Common names 30-50 thorns form a median row from the nape to the first dorsal fin; additional large 'buckler' thorns with swollen bases scattered on upper surface of disc in adults . This will save many precious hours of groundwork and trial and error. On account of its abundance, Raja clavata is an important fish commercially. Egg cases hatch after about 4–5 months and pups are about 11–13 cm. However, Bait on the day was fresh mackeral cut into large chunks on a single 6/0." Introduction : The most common ray in Irish waters, the Thornback Ray can weight > 40 lbs (17 kgs), but any fish > 8 lbs ( 3.5 kgs) is a good catch. The most noticeable difference between the sexes of acanthocephala is that of body size; the female specimen is longer than the male (Parshad and Crompton, 1981). After a minute or so, a final nod and Sam lifted the rod, interestingly without striking, and played the fish in. A size 3/0 Kamasan B940 is ideal and particularly suited to baiting with a six inch frozen sandeel. Four species of ray are of interest to anglers in the northern region. Then pour out liquid formalin, rinse specimen under water, wrap it in moist cloths or paper to prevent it from drying up and keep in plastic bag or box. Thornbacks are distributed in the Eastern Atlantic from Iceland and Norway, the North Sea, and down to Morocco and Namibia, including the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. if you do want to eat skate or ray this is the best choice - make sure you ask for Thornback ray as many other skate and ray … Once set up, the first thing I had to do was remove the 2/0 Aberdeen’s and replace them with smaller, but much stronger size 2 Cox and Rawle up-tide hooks. A total of 198 thornback rays were analysed to describe food habits and investigate the effect of sex, size and season on diet. I have caught them on lugworm and ragworm, and even fresh mussel. Post your fishing report and pictures in this section. Well, what can I say? These are particularly well developed on the tails and backs of sexually mature females. Thornbacks from the shore would be a different matter, particcularly in the north of Ireland. Thornbacks lay approximately 50-170 egg cases per year, over sand or muddy sea beds. However, the thornback ray is noticeably variable with regard to its general morphology when compared to many other European rajiids, with polychromatism recorded in the Mediterranean (Mnasri et al. The convex shape of the body, designed to hug the seabed in strong current. Other than that, check out the venue for yourself, by casting a lead about looking for channels and gullies. The body is kite-shaped with a long, thorny tail. Fact file. Obviously make sure the snoods are suitably spaced apart to avoid tangles. Thornback stocks are gone in these areas, so take this as a warning. Sam showed me the perfect sized bait for this venue. Catch scenarios . [2], It is found in coastal waters of Europe and the Atlantic coast of western Africa and Mediterranean Sea coast of North Africa. Using logistic regression, it was I have witnessed this in my own, comparatively short angling life span. This is obviously where local shore guides are worth their weight in gold! It can sometimes be quite strange how angling trips simply appear out of thin air. AN ABNORMAL THORNBACK RAY RAJA CLAVATA. The choice of rigs and hook size surprised me, as personally, I would have opted for a single hook, up and down rig to allow a flowing trace set-up on the seabed, once the hooks had un-clipped, possibly combining this with a size 4/0 hook or two hooks, pennel fashion. This will quickly work out what is hot, and what is not on a particular day and venue. But this small eggcase has a very distinctive texture. Kieran Bullman from Glanmire caught a specimen Gilthead bream 5lb 12oz on a cockle bait on Monday May 1st. Max length : 105 cm male/unsexed; 139.0 cm (female); common length : 85.0 cm ; max. This species ranges from Tomales Bay to the Gulf of California, generally in inshore waters no deeper than 6 m. It can be found on or buried in sand or mud, or in and near kelp beds. It is one of about 13 species of skate (family Rajidae) that are known from the North Sea and adjacent Atlantic waters. Hook size. State of the stock and the fishery relative to reference points. If you can, always use local knowledge as a short cut to locating features and holding areas. Latin name Raja clavata. All rights reserved This ray can weigh from 4.5 to 8.75 lb (2 to 4 kg). The great fishing started with a group from ESB, targeting tope they got what they came for with 2 notable fish reaching the 154cm […] The upper surface of thornback rays have a number of thrones which increase in size and number as the animal ages. Dorsum uniformly light brown to grey. It is sometimes seen trapped in large estuarine pools at low tide.[2]. It would have been so easy to take my boat to Donegal and catch dozens of rays, as I have done many times in recent years. It can sometimes be quite strange how angling trips simply appear out of thin air. I tie my own rig’s using 50lb breaking strain for the main rig body and switch between 50 and 30lb breaking strain for the snood. He went through the same procedure as before, letting out a few feet of line and watching for the next indication, declaring that this time it WAS the target fish we were looking for. A specimen Brill by Paul Twomey. I received a telephone call from well-known shore angler, Sam Stirling regarding the long-term tagging programme run by the Central Fisheries Board, now the Inland Fisheries Ireland, based in Dublin. Sam’s tackle advice was as follows; suitable beach casting gear, 5oz grip leads, plain leads, and a couple of two hook paternoster rigs