10 TOP TIPS FOR BAG­GING A MON­STER RAY

Sea Angler (UK) - - AN­GLING AD­VEN­TURES -

1 Al­ways use the best-qual­ity bait, es­pe­cially when us­ing frozen sandeels. 2 Al­ways use a rig with a long flow­ing trace. Long pul­ley, pul­ley drop­pers and up-and-over rigs made with strong 80lb mono traces are rec­om­mended. 3 Qual­ity equip­ment and a strong shock­leader knot, such as a Bi­mini Twist, will help you to land big fish. 4 Learn to cast. Fish are not al­ways caught at dis­tance, but be­ing able to get your bait at a longer dis­tance when nec­es­sary is a great weapon in your ar­moury. 5 Use a Pen­nell (two hooks in tan­dem) to hold your bait. Hav­ing a hook point at both ends of the bait is rec­om­mended. A small bead to help cush­ion the knot pro­tects the bot­tom hook un­der pres­sure. 6 Venue se­lec­tion is im­por­tant to lo­cate spec­i­men fish. Re­mem­ber, it’s be­ing in the right place at the right time. 7 Keep a di­ary of when and where you are catch­ing and not catch­ing. Write down the tides, wind speeds, pres­sure and moon phases, which will play their part in fish­ing suc­cess. Over the years the in­for­ma­tion will help you catch more fish. 8 Land­ing the fish. There are two main rea­sons we use a gaff – safety of the an­gler and fish care. You don’t want the fish to get smashed into the rocks, which is worse than a small hole in its wing tip that will heal. Re­turn th­ese fish. 9 Be safe. A good pair of footwear and a life­jacket are rec­om­mended while fish­ing off rocks into deep wa­ter. Wet rocks can get very slip­pery. 10 Putting in the hours will pay off. The night you don’t go fish­ing could be the time the big fish feed. ■

A frozen sandeel of a Pen­nell rig did the job for the 27lb fish

Rob Yorke’s 29lb blonde ray

Mark Bryce’s 27lb 10oz fish

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