Skates are a very significant group of marine animals in terms of species composition. Skates are called the superorder of cartilaginous fish, which includes about 15 families and dozens of genera. All of them are united by an unusual appearance and lifestyle. Most species are marine inhabitants, but there are also freshwater ones.

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Skate Fishing

Characteristics of skate

A flattened body and a long scalloped tail are characteristic of fish. On the upper side there are eyes and sprinklers – breathing holes equipped with valves through which fish draw water into the gills. The gill plates, mouth and nostrils themselves are on the underside of the fish, which is usually a whitish color. The outer side of the fish has a protective color corresponding to the living conditions. The scales of the skates are reduced or have turned into a certain species called placoid. Outwardly, it resembles a plate with a spike, which creates an unusual structure, while the skin is distinguished by an unusual texture.


Often the extraction of this fish is associated with the use of skate skin for various products. The sizes of fish, respectively, vary greatly from a few centimeters to 6-7 m in length. Like all cartilaginous fish, skates have a very developed nervous system that is directly associated with sensory sensory organs. Some types of skates can be dangerous to humans due to the presence of a sharp spike on the tail. A family of electric slopes have an organ with which they can be paralyzed by an electric discharge. The habitat of stingrays captures the waters of the entire oceans, from the Arctic and Antarctic to tropical seas. Most skates lead a benthic lifestyle, but there are pelargic species. They feed on benthic animals: mollusks, crustaceans and other things, pelargic ones – plankton. Fishermen living in the European part are best known for two species of stingrays living in the waters of the Azov-Black Sea region: a european stingray (sea cat) and a sea fox.

Reproduction habit of skate

Skates, like sharks, have more diverse breeding forms. Females have internal genitalia with a primitive uterus. With internal fertilization, fish lay capsules with eggs or give birth to already formed fry.

Skate fishing guide: Techniques, bait and gear

Skate fishing techniques

Given the lifestyle, the main way to catch skates is bottom gear. An important factor in the choice of equipment is the size of the prey and fishing conditions. For catching medium-sized Black Sea fish, tackle is used, the power of which is rather associated with casting range and practicality. In general, all “donks” are very simple and designed to catch several species of fish. In addition, skates are predators and during active hunting they respond to spinning lures and fly fishing streamers.

Catching skate on bottom gear

For skates, depending on the region, various gears can be used. It depends on the size of the catch. Most fishermen prefer to catch skates from the shore with “long-range” bottom fishing rods. For the bottom tackle, various rods with “running equipment” are used, these can be either specialized “surf” rods or various spinning rods. The length and test of the rods should correspond to the selected tasks and terrain. As with other marine fishing methods, there is no need to use delicate rigs. This is due to the conditions of fishing and the ability to catch a fairly large and lively fish.


In many situations, fishing can take place at great depths and distances, which means that there is a need for prolonged exhaustion of forests, which requires certain physical efforts on the part of the fisherman and increased requirements for the strength of gear and reels, in particular. According to the principle of action, the reels can be either multiplier or inertia-free. Accordingly, the rods are selected depending on the reel system. To select a fishing spot, you must consult experienced local fishers or guides. Fishing is best done at night, but the ramps tend to self-detect, and therefore, sitting near fishing rods all night is not necessary. When fishing, especially at night, it is worth remembering caution when handling fish due to spikes.

Skate fishing bait

When fishing on various bottom rigs, the best bait on the Black Sea coast is considered to be “live bait” from small coastal fish. To do this, pre-catch local medium-sized gobies and more. It is important to keep the fish alive throughout the fishing. As already mentioned, skates can be caught as “by-catch” during spinning and fly fishing. Features of such fishing depend more on local conditions than on a particular fish.

Where to catch skate

The diversity of skates is supported by an extensive habitat. Fish are found in all oceans to a greater or lesser extent. The largest number of species probably belongs to the tropical and subtropical zones. Fish live at various depths and lead a diverse lifestyle. Often approach the coastline. Pelargic species feed on plankton, and, hunting for it, pursue on open spaces of oceans. Freshwater species inhabit the rivers of Asia and America.

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