks, fishing for them is a no-no... not only because of how friendly they are and the pure magnificience of these creatures, but so as not to contribute to the international carnage of these animals through trawling and specific shark fishing..."

Is this to say that it is unsportsmanlike to target any fish that are already overharvested so as not to contribute to the international carnage of these animals through trawling and specific...

I agree that they are graceful looking creatures and I do understand your point of view . Put a tuna side by side out of the ocean and I will take the tuna for looks any day. Will that now cause me to question the hunters reason for shooting this beautiful fish????

It is it also unsportsman like to shoot fish with tanks and to use heavy powered spearguns instead of Hawaiin slings?? Wheres the challenge? and to spend hours shooting fish instead of being satisfied with one just to say you will put in a certain amount of hours of spearfishing.

Am I also to throw out my copy of "Helldivers Rodeo" because of the machismo portrayed in shooting 400lb tigers and competing for the largest fish????????? Wont Happen- forget it.

Should I also quit my job because it indirectly or directly supports a regime that is destroying our freedom but earns me the freedom to spearfish in my free time???

I mean come on, this could go on forever.

Nothing personal yet, LOL

Charlie.
 
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island_sands

Erection Supervisor ;)
Supporter
Jan 19, 2001
7,998
1,281
418
Cliffsharker said:
Hey Island Sands,

Thanks for your input Island Sands.


"I'm with you Miles, rays and their distant cousins the sharks, fishing for them is a no-no... not only because of how friendly they are and the pure magnificience of these creatures, but so as not to contribute to the international carnage of these animals through trawling and specific shark fishing..."

Is this to say that it is unsportsmanlike to target any fish that are already overharvested so as not to contribute to the international carnage of these animals through trawling and specific...

I agree that they are graceful looking creatures and I do understand your point of view . Put a tuna side by side out of the ocean and I will take the tuna for looks any day. Will that now cause me to question the hunters reason for shooting this beautiful fish????

It is it also unsportsman like to shoot fish with tanks and to use heavy powered spearguns instead of Hawaiin slings?? Wheres the challenge? and to spend hours shooting fish instead of being satisfied with one just to say you will put in a certain amount of hours of spearfishing.

Am I also to throw out my copy of "Helldivers Rodeo" because of the machismo portrayed in shooting 400lb tigers and competing for the largest fish????????? Wont Happen- forget it.

Should I also quit my job because it indirectly or directly supports a regime that is destroying our freedom but earns me the freedom to spearfish in my free time???

I mean come on, this could go on forever.

Nothing personal yet, LOL

Charlie.

did you post your original posting to start this debate... or do you seriously need equipment advice ? ;)
 

Cliffsharker

New Member
Nov 17, 2004
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I do understand that rays are magnificent looking creatures and I can understand your point of views.

I feel I must reply to these posts and I do believe that my replies are fair considering the responses. I am not interested in a debate . I dont need to come onto a spearo board to start a debate on the ethics of spearfishing.

My responses simply illustrate that it is ok to be selfrighteous if your practices are also able to be questioned . I would simply like those who can help me to respond to my first post and the questions I asked pertaining to gear.

I am surprised that even my motive for making the post is being questioned although I understand. I dont see anything in my initial posting that could illustrate otherwise.

I suppose being around surfers who I consider to be worldly people that I considered spearos to give me an easier time figuring that they would be of a similar nature being exposed to different cultures and partaking in there customs . Nor do I want to cause any division between those who would like to help me and those who would rather not.

I hope its not that killer instinct in them that makes them more hostile. Just kidding. :hmm

I should also add that a manta ray is hard to rival in beauty and elegance and the list goes on of animals that I consider to be beautiful hunted and not hunted.

Now can I get some answers?? Please. If you would prefer to answer my first posting in a private message that will be fine. Hope that my settings are suited for private messages??

Peace Guys. Charlie
 
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Shadowkiller

Digital Hunter
Jul 30, 2002
1,272
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Not aiming this at anyone in particular...

