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Atlantic Electric Ray, Torpedo nobiliana

Irish Record Fish: 88 lbs 40 kilos
Caught: off Achill Island 2002
Boat Specimen: 20 lbs  9.07 kgs
Shore Specimen: 10 lbs  4.54 kgs
Photo Credit:

  Rafael Banon

Introduction: Here is a rare one to be very careful of - the Atlantic Electric Ray - and it can reach 1.8 metres (5 feet) and 80 kilos (180 lbs)!  Another species of electric ray, the Spotted Torpedo is found further north but has not been recorded in Ireland... although it is caught in Scottish waters and we might see it put in an appearance off Northern Ireland or Donegal some day.  The Electric Ray is a rare capture. My thanks again to Dr Ian Lawler of Bord Iascaight Mhara for his assistance.  

Boat tactics: For something this size, you should go up to the 30 lbs standard given these rays do get enormous!  They are typically encountered when fishing in colder northern waters, often over mud rather than sand and at depth. A wire trace is essential and baits needs to be big -  nothing less than mackerel cones or whole fish attached to forged 6/0 to 10/0 hooks.  As for shocks travelling up the lines, that one's a bit fishy... 

Shore tactics: Be a bit of a shock to encounter one of these beauties from the shore... sorry!... but based on the evidence of the recent catch, any mark offering deep water over a mud bottom must offer you a chance. Try Donegal for size, or the rough ground marks off Purteen Harbour on Achill Island's southern shore.  One was reported taken in Cork Harbour, on a mudflat.