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White Skate, Rostroraja alba

Irish Record Fish: 165 lbs none listed
Caught: Clew Bay 1966
Boat Specimen: 80 lbs 36.29 kgs
Shore Specimen: 80 lbs 36.29 kgs
Photo Credit:

Introduction: By law all Skate of any species must be returned alive. Two very rare species of skate are found occassionally in Irish waters, the White Skate above and the Long Nosed Skate, Raja oxyrinchus.  The Long Nosed Skate has no record listed, but a specimen can be claimed for any fish over 80 lbs.  Catch and release IS MANDATORY for all Skate, irrespective of species, as proper photos are sufficient evidence for any claims you make to the ISFC. Boat tactics: For something this size, you have to be working at the 30 lbs or 60 lbs standard given these Skate get up to enormous sizes.  They are typically encountered when fishing in shallow waters over sand, which is why most of the big shallow western bays are such good marks. A wire trace is essential and baits needs to be big -  nothing less than a whole mackerel or in Clew Bay a whole dogfish attached to forged 6/0 to 10/0 hooks will work.  Pumping a big skate up off the sea bed in a flowing tide has to be the most arduous angling a body can do, but what a result to see these fabulous creatures!  Take a photo and let it back. Shore tactics: These are rare and wonderful creatures and you need a boat and loads of Irish luck... there are a few recorded instances of Skate being landed from shore, including a remarkable feat of angling in Fenit with a 109 lbs Skate being landed after 4.5 hours hard work on a light beachcaster loaded with 19 lb line!  These marks, usually features access to wide shallow bays and a strong tidal race, are very few and farther between these days, akin to the fish.  They are not advertised any more.