incorporating size two hooks. On this occasion, a two-hook paternoster and a pulley rig were the rigs for the job. This mark produces dogs and rays together, so there was still a chance we may see the target species. Luckily for us anglers, thornback rays tend to prefer quite shallow water of between 10 and 60m deep. The thornback ray is probably one of the most common rays encountered by divers. Latin name Raja clavata. All thornback ray liver oils contained large amounts of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the range of 19.9–26.1%. Posted on October 10, 2015 by paddykeogh20. Specimen Fish Calculator application kindly donated by Graham Standley. My wife does not believe this fact. The back is covered in numerous thorny spines, as is the underside in older females. Make contact with the nearest marine or fishery institute, zoological institute or museum and bring the specimen there, or post it in leakage-proof packing. These handy rig-winders keep spare rigs neat and tidy, match tactics! Lip hooked thornback ray Jansen then used the hooks further down the channel later that week and baiting a 6/0 with a fillet of mackerel really gave the new pattern a … I remember my early shore angling days when my main ambition was to catch a ray from the shore. On sand and mud bottoms and occasionally in or around kelp beds. Doubting that it was a ray, a common and ever-present Lesser-spotted Dogfish surfaced and was wound safely to shore. Size: Up to 4ft (from wingtip to wingtip) and 35lbs (UK shore caught typically 2-12lbs) UK minimum size: 16inches (41cm) from wingtip to wingtip. Enquiries regarding the collections should be sent to: life@oum.ox.ac.uk There are rows of spikes along the back-bone. This is the best chance for a result, as the rays move along the channel, hunting out small fish, marine worms and crustaceans. For example, a Thornback Ray ( Raja clavata ) is a type of egglaying skate, while the rare and critically endangered Flapper Skate may also be referred to as a ray. Great Eggcase Hunt Records: All verified eggcase records are from the North Sea, with the exception of one unusually large specimen found in Borth (Wales) which is outside of the expected range. Adults observed to form same-sex aggregations during the mating season with females moving to shallower inshore waters approximately a month before the males. Kieran caught the fish in Clonakilty estuary on the incoming evening tide. The Bristol channel is well known for it's ray fishing being home to four main species Smalleyed, Blonde, Thornback and Spotted. I would never have believed that these gentle bite indications were anything to do with a ray, going by the rod bending rattles I usually get when boat angling for the same species, and indeed at the same venue but Sam assured me that this was a Thornback. It’s not right to have a man shore fishing by himself! Most of the skate found in fishmongers is likely to be thornback ray also known as the 'roker'. Juvenile fish feed on small crustaceans, particularly amphipods and bottom-living shrimps; adults feed on crabs, shrimps and small fish. Almost any bait will work but squid and anchovies seem to catch the most thornbacks. Diamond or kite shaped. Big rod-caught thornback rays can weigh 9.07 Kg (20 lbs) or more. Thornback Rays. [8], A search about the growth and maturation of Raja clavata in the Solway Firth (part of the border between Cumbria, England and Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland) shows that the males and females appear to mature at 42 and 45 cm in disc width respectively. If this is not possible, contact local clubs that hold matches in the area. Irish Specimen Fish Committee Annual Report 2016 3 Report of the Irish Specimen Fish Committee 2016 In 2016 the ISFC processed 518 claims; 485 were ratifi ed, including one new record. Egg cases are oblong capsules with stiff pointed horns at the corners, each containing one embryo. As this was a spur of the moment trip, frozen Mackerel and Sand eel would have to suffice. This ray can weigh from 4.5 to 8.75 lb (2 to 4 kg). She insists that I am far too devious, and that I secretly manipulate situations that end up with me either on the sea, by the sea or alongside some river or lake with a rod in my hand! Ray are rarely very close to the shore, so a single clipped-down paternoster is easily the most efficient rig. Size: Maximum length 91cm. Unfortunately, I have been told to keep these close to my chest, and when I took a sneaky photograph of the inside of his tackle box, he insisted that I deleted it. Fast tides in deep water close to shore can always be worth a try, or patches of sand and shell between fingers of rock that push out to sea are likely holding areas. Paired eggs are laid and deposited on shallow sand, mud, pebble or gravel bottoms . In the past, I would never have dreamt of using such fine gear for ray fishing, but advances in tackle now allow for lighter, stronger and a great deal more bite-sensitive rods, than ever before. It is important to note that areas where Thornback Ray have been commercially removed and suffer over-fishing WILL NOT re-generate. [2], Its natural habitats are open large seas and shallow seas. The posterior additional fin was approximately 10 mm behind the anterior fin. Overall ray catches are limited by a mixed species quota. With Sam’s 19 years of experience on this particular mark, it pays, I thought, to stop talking and start listening! Ray – Thornback (Raja clavata) Specimen weight:8.0 kg (17.64 lbs) Record: 37 lbs, Ling Rocks, Kinsale, 1961. ... We also increased our bait size. Sorry readers, but with shore match anglers it seems, some things are deemed sacred. 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