METHOD

Sea Angler (UK) - - Boat Angler -

Fish­ing for thorn­back rays is in­vari­ably a wait­ing game. Hav­ing lo­cated a good mark, you should be pre­pared to cast out or drop back your baits, and then wait. Of course, some­times you will catch fish al­most im­me­di­ately, while at other times it will take some time for the fish to re­spond to the com­bined scent trail of sev­eral baits wash­ing down­tide.

The key when tar­get­ing thorn­backs is en­sur­ing that at all times the bait is fish­ing sta­tion­ary and hard on the seabed. The thorn­back is a lethar­gic species of fish, and are not in­clined to ac­tively chase after their food.

When you do get a bite it is im­por­tant to re­main pa­tient, and give the fish plenty of time to shuf­fle its way on top of your bait in or­der to eat it. Try­ing to set the hook too early is prob­a­bly the big­gest rea­son that most ray bites are missed. Usu­ally, it is best to wait un­til the rod starts to bend as the fish, hav­ing taken the bait, at­tempts to swim off, at which point you sim­ply set the hook by firmly lift­ing into the fish.

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