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The Blonde Ray

There was a time when blonde rays were rarely caught locally but since everyone has been dragging baits over the sand banks for turbot more and more blondes have been boated.

 

They live on shallow sandy banks where there are strong tides and a good supply of sand eels.

 

Blonde Rays have small dark spots all over the upper side with a few ringing round pale spots. They can be identified from the spotted ray by the spots that go right to the edge of the wings, while the spotted rays don’t go right to the edge.

Fact File

Latin Name: Raja (Raja) brachyura

 

Distribution: Atlantic coasts from Madeira, and Morocco north to the Shetlands, English Channel and western part of North Sea (less common); also western Mediterranean (relatively rare; one doubtful record from northern Aegean).

 

 

Habitat:  Soft sand and muddy seabeds in depths all of the way down to almost one thousand metre

 

Size: Up to 2m across

 

Season: Mainly a summer fish. In summer months they can be caught around the Kingmere reef and Shelley rocks

 

Staple food: Opportunitst feeders, crabs, lobsters, shellfish and molluscs, and also take small fish and sandeels at times

 

Angling tactics: Fish at anchor with a running ledger and a large fiish or squid bait

 

Bait Fish or Squid

 

British Record:

Shore          32lb 10oz

Boat record  39 10 oz

Average Size:  18lb

 

Caught on: Due to their preference for fairly deep water the blonde ray are a very rare catch from the shore. Mostly caught on boats and deep water shore marks where there is a sandy bottom

 

 

A Blonde Ray Blonde Ray Blonde ray from Ocean Warrior