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My wife and I were fishing on the Bogue Inlet Pier on Sunday and despite seeing a number of blues and spanish come over the rails on Gotcha plugs the day before, we were quite unsuccessful in our efforts. Now the pier is a rather unpleasant place for a fish or any other manner of sea life to end up and my wife and I are aware of that. I mean a Gotcha plug is a pretty nasty impliment of mutilation from a fish's perspective and both of us love plugging. That being said, there are some instances where people seem to go out of their way to make life or death extremely unpleasant for their catch. On Sunday for example, a guy down the pier caught a pretty big cownose ray and brought it up in a drop net. He brought it down to the cleaning station and slowly sawed off its wings one at a time while it was still very much alive. It upset my wife to see the thing flapping away as the guy made his cuts and so we packed up our stuff and left. There were a few families that came to check out the ray as well and the parents ushered the kids away once they realized what was happening. Some of the kids were upset as well.

I am not naive, nor is my wife - fishing is an activity that does harm, some times a great deal of it, to living things. I keep fish, I use live bait, I hunt and I know where grocery store meat comes from. I'd like to think I try balance minimizing the harm to my catch while still being able to catch fish (I don't bend the barbs down on my hooks, but I frequently cut the hooks off a lure to remove them from the fish or cut a prong or two off a treble).

I am not even sure why I am making this post other than say that I saw this happen, my wife and I found it disturbing and it cut short a pretty nice day on the planks. Or, maybe i'm making it just to generate discussion - what say you, people of NCangler?
 

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Rays catch the blunt of mistreatment from recs and comms alike.

It all boils down to respect or lack of.

But I will say that ray wings are excellent shark bait if you are into that kind of fishing.
 

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Perhaps it is lack of knowledge. I dont know so I am asking. Is there a humane way to dispatch a ray for those looking to use it as bait? Personally I would dehook and toss it back.
 

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How hard is it to stab the fish in the head before you cut it up? It seems to me to be just lazy and irresponsible. Kind of like taking a rushed shot on a deer with a high chance of just wounding it. I have no qualms about ending an animals life but I want it to be quick and painless. It burns me up to drive to my favorite fishing hole and see a pile of gar and bowfin on the bank.
 

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You got two types of people, atleast from my perspective.
You got people that become more hard hearted the older they get and you have people that get more soft hearted the older they get.

I work with an older man that gets worse every year. Coupla of pigeons roosting in an old metal building we have an office in. They weren't hurting a thing. He had to run them off and shut the doors.
Canadian geese, the same pair always nest right outside our building somewhere. Her eggs never hatch. They never will as long as he is here.
The older I get the more I'm in wonder at some of these living things. Canadian geese mate for life and nest in the same exact spot if they can year after year.
The big red drum. Who would of thought you were catching fish that may be older than you are.

For me it just puts a different personal perspective on some things.
 

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I'll have to admit, that bothers me to. Some hard core fisherman I am right?? I was fishing with an older guy a couple years a go. He caught a small shark and proceeded to cut the belly out, anf throw the shark back, minus his belly! That really did get to me. I would feel the same about the ray to if the poor little thing was sitting there full of life and someone was cutting his wings off.

But on the other side, I throw fish in ice cold water to sit there and suffer till he's dead. And yes sometimes I have to make myself not think about it.

So either way you look at it....the fish/crab/shrimp and so on is not having a good day period.
 

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I agree with you on the treatment of catches. I spent several summers working on a headboat and I witnessed and was at the hands of alot of fish being wasted. Those days have really shaped the angler I am today because I am about 90% catch and release. A game fish is too valuable to only catch once in my opinion, but I have no problem with anglers keeping a responsible limit.
 

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The pier sure isn't the kindest place for fish. Admittedly, even king fishing is pretty cruel when you look at it in the sense that you hook your bait shallow enough that it doesn't die and it swims all day until it often drowns from exhaustion or, if it's lucky, gets slammed by a bigger fish. Yet I kingfish and I don't think anyone could ever make me feel guilty for loving it.

I'm not sure where to draw the line between that and mutilating a ray. I wouldn't ever gaff a ray for a $2 bottom rig or saw off it's tail out of spite but when I see it happening I try not to pass judgement on the person. I'm not saying I disagree with anything you've said, I'm just sharing that I don't feel like I can draw the line of morality when it comes to fishing.
 

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Genesis 1:26- Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth".

I believe in keeping your limit of fish or doves etc. But that doesn't mean to be inhumane with them like hitting a deer on purpose. Correct me if I'm wrong but some neurologists did a study that showed most fish I think don't feel pain or don't feel barely any at all because they don't have the nerves for it. Still I don't believe in being inhumane.
 

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Genesis 1:26- Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth".

I believe in keeping your limit of fish or doves etc. But that doesn't mean to be inhumane with them like hitting a deer on purpose. Correct me if I'm wrong but some neurologists did a study that showed most fish I think don't feel pain or don't feel barely any at all because they don't have the nerves for it. Still I don't believe in being inhumane.

A menhaden sure starts shaking/franticly vibrating while getting a hook thru his nose.....

Funny you quote that, I was going to say Jesus sure helped some fisherman catch a few net full of fish one time. If it don't bother the man himself it shouldn't bother me.
 

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Ok, he caught a ray but instead of throwing it back or mutilating at the spot; he stopped fishing and went all the way down the pier to where a large cutting board is at the cleaning sink and cut off the wings. You do know that people eat skate wings don't you. I am guessing he intended to eat them. No different then cleaning any other fish that is still flopping.
 

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Ok, he caught a ray but instead of throwing it back or mutilating at the spot; he stopped fishing and went all the way down the pier to where a large cutting board is at the cleaning sink and cut off the wings. You do know that people eat skate wings don't you. I am guessing he intended to eat them. No different then cleaning any other fish that is still flopping.
I hear ray wings taste like scallops. Anyone here tried them? I've never gotten around to it because I hear they are a pain to skin.
 

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I keep my fish in a live well as long as the temps are cool enough. Many of those cool weather fish get filleted while flopping, the rest die from lack of oxygen. Summertime fish die a slow death gasping for breath on ice. They are fish, I'm likely gonna eat 'em. I don't go out of the way to inflict pain on anything, I don't find joy in the suffering of anyone or thing ..... but they're fish and if they aren't released immediately the intention is to eat 'em.

I think a lot of what happens on the piers is the thought that if you throw a "trash" fish back alive, it'll just come back and eat your bait again. Can't say that's a very enlightened line of reasoning, but I've heard it for years and it's one of the main reasons you'll see dogfish and rays laying on the pier to dry. As far as the rays with their tails cut off .... it's a good way to avoid getting stung. Can't tell a ray from a skate? Cutting anything with a tail eliminates the margin of error. Again, not incredibly enlightened. Could be there needs to be some education done, but who's going to do it, and will anyone pay attention?
 

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I hear ray wings taste like scallops. Anyone here tried them? I've never gotten around to it because I hear they are a pain to skin.
Ray wings taste like scallops if you haven't eaten really fresh scallops, otherwise they taste like ray wings:p.
I don't think it's bad as long as I eat it before my trout, but not after.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I should have said that the guy was planning on eating the wings. Personally, i don't fillet live fish, but to each his own.

I have definitely seen people cut the tails off and throw them back in and at my wife's request, I confronted a gentleman once who stomped a skate to death. The former situation ending with him burnishing a filet knife and me minding my own business for the rest of the evening. His friend asked the stomper if he ever heard the story about the man who beat his dog because he found out the dog was better than he was. Couldn't have said it better myself.
 
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