I guess the whole debate is one of reasons. I know spearos who shot fish so they can fight them. I shot fish to eat them, so I go for the brain or spine. Those spearos who like to get pulled around for a while look down on me, because I'm "chicken". I, on the other hand, have no respect at all for a spearo who doesn't do his/her utmost to kill the fish as quickly as possible.

One clown shot a big stingray for "fun". Well the fun he had was getting a barb surgically removed. rofl I thought that was very funny, he didnt.

If you want to shoot one to eat, your choice. The Brits seem to like their ray wings, or at least Rick Stein does. My advice would be to go for the brain, otherwise you'll have to deal with their tail whipping around. On a big ray, that means pain.

If your'e a thrill killer, get off my planet. Now.

I agree with Rigdiver, almost all big pelagics are easy targets. Tuna being the exception because of their speed, but even those get taken regularly by spearos who can get out to where they live. But dont let anyone tell you that shooting a 30kg kingfish that swims to within 1m of your gun takes skill. It dont. Neither does shooting big rays.
 
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calispearo

New Member
Oct 27, 2004
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I'd like to add something Charlie,

Although some take tunas for ego (small percentage in my opinion), most take tunas because they provide a large amount of food and can feed a small army of people. They are a great eating fish and despite overfishing and, resulting bycatch being farmed and reproduce at a normal rate.

Sharks and rays on the other hand usually take a while to reproduce, some reaching sexual maturity at the age of 10 yrs (lesser dogfish shark). Rays and sharks take longer to reach sexual maturity then most fishes.

Rays also provide little substinance with there meat. There is a lot of prep-work involved and it's a shame that a 100#+ animal has to die for a pretty small meal. A Tuna around the same size would provide foom for a family if it had to for a few days atleast.

With that being said, if you wish to hunt Rays, that's your choice. It's an unpopular opinion that is not supported by many in here. Regardless of that you are free to hunt what you wish for whatever reason you wish.

You said that you knew of people that hunted them for food and claimed that they were hard to hunt. If i made my living hunting rays for food i would also claim that they are hard to hunt. Your talking about a fish that spends it's day lying on the ocean floor relativly motionless and will practically allow you to touch it before it flees. It lacks the camoflage of fishes like the halibut and flounders, sanddabs, etc (fishes that also provide a large ammount of meat and are not cartaligenous). I'v seen new divers take rays with pole spears before, so unless there extreemly large, they can't be that hard.

If you were taking the odd ray here and there for food then i don't think there would be such a bad reaction, but i believe the disturbing thing to many is that you are getting into this with the preconception that this be your target fish.

Now with all that said. I will give you the advice you asked for. Sorry but i had to get my two sense in, as i too have the freedom of choice and speech and this is a multinational forum. I have lived in 7 different countries myself and consider myself worldly and wanted to share my views on the matter. I Welcome you to the forums and hope you ge the chance to talk to some of the great hunters in here, people like Miles, Allison Shadowkiller, Huan, Sven and the rest of the gang and learn from them and read there past posts. There great.

I'd use a rig simular to a Halibut rig. A short gun, probly no bigger then 90cm (euro) or maybe a Woody midhandel (for ease of swing). As far as terminal gear i'd probly use a float and a floatline. I'd suggest a thick spear. something atleast 5\16ths or bigger to prevent it from being bent by the force of the ray. I wouldent worry about powering the gun up at all because your firing it into sand in the first place and will bend your shaft.

A small RIFFE mid-handel would be a nice gun, but perhaps too expensive for what your using it for. You might just want to buy a JBL (dare i say) because it's cheap and the fish your talking about isn't exactly a hard target. You'll probly have your speartip no more then a foot away. Not like the 20ft+ range when shooting Tunas and other pelagics.

Good luck and welcome to the forums!

