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Specimen hunter - Stingrays

Specimen hunter, Steve Harder, shows how to target big stingrays.

"After catching that 71lb Stinger the other week, I just had to get out again to see if I could find an even bigger one, and better still, to try and capture everything on video :-) so last Tuesday I was joined by Jon Patten, who had travelled all the way down from North Devon to see if he could bag himself his first UK caught Stinger.

We arrived to find the beach all to ourselves, apart from a couple of sun worshippers, on a very hot but rather breezy day and although the wind was a good 20mph+ westerly, blowing sideways down the beach and making line control a little difficult, the weed encountered on my previous session had luckily all but disappeared.

The first casts went out full of anticipation of what might be lurking around out amongst the waves, could today be the day we get a record breaker?... I reeled in to check the condition of my first bait out after around 45 mins, hopeful that the crabs were still absent from the area and therefore leaving the baits intact and on inspection, the bait was almost as good as it was when I first cast out... An encouraging sign :-)... As I was re-baiting that rig, I looked up to see my other line blowing limply in the breeze, parallel with the beach, as a fish had pulled the lead out and dropped the line slack... At the same time Jon shouted over "have you got a bite on that other rod?".... I picked up the rod and felt the fish slowly moving towards me so I wound down and leaned into a solid weight, which suddenly shot off in the opposite direction and kited hard to my left... Stinger on, and it felt like another good one! 

After what felt like around 10 minutes or so, I'd managed to steer it away from the groynes to my left and get it to within a few yards of the shore... At this point a big wave turned the fish upside down in the surf and we could see it was another lump of a Stinger... However, it would be really hard to land a fish that big in that position, so had to wait until it righted itself before attempting to get it out of the water... Eventually it did so and I managed to pull it clear of the surf, whilst avoiding the lethal looking double sting on its tail and getting a bootful of water in the process!... But she was mine and looked like she wouldn't be far off the weight of the big one from the week before... After straightening the wire hanging hook on my tripod several times while attempting to weigh her, the scales finally settled at 65lb after deducting the weight of the weigh sling... Not a record but I'm absolutely over the moon to have landed my third Stinger over 65lb, and to think a little over a year ago I was hoping to get my first over 40lb"

65lb stingray from the shore


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