Record bat ray...

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#1
Although we've had several reports over the years of bat rays weighing 200 pounds or more, the official state (and world) record remains a fish that weighed 181 pounds 0 ounces. It was caught at the Huntington Beach Pier on July 24, 1978 by Bradley A. Dew, a senior at Huntington Beach High School. Records indicate it was 23 pounds over the prior record and, according to the Dept. of Fish and Game, the fish had a 5 1/2-foot-wingspan, a 3-inch-long stinger, and the width across the bat ray's eyes was an even ten inches.

Unfortunately, the state records seem to be a mess, and I have not been able to get a picture of the fish. We do though have several pictures of big bat rays. (1) the large bat ray caught by Mola Joe back in the '70s and (2) the large bat ray (203 pounds?) caught at Stearns Wharf in 2004 (and authenticated by Pierhead (Boyd Grant). I never heard why the second fish did not qualify for a record.

https://www.pierfishing.com/bat-ray/

http://kenjonesfishing.com/2015/08/bat-ray/


Bat.Ray_Stearns_2004_4.24_1.jpg
. Bat.Ray_Hermosa_1970s_Mola.Joe_1.jpg
 

Red Fish

Well-known member
#2
The mystery remains Ken, but much more important, you reminded me of Boyd. I hope he is well as he can be?

Being older now (on this board), I think PB (personal best) is all that counts (to me at least). Documentation, well you as a historian, you know how that goes sometimes as far as accuracy Ken...

I've eyeballed a lot of saltwater fish over my years. A picture tells quite a bit (it gives you a range). And people from this board that have told me over the years, " a seven foot leopard," or a "six foot bat ray" never have a photo. I don't doubt they caught "a big one." But, I don't round off by the foot, and if I did, it would be to round down.

That being said: the ray from Stearns Wharf has great density (probably filled with baby rays).

The one Mola Joe is standing over looks like it is "close to six feet."

What I thought was more rare was catching my only jet black bat ray inside San Francisco Bay in 2000 (landed) and a large angel shark (missed at net) around 2004 (both documented in PFIC reports).

And the biggest ray in all of the Mud Marlin Derbies (with two first place wins (really 3 as I won an additional year from no one catching one from a consecutive win). But records are unimportant Ken! LOL

One ray that I caught over the years I was very impressed with. It may not have been the biggest (80#) but as far as strength and instinct, one of the best. The proof was the “war wounds,” as this ray had about 4 hooks stuck in his head from battles he won (at least one was a stainless steel hook).
 
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Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#3
A lot of "big" bat rays have been reported over the years but it's hard to say how accurate some of these (guesstimates?) actually were.

≈ 220 Lbs. — Ventura Pier, early ‘80s
Source: PFIC

203 Lbs. — Stearns Wharf (Santa Barbara), James Elledge, April 24, 2004
Source: Personal comm. Boyd Grant; PFIC

200 Lbs. — Carpinteria Pier, Bill Hinckley, September 18, 1955
Source: Los Angeles Times, September 19, 1955

≈ 200 Lbs. — Huntington Beach Pier, May 2014
Source: Let’s Go Fishing, Huntington Beach Pier

≈ 200 Lbs. — Huntington Beach Pier, December 2009
Source: Let’s Go Fishing, Huntington Beach Pier

≈ 200 Lbs. — Oceanside Pier, April 2006
Source: Oceanside Pier Bait Shop

≈ 200 Lbs. — Seal Beach Pier, March 2001
Source: Big Fish Bait & Tackle, Seal Beach

≈ 200 Lbs. — Ocean Beach Pier, August 1998
Source: PFIC

≈ 200 Lbs. — Hermosa Beach Pier, “Mola Joe”, 1980s
Source: PFIC

≈ 200 Lbs. — Redondo Wharf No. 1, June 25, 1888
Source: Los Angeles Herald, June 27, 1888

181 Lbs.* — Huntington Beach Pier, Bradley. A. Dew, July 24, 1978
Source: Los Angeles Times, July 28, 1978 & California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife * = Official state record fish

175 Lbs. — Aliso Beach Pier, August 1984
Source: Aliso Beach Pier Snack Shack

≈ 170 Lbs. — Seal Beach Pier, May 2001
Source: Big Fish Bait & Tackle, Seal Beach

169 Lbs. — Hermosa Beach (pier?), July 30, 1912
Source: Oakland Tribune, July 30, 1912

160 Lbs. — Ocean Beach Pier, May 2009
Source: PFIC

≈ 160 Lbs. — Seal Beach Pier, March 2001
Source: Big Fish Bait & Tackle, Seal Beach

150+ Lbs. — Santa Monica Pier, May 2008
Source: Santa Monica Pier Bait Shop

150 Lbs. — Santa Monica Pier, May 2002
Source: Santa Monica Pier Bait Shop

150 Lbs. — Rainbow Pier (Long Beach), David Feske, June 17, 1960
Source: Long Beach Independent, June 18, 1960

≈ 150 Lbs. — Oceanside Harbor Pier, August 2009
Source: PFIC

≈ 150 Lbs. — Oceanside Pier, April 2001
Source: Oceanside Pier Bait Shop

≈ 140 Lbs. — Seal Beach Pier, March 2001
Source: Big Fish Bait & Tackle, Seal Beach

135 Lbs. — San Clemente Pier, June, November 1999
Source: PFIC

125 Lbs. — Huntington Beach Pier, Greg Taite, April 1999
Source: Let’s Go Fishing, Huntington Beach Pier

125 Lbs. — Rainbow Pier (Long Beach), Paul Harmon, May 13, 1964
Source: Long Beach Independent, May 15, 1964

123 Lbs. — Huntington Beach Pier, Robert Gerber, March 1999
Source: Let’s Go Fishing, Huntington Beach Pier

120 Lbs. — Ocean Park Pier, Stuts Baida, July 1927
Source: Los Angeles Times, July 31, 1927

110 Lbs. — Pine Avenue Pier (Long Beach), William Crowder, June 2, 1907
Source: Los Angeles Herald, June 2, 1907

106 ½ Lbs. — Belmont Pier (Long Beach), Bill Kerny, October 13, 1960
Source: Long Beach Independent, October 14, 1960

104 Lbs. — Rainbow Pier (Long Beach), Dave Feske, October 13, 1960
Source: Long Beach Independent, October 14, 1960

100+ Lbs. — San Clemente Pier, December 23, 2017
Source: Hogan’s Bait and Tackle (Dana Point)/PFIC

100+ Lbs. — Embarcadero Marina Pier (San Diego), June 24, 2002
Source: Harbor Bait & Tackle

100+ Lbs. — Stearns Wharf (Santa Barbara), June 1997
Source: Mike’s Bait & Tackle, Stearns Wharf, June 1997

100 Lbs. — Seal Beach Pier, April 1958
Source: Long Beach Independent-Press Telegram, April 13, 1958

≈ 100 Lbs. — Newport Pier, Isador Greenbaum, August 1992
Source: Tustin News, August 27, 1992

≈ 100 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, Walter Cartwright, April 11, 1934
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, April 12, 1934