-Mike Crossen
 

Huan

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Jul 4, 2004
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Interesting thread.
I personally don't have a problem with shooting rays, But I would add a Caveat that a lot of larger Elasmobranchs have a LOTof mercury in their flesh.
I am not familiar with the population dynamics of the Carribbean ray species,however
in the interests of sustainability maybe the larger female rays should be left to spawn in peace? And only smaller 40-60lb rays targeted.
That said. I would go for a 90 cm gun with shaft diameter of around 8mm.
I would consider the use of a slip tip but to be honest as other posters have said shooting into sand will quickly make any tip blunt.
Your shooting line won't have to be any fancy material but it better be strong, maybe 6mm braided line would allow you to get a good grip on the animal.
a good float will also help.
To be honest the biggest issue you will face is dealing with the tail once you have the animal close, I am not sure how you manage that.....
I for one wouldn't fancy bringing an angry stingray too near me, I once saw a cowtailed ray cut a broomhandle in two with its tail.
 

rigdvr

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May 28, 2002
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calispearo said:
Although some take tunas for ego (small percentage in my opinion), most take tunas because they provide a large amount of food and can feed a small army of people. ...
...You'll probly have your speartip no more then a foot away. Not like the 20ft+ range when shooting Tunas and other pelagics. -Mike Crossen

Im calling you on this one! B.S. :) Nobody hunts tuna for the food. The amount of dollars and hours it takes to hunt tuna just wouldnt make sense. You hunt them to hunt one of the most powerful, prized gamefish in the world. It just so happens they taste great. :cool:

As for 20 foot shots on other palegeics...Ive shot wahoo so close I had to backpedal to get my gun between me and them(2 or 3 feet from the tip), same thing with many other pelagics. Everybody is in such a rush to deter this guy who has asked a legitimate question. What bothers me is its the mods and staff stirring the most poo-poo. rofl

Island Sands...have you even gotten a gun yet? How in the world are you going to criticize someones choice in a sport you dont participate in :)

As for the mercury content they have far less than mackerals, tuna, wahoo, ect...
 

Cliffsharker

New Member
Nov 17, 2004
22
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calispearo said:
I'd like to add something Charlie,

Although some take tunas for ego (small percentage in my opinion), most take tunas because they provide a large amount of food and can feed a small army of people. They are a great eating fish and despite overfishing and, resulting bycatch being farmed and reproduce at a normal rate.

Sharks and rays on the other hand usually take a while to reproduce, some reaching sexual maturity at the age of 10 yrs (lesser dogfish shark). Rays and sharks take longer to reach sexual maturity then most fishes.

Rays also provide little substinance with there meat. There is a lot of prep-work involved and it's a shame that a 100#+ animal has to die for a pretty small meal. A Tuna around the same size would provide foom for a family if it had to for a few days atleast.

With that being said, if you wish to hunt Rays, that's your choice. It's an unpopular opinion that is not supported by many in here. Regardless of that you are free to hunt what you wish for whatever reason you wish.

You said that you knew of people that hunted them for food and claimed that they were hard to hunt. If i made my living hunting rays for food i would also claim that they are hard to hunt. Your talking about a fish that spends it's day lying on the ocean floor relativly motionless and will practically allow you to touch it before it flees. It lacks the camoflage of fishes like the halibut and flounders, sanddabs, etc (fishes that also provide a large ammount of meat and are not cartaligenous). I'v seen new divers take rays with pole spears before, so unless there extreemly large, they can't be that hard.

If you were taking the odd ray here and there for food then i don't think there would be such a bad reaction, but i believe the disturbing thing to many is that you are getting into this with the preconception that this be your target fish.

Now with all that said. I will give you the advice you asked for. Sorry but i had to get my two sense in, as i too have the freedom of choice and speech and this is a multinational forum. I have lived in 7 different countries myself and consider myself worldly and wanted to share my views on the matter. I Welcome you to the forums and hope you ge the chance to talk to some of the great hunters in here, people like Miles, Allison Shadowkiller, Huan, Sven and the rest of the gang and learn from them and read there past posts. There great.

