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Skate as "bait"?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Have you guys down there ever tried to use a Skate as a "big" bait and maybe "Yakking" the bait out a few hundred yards like the guys down in PINS in Texas do? They use big Rays and Jack heads all the time.

I'd be curious if it would work for a really big Shark on the East Coast.
post #2 of 12
I have treid skate once or twice but never had any luck...had one take a dogfish...bit it right in half...wasn't using it as bait...the dogfish took the bait and got hooked then the shark took the doggie...tough being a fish.
post #3 of 12
Most of the old time guys on the southern piers would use whole rays rigged for huge tiger sharks . Rays and skates make up a big part of various shark diets :
At the conclusion of Monday’s post, Walter Maxwell and his fishing companions watched in disbelief as a monster tiger shark swam off with their homemade gaff. The shark came away the victor after an hour-long battle at the Cherry Grove, South Carolina pier. Down but not deterred, the trio spent the rest of that day and the entire evening fishing from the pier.
At daybreak on Sunday, June 14th, 1964 the anglers caught several skates – small rays – and rigged them on large hooks. Using a row boat, one of Maxwell’s companions took the skates a considerable distance from the pier and dropped them over the side. The only action early on came from smaller sharks which persisted in picking up the baits and running for a short distance before dropping them. Eventually a group of larger sharks moved into the area, one of which inhaled a skate, ran with it a short distance before cutting through the line. Not long afterward, while watching one of his friends fight a rather large shark, another fish took Maxwell’s bait. The fish was about thirty yards from the end of the pier when it jumped clear of the water. The noise made by the gargantuan fish as it landed back on the surface startled the anglers as well as the spectators that had gathered. As this was taking place, the aforementioned school of large sharks began inhaling the other baits. This resulted in more chaos – and broken lines.
During all the fuss and ado, Walter Maxwell’s line was sizzling once again, and he jammed the butt of his fishing rod into the belly plate of his shoulder harness. Tightening the drag, he was instantly pulled against the pier railing and knocked off his feet. Struggling to stand, Maxwell had all he could do to control his fishing rod as it bucked and lurched. Moments later onlookers gasped as the shark once again breached the surface, this time 500 feet from the pier.
The shark then began a line-sizzling run to the northeast, in the process nearly stripping all 1400 yards of 130 lb. test line from Maxwell’s reel. At this point his friends began pouring water onto the scorching reel. The giant shark was nearly ¾ of a mile from the pier before Maxwell was able to finally halt its run. The reprieve was momentary, however, as the shark began another powerful run, this time heading southeast. To everyone’s relief, with but a few yards of line left on the spool, rather than swim out to sea, the fish began swimming parallel to the beach.
As the fight neared the five hour mark, Maxwell brought the leviathan alongside the pier. By this time it was after 6 p.m. It wasn’t until the next morning when the shark was weighed on government certified scales. With overnight temperatures in the 80’s, it was estimated the shark lost 10% of its body weight due to dehydration. Nonetheless, it still pushed the scales to the 1780 lbs. mark.
Eleven years after Maxwell brought his big “tiger†alongside the pier, big sharks hit the silver screen. In the years immediately after Steven Spielberg’s epic “Jawsâ€, shark mania was at an all time high. Even today shark fishing became the rage on many fronts, with weekend shark tournaments being held up and down both coasts. From Martha’s Vineyard to Miami, from Port Hueneme to San Diego, teams of shark hunters head offshore in search of monster fish.
Despite the influx of shark fishermen and their state-of-the-art equipment, Walter Maxwell’s tiger shark remains the all-tackle world record for the species. His record catch came long before the shark gained such widespread notoriety. And he wasn’t fishing for a record. Nor was he looking to pad his wallet - he and his buddies went down to the Cherry Grove Pier just to fish on their day off.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
That's a cool story but the guys down at PINS normally release the big Sharks they catch and post pics of the release.
A few have posted pics of big Tigers over 1,000 pounds which they released.
post #5 of 12
That looks like an old school pic judging by the black and white. These days it seems like more people have come to realize the importance of c&r fishing and how crucial it is to protecting our resources.

I read a few reports last year about guys yakking out half or whole skates and catching an 8ft sand tiger and 6ft sandbar. I've never personally used them but I can't imagine you'll get much with them..I'd only use one as a last resort around our area. The only plus side is that the crabs won't pick them apart and they can be left to soak for hours.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
The fishermen down there seem to be a different breed. They patiently sit by thier gear for hours and hours waiting for Sharks to take the big baits they set out with kayaks.
They also get a lot of big Redfish down there. Some also use distance casting techniques to get fish with lures.

You guys may be kind of in-between the types up here who mainly plug or jig. Some bait fish but rarely for as long periods as southern fishermen.
post #7 of 12
Originally Posted by biggstriper View Post
That's a cool story but the guys down at PINS normally release the big Sharks they catch and post pics of the release.
A few have posted pics of big Tigers over 1,000 pounds which they released.

Ya' need to pay attention to what ya' read. Caught 11 years before "Jaws".
ie. 1964. Not much of a C&R mentality back then.

As far as skate for bait. My understanding is garbo's (sandtigers) which I try to avoid feed on them. While the reef/bar sharks that we have, - sandbars, duskys, blacktips and spinners - that I try to catch feed more on finfish. So I've always left skate and ray wing alone.

I've read here you want an oily bait like bunker or bluefish. They sure work but in my experience no better than spot or kingfish. I usually buy a couple of bunker or spot for short money and plan on catching the rest of my bait. Sometimes I'll run out of bait but if there are sharks around I'll have one or two by that time so... so what? It's summertime sharking.

The only fish I haven't caught a shark on is flounder. But only fished flounder once so hardly a test. I fished through the afternoon catching spot and kingfish and one legal flounder, all the time using the spot and kingfish heads as I needed them for shark bait. I purposely saved back the flounder head until prime time/dusk to see what it would do. The sandbars were pretty thick and from sunset until full dark I had 3 or 4. Caught them all on kingfish heads and spot. The flounder head never got touched. Might have been just a coincidence.
post #8 of 12
My son caught a 4 foot sandbar shark on skate wings today. Yakked out 100 yards and dropped with 12 oz's of weight. Skate is great shark bait.
post #9 of 12
I use skate wing chunks when there is nothing else sometimes its picked up others it just sits ands sits but a rod out of the water definately isnt catching fish
post #10 of 12
They make pretty good bait:
(For size reference, that is a 120 qt. cooler)

post #11 of 12
Heck, some less scrupulous places use skate wings as Scallops!
post #12 of 12


Originally Posted by HawkNC

View Post

They make pretty good bait:
(For size reference, that is a 120 qt. cooler)

In a strange sorta way, that's what I call payback...
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