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General New Jersey Surf and New York Surf Discussion Forums => Main Room - General New York Surf and New Jersey Surf Discussions => Topic started by: Dub_G on August 03, 2005, 09:45:20 AM

Title: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: Dub_G on August 03, 2005, 09:45:20 AM
I was surfing a NJ spot near manasquan yesterday afternoon and there were constant schools of rays swimming past me in the lineup skimming the surface. Packs of 10 - 20 or more at a time, with dark tan tops and white bottoms. The tips of their wings were pointy...so sometimes they'd be sticking out of the water as they cruised by and they looked like a shark fin. It was fun to paddle alongside the schools when heading back to the takeoff zone...just cruising along with them at the same speed. There was no one else surfing there.

Anyone else seeing these? I've seen them at LBI also. I'm trying to figure out what species they are.
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: RayG on August 03, 2005, 09:51:33 AM
Gee, I haven't been to school in a long time... I haven't been to Jersey in months either... ;D
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: krut on August 03, 2005, 09:55:46 AM
that sounds pretty awesome. I've never seen rays in the water when surfing.

excpet for ray
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: Psycho on August 03, 2005, 09:57:14 AM
Yeah ive only see the fishers scoopin up the lil slate fish off the jetty.
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: Dub_G on August 03, 2005, 09:59:27 AM
Gee, I haven't been to school in a long time... I haven't been to Jersey in months either... ;D

 :D
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: Crackie Onassis on August 03, 2005, 10:22:14 AM
Jeez, I used to see those on the barrier island that extends south of there all the time.

They are harmless, but the big ones can be pretty freaky.
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: Mims on August 03, 2005, 10:40:57 AM
I saw a dead baby one on shore earlier this year. Couple of seagulls were picking at it.
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: Dub_G on August 03, 2005, 10:42:42 AM
In some quick research, it seems what i saw were a species of skate. Here's a pic of what very closely resembles what they looked like. This pic is of a common skate, which is found in european waters. I couldn't find much about this type in our waters.

They cruised thru the water at the surface like ghosts...even surfing the occasional swell.  It was surreal.

(http://www.homepage.mac.com/guerrillaguru/commonskate777.jpg)
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: RayG on August 03, 2005, 10:46:13 AM
Otherwise known as "scallops".

when you order them in a restuarant and they look too perfect, this is what you get. Skate wings punched out with a cookie cutter type of thing...
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: Dub_G on August 03, 2005, 10:55:33 AM
Otherwise known as "scallops".

when you order them in a restuarant and they look too perfect, this is what you get. Skate wings punched out with a cookie cutter type of thing...

I did some commercial fishing, and we would get skate and scallops as by-catch. I think that scallop/skate wing thing is a myth. My skipper told me so when i asked...and after seeing both on the water and in restaurants... i agree. Maybe they used to do it long ago...but i've never seen anything that substantiates that rumor in   my experience.
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: Looseness on August 03, 2005, 11:19:31 AM
I've had that experience too!
Out surfing when some skates swam by with the tips of their wings breaking the water as they swam like pairs of fins....very cool. 
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: obfuscations on August 03, 2005, 11:25:25 AM
 seen plenty of those during late spring trips OBX  . little ones too just outside the shorebreak. guess they work their way up the coast by now
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: Bubbala on August 03, 2005, 11:35:40 AM
Otherwise known as "scallops".

when you order them in a restuarant and they look too perfect, this is what you get. Skate wings punched out with a cookie cutter type of thing...

I did some commercial fishing, and we would get skate and scallops as by-catch. I think that scallop/skate wing thing is a myth. My skipper told me so when i asked...and after seeing both on the water and in restaurants... i agree. Maybe they used to do it long ago...but i've never seen anything that substantiates that rumor in   my experience.
We used them as bait when I was lobster fishing.  Local waters are lousy with them. 

I've never had confirmation on the skate/scallop thing, either.  Story goes, unscrupulous restaurants cut the skate wing with a cookie cutter, thus making a round, scallop-y shape morsel.  In recent years, there has been an amazing rebound in scallop fisheries off the EC, so I don't see why restaurants would do that, unless it was for deep fried scallops. Skate is a lot cheaper. 

Skate is supposedly delicious.  Personally, after stringing thousands upon thousands of pounds of stinky, brined, maggot-infested skate for use in lobster traps, I never could bring myself to eat the stuff.
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: sir_schadenfreude on August 03, 2005, 02:20:16 PM
They are good to eat, sort of flaky like hilibut, but slightly tougher like lobster tail.  Does that make sense?  How big were the ones in the lineup?
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: Dub_G on August 03, 2005, 04:39:13 PM
they were ranging from 2 foot across to like 4 foot across and 3 to 7 feet long.
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: little_nasty on August 03, 2005, 05:15:30 PM
I saw a few up in asbury park the other day.  kinda startled the crap outta me for a sec.  Double G - try http://www.fishbase.org/identification/familieslist.cfm?ordnum=14&areacode=&classnum=4&c_code= for identification of skates and rays..
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: Dub_G on August 03, 2005, 05:49:13 PM
I saw a few up in asbury park the other day.  kinda startled the crap outta me for a sec.  Double G - try http://www.fishbase.org/identification/familieslist.cfm?ordnum=14&areacode=&classnum=4&c_code= for identification of skates and rays..

Thanks bro. That's a great site. I'm bookmarking that one.

I think they were barn door skates based on the pic and characteristics described. Which i now remember is the same name i ended up finding that best described the ones i saw at LBI about 5 years ago. I think they're also the same ones we'd get in the net monkfishing.

Yeah, they could definately spook the hell out of ya at first when they come cruising past in the lineup. They're like phantoms or ghosts. I like paddling alongside them like you're in their school...just gliding along real smooth.  I like doing that with dolphins also.
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: Some people call me Maurice on August 04, 2005, 12:21:19 AM
was at a central spot a few years ago and the water was unbelievably clear and u could see down to the sandbar. as me and a few friends were paddling out we see tons of rays, flocks of about 20 of em just swimmin around in the line up for the whole day. the waves werent too great so we were just diving down and swimming with them for the entire day. was just one of those days that u remember really well
Title: Re: Surfing with the Rays
Post by: Jimbobway on August 04, 2005, 06:51:19 AM
We used to get them ALL the time on a dragger out of Point Jud RI. Never heard of them being that big though, and looked just like that picture, cept dark brown backs.