Hey Spearos,

This has turned into a debate, somewhat personal. From my first post you can clearly see that these were not my intentions. It was a genuine question of gear and I believe that I posted under the right forum: "Hunting Equpment".

With that being said, I am a first time poster on this board and do not want to make my introduction one of argument . I can respond to this post and other posts that I consider to be intolerant based on assumptions,preconceptions, arrogance, imbalanced views pertaining to what is fair game. I would prefer not to because it will become personal for those involved and can only lead to bad feelings. If you wish that I do respond to your posts through private messages and are open to hard questions related to your personal integity on land or sea, I will reluctantly be willing to do so. Just state whether that is your choice. Otherwise I will not further debate this topic. You know what they say- "those in glass houses shouldnt throw stones".

A good spearo is not a reflection of ones reasonings skills. It is not an iindication of ones fervor to pursue injustices on land where he lives with the same passion he holds for the ocean. A good spearo is a good spearo.


If this is a board that is more of a brotherhood - great. Nothing wrong with that . Personally I prefer to stand up for what I believe is right even if it may go against the common grain- meaning that I will not stay on the side that is stronger in numbers or has the most popular members to play it safe. I would like to think that I am an individual thinker- that I am sure enough about myself that I can disagree among friends. Having said that I compliment those who gave me answers pertaining to gear and did not prejudge me by raising a red flag not knowing how many rays I was going to shoot per year,the populations of rays in my area, how many people target rays in my area, whether that is all I am interested in shooting., whether it is for my sustenance, whether there are other fish that are as easily accesible, whether I had a boat to get me to other areas, whether I use tannks.

The spearfisherman I am in contact with shoot fish for a living and for their own sustenance. Many of them do not use tanks and understand the ocean in ways most recreational spearos dont. I am certain that they could equally question the practices of many individuals who take part in recreational spearfishing. They could have a multitude of questions. The question is whether one would willingly want to answer them HONESTLY on a public forum.

Lets face it ego is involved for many on this board and on every other board when it comes to hunting fish or other animals . Nothing to feel guilty about - a great hunter a thousand years ago was held in high esteem by the local villagers. It hasent changed. A hunter a thousand years ago was not as well equipped.

How many people who have responded to me have actually shot a ray .Is this first hand information ? It seems that I am stiill reading that its an easy kill but watch out for the tail.????? Any animal can be an easy kill provided correct shot placement .I never even said that I intend to shoot rays lying on the bottom( not that it wouldnt be easier). Because one can approach a ray easily does not mean that there arent complications that could arise once it is shot. The spear could bounce partially out. The ray could become spooked and you could end up with a les than ideal shot. etc,etc,etc.

As you all know, a very similar debate could take place between underwater photographers,freediver and tankdiver spearos.

I highlighted the above post because although this was one of the more helpful replies ; It is also one of the posts that could continue this debate.

Lets put it at rest as far as continuing the debate side of this post. :)

Sincerely Charlie.
 
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Cliffsharker

New Member
Nov 17, 2004
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Me again,


I actually made this post before Rigdvr post but it took so long for me to write that it actually was posted after.

If someone could please tell me how to highlite a previous post so that so that I can include it in my response, I would greatly appreciate it and will edit it as soon as possible. Sorry for the confusion- if there was.


Will reply to RIGDVR post when I get back.

Thanks guys and ladies.

Charlie.
 

defofthecrown

Morone saxatilis
Mar 8, 2003
298
30
0
42
Hey Cliff,

Rays can be very strong and fight hard. I've caught them on rod and reel when I don't get spooled! You'll want a gun with some punch and a floatline and float. Search DBs forum to get info on these. I'd stay away from a reel. Also, try and shoot them from behind so the spear sticks out kind of like their tail. This will put the least presure on your spear and will keep it from bending. If possible I'd try and land the fish from a boat w/ a gaff. They can whip that tail around and slice you up pretty quickly. Please have a knife or two on you as well. If you get tangled in your shooting line or floatline just cut it. Also drop your weight belt if you need to.
 
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