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Updated: 06/06/2014 08:00:06AM

Have a plan if you hook a ray

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kayak away • bryan stockbridge

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Some say it’s not worth the risk of injury to unhook a stingray. They say cut the line when you catch one of these guys, unless you want the chance to experience the most excruciating pain of your life! You will never forget a stingray injury. Getting stung with one of their barbs has been equated to being stung by hundreds of bees at once. There are stories of fishermen having the barb of a stingray pierce right through their flesh completely, right through a fisherman’s hand to be exact, or break off into the skin, which requires a trip to the ER at best for stitches and surgery at worst to remove the barb. There is even evidence that their barbs were used to make weapons as arrow heads and spears by prehistoric Indians such as the Calusa. Lashings were made from the tails of big stingrays in Africa to further inflict pain while whipping slaves. So my question to you is what would you do? What would you do if you hooked onto one of these guys?

One of the first questions I get when I tell people that I’m an avid kayak fisherman is have you ever hooked a ray, and what did you do? What do I tell them? Have a plan, be prepared.

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