Dennis Catching 100 lbs Eagle Ray – New Zealand W Kayak Night Fishing Report

I have mentioned before that our local harbour has a lot of sting rays. There are 2 varieties, Short tail and Eagle rays. Eagle rays are more numerous and can be spectacular to catch. They will leap from the water – they put up a massive fight. Short tails just tend to stick to the bottom and can be almost impossible to move. I was fishing at night – about 8pm - and all of a sudden my reel started to scream, and there was no prize for guessing that I had hook an Eagle ray. It took about 300 metres [330 yards] of line – I wound in most of that in and off it went again – and this was repeated over and over. Kayak fishers will cut the line quickly with these beasts because they pull so hard you either loose a reel full of line - or if you can apply enough drag to stop these things you can capsize a kayak easily. I wanted to get this fish to the W500 –initially because I didn’t want to lose all my line. and later because I just wanted to see how big it was. It took me about 1-1/2 hours to get it to the kayak. I had my cell phone with me and tried to get some photos, but because it was so dark, and I was holding the line with one hand to hold the rays head at the surface of the water, it was very difficult. I only really got head shots of the thing.

I had another interesting experience last Wednesday that is worth relating.

I have had to fish in the local harbour almost exclusively for the last couple of months due to on-going bad weather leaving the sea very rough. [It’s winter time in the southern hemisphere]

I have mentioned before that our local harbour has a lot of sting rays. There are 2 varieties, Short tail and Eagle rays. Eagle rays are more numerous and can be spectacular to catch. They will leap from the water – they put up a massive fight. Short tails just tend to stick to the bottom and can be almost impossible to move.

I was fishing at night – about 8pm – and all of a sudden my reel started to scream, and there was no prize for guessing that I had hooked an Eagle ray. It took about 300 metres [330 yards] of line – I wound in most of that in and off it went again – and this was repeated over and over.

Kayak fishers will cut the line quickly with these beasts because they pull so hard you either loose a reel full of line – or if you can’t apply enough drag to stop these things you can capsize a kayak easily.

I wanted to get this fish to the W500 –initially because I didn’t want to lose all my line. and later because I just wanted to see how big it was.

It took me about 1-1/2 hours to get it to the kayak. I had my cell phone with me and tried to get some photos, but because it was so dark, and I was holding the line with one hand to hold the rays head at the surface of the water, it was very difficult. I only really got head shots of the thing.
This fish was much more than a metre across [3’3″] and they can be very heavy.

I would guess that the one I caught was well over 50kgs [110 lbs], and I didn’t give the stability of the W500 a thought even when I had it alongside and was holding its head up so I could get a photo.

As a matter of interest, I was using and Emmrod Kayak King rod.

Dennis Hodgetts,
Whakatane, New Zealand

big eagle ray brought to kayak - night fishing, New Zealandeagle ray caught by New Zealand kayak angler at night


9 Comments

  1. CJ

    Very exciting report! That’s quite a fish you got there, and I especially liked your comment about not giving the stability of the W500 consideration when you had that beast alongside and holding its head up to get its mugshot.
    CJ

  2. CJ

    PS– Are you using a cockpit cover when fishing offshore?

  3. Jeff McGovern

    Ahhh another championship catch on one of the best angling combos out there for big fish. Wavewalk 500 fishing kayaks and the Emmrods. The fish don’t stand a chance.

  4. Sungjin Kim

    Wow, it’s incredible.
    How could you get this fish on the W kayak?

  5. Rox

    Outstanding Catch. 🙂

    Congrats on the beast you caught from the W500.

    Tight lines and Paddle safe all.
    Rox

  6. Dennis Hodgetts

    Replies to the above.
    First CJ
    I haven’t used a cockpit cover yet. I have given it quite a bit of thought, but I really like the ability to move about in the cockpit, and I am concerned that the cover will restrict this. The water in my part of the world is not cold – about 60 degrees Fahrenheit in mid-winter so I don’t mind a bit of water over the top.
    To Jeff McGovern
    I agree – a great fishing combo – everything is so much easier. However the fish still seem to have the odds on their side.
    To Sungjin Kim
    I didn’t bring this fish into the boat. I pulled it alongside the boat, took the photos and cut the line. I have landed fish ass big as this onto the shore when surfcasting but always release them
    To Rox
    Thanks. I have read some of your posts – what part of the US do you hail from?

  7. AS333

    “Kayak fishers will cut the line quickly with these beasts because they pull so hard you either loose a reel full of line – or if you can’t apply enough drag to stop these things you can capsize a kayak easily.”

    You can surely land one of those monsters on a kayak

  8. W kayak

    These animals can be dangerous, and they’d better be left in the water.

  9. Marco

    AS333, don’t you think that kayak fishing alone in the ocean, at night, is risky enough?…

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