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There was a group of guys with some pretty specialized boats with lights, superstructure, and crossbow/longbow equipment having a cow-nose ray tournament weigh-in last Saturday in Deltaville. The rays they were bringing in were HUGE, like I saw one 70 lbs..... Is this an increasing 'pass time' in our area / on the east coast / south / whatever? It appeared interesting on the surface as a sport, and those rays do eat our oysters - 'somebeeches' - anybody on this board know of such a sport / participated / etc... ?
 

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Summer before last, a friend that has a place on south end of Norris bridge told me he talked with some that were filming a TV show about bow hunting
rays. (They were landing a ray 10-15' off his dock)
Don't recall hearing of anything in area since that time. Maybe others have..?
 

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We had guests at our Gwynn's Is cottage with their young kids last weekend. He said 2 specialized boats with similar gear pulled up, one was a lead and the "spotter"...the 2nd boat arrowed 2 rays right off the beach with 2 young kids watching. They pulled the rays up to the boat, gaffed them, brought them onboard only to retrieve the arrow and threw the carcasses back in the water. Meanwhile, my colleague was explaining to his young kids watching all of this 15 yards away on the beach that they "eat the wings like scallops". Except, as he said this they dropped the bloody carcasses in the bay and moved on...now he had to think of a quick explanation for the inevitable next question from his kids. In 9 years, I have never seen anything like that down there.
 

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Its a very quickly growing sport. I have had several charters to where that's all they wanted to do was shoot rays with bows. They also have a tournament in reedville every year. I have checked all the laws and it is completely legal. I was chartered by a group of guys from the west last year to "fish" the tournament. Some people do eat them but most just toss them over. I agree its kind of a waste but its legal and they are listed as a problem species kinda like a coyote. They say that there are so many because of the down fall of the shark population and thats all that eats them. Seems like the shark population is growing though.
 

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I talked to some guys who were at the gas station at 33/64 outside of West Point who had high sided aluminum boats with large front pulpits and "Bojangles Bow Fishing Team" stickers on their boat about a month ago. They said they were after rays and that they planned to eat the top side of the wings. I've kept several rays I've caught LT fishing and I find it fairly good to eat, but one is enough for a long time. I'm always meaning to try and figure out better ways of preparing it than making nuggets and frying, but I haven't done it. There are plenty around and they fight hard. Sometimes they're the only excitement I can find. I'm not in favor of just shooting them and tossing them back. That sort of waste makes all fishermen look bad. I'd be interested to hear how other people have fixed them.
 

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Bass Pro in Arundel Mills in Md. Had one of those boats on the showroom floor a while back. Had the platform and spot lights etc.
 

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It is nothing new at all. My father used to take our neighbor out on occasion because he liked bow fishing for rays. That was a little over 40 years ago. Just not many people did it then but there was a few. My teenage grandson and his buddies do it now and they enjoy it. He works for a water man and spends a lot of time on the water fishing and enjoying the water with his buddies. I am glad to see them enjoy the outdoors. Keeps them out of trouble and a lot better than playing video games.
 

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I don't care if you want to slay the rays but please take them home and through them away. Because when you just through the killed ones back in the water they rot. Nothing else in the bay will eat them. Then they float onto the local beaches and smell awful. Then the next group to have a blast are my labs who just love to roll on the rotted flesh. Makes for a real happy wife when the dogs come inside and jump on the couch.
So please just be considerate.
 

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I don't care if you want to slay the rays but please take them home and through them away. Because when you just through the killed ones back in the water they rot. Nothing else in the bay will eat them. Then they float onto the local beaches and smell awful. Then the next group to have a blast are my labs who just love to roll on the rotted flesh. Makes for a real happy wife when the dogs come inside and jump on the couch. So please just be considerate.
I mean "throw" not "through". Hate auto fill
 

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I've got no problem with responsible legal bowfishing, and as some have said this isn't new. What is new is the numbers of people doing it and the publicity its getting. We should all recognize that the anti-fishing and anti-hunting groups have gotten wind of it, and there have been posts on this board about this. For those who don't believe it's on these groups' collective radar:

http://wtop.com/maryland/2015/06/md-governor-asked-to-stop-bay-bowfishing-tournament/

Wanton waste is exactly the type of thing they love to make an issue out of, so i'm hoping the bowfishers among us take notice and this doesn't become a political/image problem for all of us.
 

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I don't care if you want to slay the rays but please take them home and through them away. Because when you just through the killed ones back in the water they rot. Nothing else in the bay will eat them. Then they float onto the local beaches and smell awful. Then the next group to have a blast are my labs who just love to roll on the rotted flesh. Makes for a real happy wife when the dogs come inside and jump on the couch.
So please just be considerate.
Agreed. I want them gone as well, if they tater the baby crab and oyster population. The few shows I have seen on TV that were filmed in the area have 1 or 2 big rubber trashcans on board and the rays go in there. Who knows where they go from there, but this is a better method than gaffing a bloody carcass and tossing it back in the bay 30 feet from somebody's beach or pier.
 

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I hope they kill a million. We all know they are vastly overpopulated and play hell on residential and commercial foodfish and shellfish stocks. Shootin em and tossin em back in front of people is the way to get it all banned though. I hope they learn to throw em in a dumpster away from prying eyes.
 
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