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.
Whakatane, New Zealand