Brisbane Pier, bat rays and getting stung...

Ken Jones

Staff member
Date: June 25, 2003
To: PFIC Message Board
From: crazyguy

Subject: Sierra Point Pier

Fished this morning from around 8:30am-12:30pm. I saw a guy fishing at the end, so I fished about 1/2 out on the pier. Turns out it was Salty Nick. Seemed like a nice guy and offered me his anchovies, but I already had some. My main objective was to try for a striper or a halibut. I brought along my cast net and I had to work extremely hard all day just to get one shiner and three topsmelt. A friend of mine caught three bullheads. It was pretty slow until 10:30 or so. I threw out the only shiner about 20 feet from the pier and put my reel into freespool. About 10 minutes later, I see the tip dip down a few times, and then line starts to peel off at a very quick pace. I picked the rod up and counted to three and set the hook. This guy just went straight out towards the East Bay. I thought it was a huge striper because it just didn't seem like a halibut. After 15 minutes of fighting it, and it still didn't come near, I kinda knew it wasn’t a striper. I thought it might be a large leopard, but most likely it was a bat ray. He finally came up about 5 minutes later. Wow, I never knew the ray would hit a live shiner. He measured out to be just under 36”. Not very big, but a great fight. Released him back into the water. About 30 minutes later, my other reel baited with squid goes off. I set the hook and knew it wasn't a ray, so I kinda horsed the fish in. Turned out to be a 26” leopard shark. It got slow after that, so I tried to use the last two smelt just before the end of the pier. I threw one on the left and one on the right. While I was packing up, I noticed the pole on the right dip down a few times. It never really pulled out line from the free spool, and I reeled up about 5 minutes later to find my smelt gone. I grabbed my other pole and casted to the same spot. A few minutes later, I notice it dipping slightly. I picked the pole up and tried to set the hook with a tug, but I pulled up my smelt, which had bite marks on it. He was almost chomped in half. I was tired from throwing the cast net a billion times so we packed up and left. Fun day though. Really warm.

Posted by andthelinegoeszziipp

Careful when handling them rays! While fishing a couple weeks ago my cousin’s husband was poked deeply in the hand by a ray. A few days later he went to the doctor and it turned out the poison from the stinger traveled up to his shoulder and slowed his heartbeat down so much so that he was hospitalized for three days. He’s fine now and is ready to go fishing again. I’m sure this has been brought prior but just as a heads up take special care when handling rays.

Posted by rita001

Glad he's okay!! Thanks for the reminder!!

Posted by pEsCaDoR619

Just make sure that you get some hot water on the site as quick as possible. The hotter the better. This slows down the process and if I remember correctly I think it even helps break down the venom. But it’s a good thing he went to the doctor when he did. His reaction might have been more of an allergic one rather than a general one though. I might be wrong. I don’t feel like doing the research this late at night hehehe, but if we all just treated the rays with the respect needed, we would never have to find out if that type of adverse reaction applies to us as well. But then again, this happens. Next time pee on it!

Posted by adr

If you feel you are getting allergic reaction to the venom, take an antihistamine (Benadryl) and seek medical treatment.

Posted by gyozadude

Good suggestion... dosage? If an allergic reaction is in progress, and I have those sometimes with crabs or head-on shrimp, then I take 1 Benadryl liquid gel cap per 150 lbs. of body weight and follow up 20 minutes with a second dose if the first one can't control the reaction or I can't get to the emergency room fast enough. If a reaction is in full swing and I've already got tightness of the chest and my fingers are total swollen, I've taken twice that amount to save myself. But it's good advice.
With animal venom though, sometimes the reaction isn't based on histamine release. For example, I had a spider bite me on my back and it caused 3 days of painful back spasms that needed pain killer shots immediately and 3 times normal dose of Naproxyn Sodium (aleve) every 6 hours to finally stop. Imagine a leg cramp along your entire back that won't stop. We weren't sure what kind of spider - black widow or brown spider. But if was brown, I'm expecting lesions and tissue rot to happen within the next 5 years... that's what animal venom can do...
For bat rays, I hear that temperature over like 120F breaks it down pretty quick. My solution would be to do the dishes quick and use scalding water. But if it’s gotten into the circulatory system, you're pretty much outta luck. Which is what it sounded like with this slowing of the heart deal. Accidents do happen and we do get stung. So be careful out there and better luck next time.
Gyozadude, “Yes - I can roll my own potsticker skins”

Posted by Songslinger

Confucius Says: One must endeavor to keep away from the sharp end of things.