Essentials for Skate fishing
Essentials for a private boat going Common Skate fishing.
Because Common Skate tend to be larger than the average fish you will encounter; certain equipment is essential to allow for their successful release.
A detailed explanation of how to deal with skate can be found here.
Please remember the preferred option is for the skate to be released at the side of the boat.
Essential Boat equipment
- You will most likely be fishing in very deep water. (350-600 ft.) A minimum of 220 metres of anchor warp is essential. 6mm is adequate when using a retrieval system.
- A 7.5kg plough anchor for a 16 ft boat with 5 metres of heavy chain attached. Fit anchor with a breakout.
- Alderney ring or equivalent for anchor retrieval
- 15” diameter lifting buoy.
- A rubber mat if the gunnels or equipment has sharp edges.
Please note retrieving an anchor via a lifting buoy may be a daunting task the first time you try it. It may be worth practising in shallow water first. See retrieval guidance here.
Landing a fish
The time taken to find this equipment could make a difference to the survival rates. It is essential you have everything too hand and each crew member knows in advance what is expected of him/her.
- Two strong (preferably) stainless steel gaffs, see above code for where to put in the gaffs.
- Skate have no handles, so a six foot square netting to lift the fish out of the boat is essential. See the above guide. It is advisable to place the netting on the deck before bringing in the fish.
- A long stainless disgorger to remove hooks from the mouth cavity. Please remember a badly hooked fish is often down to poor technique or tackle.
- A strong pair of pliers to remove barbs on hooks.
- Wire cutters to cut through the heavy trace line.
- A priest for wrapping the line in case of a snag.
- A 3 metre tape measure.
- Pencil and paper to write down tag no’s if any.
- Weight charts are available here.
Essential Fishing Tackle
- A minimum of a 50lb class rod. Many use 80lb class
- A minimum of 300 metres of 70 lb braid; means smaller leads and better bite detection.
- An adequate reel with lugs for harness. The Penn 6/0’s are virtually indestructible but other manufacturers have suitable reels.
- 1, 1.5 and 2 kilo leads
- For correct terminal tackle see here . A short length of hosepipe makes a good boom as the tie wrap stays in place.
- A good quality Butt pad; the biggest you can find to spread the load.
- Kidney or Shoulder harness. A kidney harness is preferred by most because it is kinder on your body but it is harder on the tackle.
By following the codes, you can be sure that any fish you are lucky to encounter will return safely, to be caught another day.