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The Hunting And Fishing Experience
- Size 5-7 feet
- Food Value Good
- Game Qualities Average
- Habitats Inshore, Nearshore, Offshore
Rays belong to a large family of flat, bottom dwelling creatures called Rajiformes. This group includes species such as Skates, Guitarfish, Sawfish, and a variety of Rays including Manta Rays, Eagle Rays, Electric Rays, and Stingrays. Anglers catch all of these on occasion, whether they’re intentionally Ray fishing or not!
There are hundreds of Ray species, with wingspans ranging from several inches to more than 20’. Stingrays, Electric Rays, and Eagle Rays typically reach a 5-7’ wingspan, while some Manta Rays easily grow several times larger.
When and Where
You can find Rays just about anywhere, including rivers in many parts of the world. They usually stay buried in the sand or mud, but can also feed in schools while sweeping across large areas. Few anglers go fishing for Rays intentionally, with the exception of gigging and bowfishing enthusiasts on the Gulf Coast and southeast Florida.
Stingray caught in San Francisco Bay, California
How to Fish
Rays are popular gigging and bowfishing targets. Hunting for them is very similar to fishing for Flounder, another flat species that hides on the seafloor. Anglers also catch Rays incidentally while drifting or bottom fishing.
Good to Eat?
Most people are in the habit tossing Rays back into the water when they catch them, but you can make a decent meal out of these creatures. Cleaning a Ray is much like cleaning any other fish you’d normally take home for dinner. The fins hold most of the meat, which is dense and chewy. Some describe the taste as a mix of fish and lobster. In Malaysia and Singapore, people like to eat spicy barbecued Ray, while people in Iceland eat it rotten and fermented. However you decide to cook your catch, you’ll have a wide ar-ray of possibilities!
Fish Species Similar to Ray
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