Thornback rays can be, and often are, caught on almost any type of bait, although crustaceans and fish form the bulk of their diet.
Top choices for the species are invariably fish-based, with a long, thin, fillet or chunk of mackerel being a popular choice. Herring, sandeels, launce and almost any other type of fish work well.
All types of shellfish are very effective, especially razorfish, clams and mussels.
Over rougher ground, especially if fishing in coloured water within estuaries, a peeler crab is a very effective bait. Squid and cuttlefish will both catch plenty of thornies in most areas. Worm baits, especially king ragworms (below), also work well.