Author: Pinnacle Reef Shark Fishing
MARYLAND STINGRAY FISHING
We set off for a weekend of shark fishing as usual. The team met up for a quick rendezvous in Ocean City Maryland, we grabbed a few much needed hours of sleep before our 3 a.m. departure to the first shark fishing spot. Arriving at the beach we noticed that the surf was very rough she was firing eight footers back-to-back with little to no breaks in between sets. We made a few attempts to get baits out in the kayak but we're pummeled in the surf by the huge breakers. I made the executive decision to bail on shark fishing and turn it into a bait round up mission, as there were tons of cownose rays in the area. But before that we tied on some plugs and began working the surf for some striped bass, one of her teammates (Britni) hooked into something nice that was peeling drag. It turned out to be a bat ray which was awesome as it was a new species for her.
After that we packed up and headed to an island in the back bay and set up shop there. We all cast out some chunks of bunker in hopes of catching some rays. We began wading the area and dragging bucktails for flounder there was several bites on the bucktails but nothing was landed. It didn't take long until we were hooked up on the rays. It was an interesting spot for fighting these rays as there was a jetty sticking out making it challenging to maneuver. To avoid being broken off on the rocks we had to get in the water. We did in fact manage to outmaneuver the rays from running into the rocks and land them. The Bullbuster braid is very durable so if they do have you against the rocks you just open up your bail as to relieve any tension on the line and make a move past the rocks to get your line off. It's not hard to locate the cownose rays in Maryland just go to any bay or river and find a flat with waters from 5 to 10 ft deep. As long as there is a moving current you can bet on the rays being there, rummaging around for food. They are always an exciting great fight as they don't give up easy and fight you until the end. We ended up harvesting a few of them for an upcoming shark fishing trip down south. In the last decade Stingray has been our number one choice of bait for tiger sharks and big Dusky sharks.
To catch the rays we use...
Fish finder rig
7-9/0 mustad ultrapoint hook
2ft of 50-80lb Bullbuster fluoro or mono - to a barrel swivel
Main line - 50 lbs Bullbuster braid
Sinker slide - 4-oz lead
The choice of bait to catch these rays would be any cut-bait, from fish to shrimp, crabs, clams, squid, also blood worms. These rays can be targeted here in Maryland from May until late September when they begin their migration down south. So if you're looking for some great shark bait or just a fun fight against a worthy opponent get out there and spend more time fishing.
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