Learning how to unhook a stingray is a lifesaver.
Well, at least, it is very helpful, so you don’t run the risk of getting painfully stung by this creature.
Now that you have caught one, it is only practical that you unhook it. But the question is, how do you actually go about it without the nasty stings and bites?
Good you asked! Today, we’ll talk about unhooking a stingray and 3 easy ways. Once you have tried out these techniques, feel free to use the one that works best for you. Let’s get started!
It Is Tough to Learn How to Unhook a Stingray?
It does take some skill and finesse but anyone can easily learn it.
And yes, if you are attempting to catch stingrays, you definitely need to learn this essential skill. Otherwise, you’ll have to endure the stings, which is not at all a fun experience.
Some people opt to turn the stingray quickly onto its back. Once in this position, they can remove the hook.
As for others, they choose to break the barb prior to unhooking.
And then again, you can snip off the leader right near your hook.
Which one of these techniques work? Is one better than the other? Let’s talk more about it below.
How to Unhook a Stingray in 3 Ways
For every newbie, the dreaded stingray’s stinging action is the least fun of catching this marine creature.
Fortunately, there is a way to go around it and never get stung. Ever again!
Take a look at these 3 ways on how to unhook a stingray and choose the one that resonates with you the most.
1. Flip and Remove
This is the most common way of unhooking a stingray that folks do all the time.
Basically, it’s done exactly how it’s described: First, you turn the stingray to its back, and once you have the stinger out of the way, you can safely remove the hook. It’s that simple!
Another thing that’s great about this method is that it calms the fish down. When the stingray does not feel threatened, it puts its defenses down. Hence, you can take it out of your hook safely.
But there’s one caveat – it’s not all too easy to do this technique. In fact, stingrays are a bit heavy, which makes them rather tricky to flip it over.
Fortunately, there’s a hack you can apply for this rather simple process. If you’re dealing with a smaller stingray, simply use your fishing line to gently flip him to its back.
For larger ones, you can grab a wet piece of cloth or wear gloves to grasp its tail, as well as the barb. Doing so keeps you out of danger. Then, you can flip him carefully this way.
If you think you’re in the clear, hold on one more second – you should never let go of its tail. Be sure that you have unhooked first with a pair of pliers, while at the same time holding on to the barb and tail.
2. Snip It Off
This used to be the go-to of many newbie anglers who have caught their first few stingrays.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the popular method since it is the quickest and the simplest.
Plus, if you are working with a heavy fish, it’s not as stressful as when you flip them over or cut the barb right off.
The most important thing is that you have the right cutting tool. And yes, you need to snip the leader off as close as possible to the hook.
3. Cut the Barb
For those who like to play it safe, nothing can give you more peace of mind and the assurance of not getting stung than by breaking the barb off.
I would, however, only do this if I’m planning on using this creature as shark bait. Otherwise, there is no point in cutting the barb off straight away. Aside from the fact that it grows back, it just does not sit well with me, for some reason.
But if it is what you prefer to do so, then you can go ahead and do as you please. I would grasp the tail securely using a pair of pliers, and then angle the blade towards the stingray’s barb.
The way to do it is to make sure you are cutting towards the body and running the edge of the knife along the barb. This should cut that piece right off and without much bloodshed.
Another very important piece of advice – there are stingrays with more than a single barb. So, don’t rest easy just because you got one out. There may be other barbs not in plain sight, which can still sting you.
What To Do When Stung By A Stingray
What I just taught you were ways on how to unhook a stingray. But then again, accidents do happen.
Generally, stingrays sting when you hold the above their back. You may even accidentally reach further down, which is close to the tail. So without much hesitation, this ray can quickly sting you… And it’s downright painful.
There is also venom that comes along with the sting. Think of it as being jabbed by a needle – it penetrates your flesh, then there goes the venom flowing into your body.
Along with the toxin comes the swelling. Overtime, it can get worse, although you can actually do something about it.
For instance, you need to clean the wound before submerging the affected area in hot water. Never use ice as this does not do anything to improve your condition. The ideal water temperature is 110 degrees F for about half an hour or so.
But the ultimate best way to deal with a sting is by seeking prompt medical attention. A specialist can easily take the barb out without causing further damages to your tissues.
By learning how to unhook a stingray – and doing it correctly – you can spare yourself from potential injuries and expenses when you do get stung.
We hope these techniques have been helpful for you. Now, you can be more confident each time you catch a ray and get it out of your hook safely and securely.
So, go out there, enjoy the catch, and stay safe!