What is a common Skate ?
A common skate is the largest species of Skate in the world ,along with Rays they are closely related to Sharks,the common skate is easilly recognised for its diamond shape with a long tail dark brown in colour ,allthigh colours can be lighter too , with spots on its back and white underside
once widely caught across the uk and ireland now in Danger of extinction
there stocks are at critical level .
Common Skate can grow to 250lb a fish of this size is 70 /80 years years old plus .The Common Skate is a non migratory species which enhabits a fairly small area all its life ,
due to over fishing. commercial trawling etc and people wanting 100 pictures with a trophy fish from the boat thousands of fish have unfortunately died for this . with both recreational and commercial fishing responsible ,these are now one of the most endangered fish species in the world
In 2009 the European Union passed legislation banning the targeted commercial fishing of skate in EU waters
due to it having no swim bladder it will return safely if put back carefully
Where will i catch a Common Skate ?
The Common Skate lives in very deep water hundreds of metres deep ,in summer months will venture into shallower water to feed etc .
The deep sea lochs of the west of Scotland , Oban, Scotland, and west coast of Ireland are the only place these magnificent almost mythical fish are caught .
what bait do i catch a Common skate with ?
Mackerel ,Octopus ,large Sandeel or Launce ,Herring ,Cuttlrfish ,Pollock and Dogfish and any crustaceons its huge powerful jaws can scour from the seabed floor
How do i catch a Common Skate ?
Living in deep water and in Extreme depths of water ,you have to up the quality of your fishing gear and the Reel needs to have a larger capacity oof line than normal also a stronger rod too.
normally targetted from the boats,but the last few years have seen a lot of Skate caught from the shore and safely returned too which is great to see
traces of 100lb plus mono and 8/0 plus strong pattern hooks are a must,30 to 40lb mono or 50 to 65 lb braid is needed a lot of people use braid from the shore on there reels as has very thin diametre to weight ratio allowing 600 plus mtrs of braid on a decent size fixed spool also led=ss line drag in the deeper waters
these are a Very strong powerful fish which will take all your skills and knowledge to beach ,or ;and on the boat safely .
How do i unhook a Common Skate ?
If you are Targetting the Common Skate from the beach or boat it is advisable not to go alone, as from the shore especially the majority are caught from dangerous rocky areas so 2 people landing a big fish is best if a gaff if used at all gaff the mouth areas and not the belly or sides as this will injure the fish and possibly kill it .
wet towels and long nose pliers measure quickly with a tape measure quick picture and return this quickly as possible is a fish of a lifetime
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