A Simple Guide to Stingray Fishing
Stingray fishing is an incredibly enjoyable experience for young and old alike. If you are lucky enough to live in a region where stingray is plentiful, or if you’re going to be vacationing near a stingray-friendly beach, then you have an opportunity to make lasting memories with your family that can be told to relatives and friends for years to come.
If stingray fishing is an activity that you are considering pursuing, then there are certain things you need to be aware of, and to have on hand in order to maximize your chances at success.
There are several items that you should have on hand if you’re planning on going stingray fishing. A basic rod will work, but make sure that you have a spinning reel that is equipped with 15 – 20 lbs test line. You will also need a 12” – 18” mono filament leader that is rated for 25 – 30 lbs.
A swivel and a sturdy hook are also required, as well as an egg sinker to ensure that your bait will be near the sandy bottom of the ocean. Ideally, your egg sinker should weigh anywhere from ½ - 2 ounces. If the weather is rough and the waves are choppy, you may have to adjust this.
You don’t require any exceedingly fancy bait; basic bait fish will work. A good bait fish to use is mullet, but you may want to ask any local bait stores owners or fisherman what they recommend for the area.
Setting Up Your Rigging
To set up your lines, begin by tying the swivel onto one end of the mono filament leader. On the other end, you should attach the fishing hook you’ve chosen. When completed, your total leader should be less than a foot in length. Ensure that your knots are secured and tight; stingray may appear gentle and slow moving, but can really test your line.
To set up your egg sinker, slide it onto the fishing line that is actually coming from your reel. Attach the leader rig you made to this line. Your egg sinker should be higher than the swivel and should have the ability to slide along the fishing line freely.
When this is complete, you can attach your bait to the hook. Take your dead bait fish and cut the meat into chunks that are approximately 1 ½ inches in diameter. Stingrays go crazy for dead fish, so don’t bother splurging on live bait.
Find an area with a smooth sandy bottom for you to fish near. Stingrays like to feed in areas like this, so you will increase your chances of finding a hungry stingray this way. Choose your spot and cast your line out.
After you cast, allow your sinker to hit the bottom of the sand, and then gently reel in a bit to remove any slack from the line. Stingrays nibble gently so many people don’t even realize when one is taking the bait. Because of this, it is wise to keep a bit of tension on the line. Check frequently if you’re in an area that impedes your vision of the line.
Catching and Reeling Them In
When you are sure you have a stingray that is on the line, give a medium pressure tug to set them on the hook and then begin to reel them in. They don’t usually put up a big fight, but they are awkwardly shaped, so younger members of your family may need help.
Be careful when pulling them out of the water. Stingrays have a barb at the end of their tails that can pierce through skin and be potentially dangerous.