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Discussion Starter #1
With the last couple of contacts with skate in the Moray Firth ending in tears, surely third time lucky!
The weather has been rubbish this last few weeks, no chance of a trip. Just a gap this weekend, we had to go for it. Fished Saturday at anchor, not far off our last contact, loads of bait, you think you're doing everything right....blank!
Weather still good, we had to try again. Set a bait trail then anchored about half a mile from last spot. Two rods out and looking good. Three hours later, doubts creeping in, do we stick with it or move? Decisions, decisions!
We've got bait to do one move, let's go for it. Came half a mile inshore and picked an edge where the hard meets the sand. Anchor down, let the boat settle, here we go again.
Three hours later, just small dabs on the light rods, then Zzzz....Zzzz.....we're on!
Put Kev. on the rod with instructions 'Don't do anything, just keep in touch while I get everything in and clear the deck!' 'Ok, can you feel it ?' 'Yeah, do I strike?' It's his first ever! 'NO, just set the drag, wind down and lean!!' That done, he was into the serious bit. He would keep taking a rest ! That gives the fish chance to take a rest, then the last bit of line you've gained.
We could tell it was large, but when it surfaced ten yards downtide of the boat, 'Holy ****, that's big !!'
We got it to the side of the boat and held it on a small gaff in the wing edge. The 10/0 barbless was worked out easily and as it stayed fairly docile, chance for a measure. Nose to tail..89ins..spot on. Wingspan was a bit more difficult working on my own and underwater. I called it at 62ins. but that was more best guess and could easily be a few inches out.
Checking the charts, 89in females start at 64in and 200lb, going up from there.
So minimum estimate is 200lb. Possibly biggest fish on rod and line from the Moray Firth?
You'd call that a result!!!
We could do with more people making the effort with skate and sharks in the Firth. That way we could pool info. and lessons learned, that's got to mean more fish.
t.c.
 

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Well done. Your persistence has paid off and what a cracking result! Thanks for sharing !!
 
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Superb. As you say, no one puts the effort into the fishing around there and the potential must be huge.

Should improve further with the no trawling areas the wind farms are making.
 
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Absolutely cracking report,well done fella.
After some older posts on here say the Moray is pants for fishing it goes to show that they are not trying hard enough!!
Again well done.
 

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We could do with more people making the effort with skate and sharks in the Firth. That way we could pool info. and lessons learned, that's got to mean more fish.
t.c.
Nice!

There are a few boys who kayak and catch decent sized skate and shark, perhaps ask a couple of them? (Have a look on youtube, there`s an Irish guy who may/may not be interested)

I kayak but its not my thing, sorry
 

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Great result and proves it's worth the effort. With a sandbank in inner firth called Skate Bank it suggests they used to be here in big numbers. Hopefully they can keep their head down and avoid the lines of squid boats.
 

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You did it!!!
 

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Absolutely fantastic fish that is! Gutted I missed it :cry: but truly great effort!
 
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Well done on getting one from there, it was only a matter of time :)

Size wise, I take it you a are using the "new" charts rather than the original ones.. these charts over estimate the weights of the skate once you get over 160lb (partly why they are popular and why we see more 200lb fish now). The reason being is that there was a formula made to calculate the weight above 160lb and it was a bit out when we tested it, hence why the "new" charts were taken out of circulation.
For those sizes you are looking at realistically being in the 190lb range rather than over the 200lb, still a fantastic fish none the less to have been caught.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the info Davy. I didn't know about 'new' and 'old' charts. 200lb sounds nice but really it is incidental. We were more pleased about getting a result.
We are short of knowledge on this side. The mackerel have mostly gone, the squid and squid trawlers have gone. Does it follow that the skate will be gone soon too as the water cools down. You would think so with them being a deep water species and we are only fishing in around 16 fathoms.
 
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