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Discussion Starter #1
Have never really fished for Rays much in the past but have decided to have a crack at them.

Just wondered what advice anyone can give for targetting them in the winter as I have heard that they are a viable target species all year round.

I live in Weymouth so will be fishing the shore marks close to here.

Cheers

Portland Bass Hunter
 

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Firstly, always ask in your local tackle shop for advice. They may even know someone who'll let you tag along on a trip.

In the absence of good advice here are a few general pointers.

I believe the main ray species you can expect from the shore down your way are small-eyeds. The main bait for these is sandeel. I know they're caught on other fishy baits including squid, but sandeel is the best. When you go to get some try to buy the ones without blood around the head coz they've already been partially defrosted and refrozen. Not good coz they're mushy when defrosted and not as fresh. Use these on a 3/0 with a bit of bait elastic.
Rigs - 3 ft paternosters and up and over rigs are good, with a breakaway impact shield to protect the bait.
Generally night is best on a big tide around low water, but there may be variations on this theme down your way so get local knowledge if possible. Also its a good idea to try fishing during calm spells.
Finally, getting a bit of distance on the cast can help. Try to learn a simple off-ground cast which should see you getting over the 100 yard mark with little effort.
I'll be trying a similar thing for thornbacks/small-eyeds over Xmas. Let me know how you get on.

Rhod.
 

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Just the way it goes I'm afraid. Been out a number of times throughout the year with perfect conditions and not had a sniff. Sometimes they just aren't there. Keep at it. Took me a while to get my first, but when you do you won't regret all the hard work.

Good luck,

Rhod.
 
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