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Hey All, 

I hope you are all well! I am new to this site and thought I would join some sort of forum to learn more about fishing etc.

Recently I got my first boat and started doing some off-shore fishing in Hexham NSW. I've been catching about six stingrays a day when I go fishing, I don't know much about them so just been throwing them back. So I have a few questions:

1. What is the legal size and limit for Stingrays in NSW? I checked DPI but it didn't have them listed: Please login or register to see this link.

2. I know that the ray has four pads of meat (two top and two bottom), but there is a lot of waste... Do you have any recommendations on what to do with the rest of the ray?

3. Is ray a good bait for crabbing? If it is, would the scraps work (Bones, body and head)?

4. Since I have never caught one to keep before what methods do you recommend when it comes to killing? I was thinking:
- Hook Ray
- Net Ray

- Use bolt cutters and cut the rays tail off (throw tail away)

- Kill Ray (need to learn best method for this)

Of course, if Ray isn't legal to keep I won't and it also seems worth keeping if its a big ray. I would rather not catch them if we have to waste the rest of the ray for the amount of meat. But since I go crabbing, if I can use the scraps for crabbing then I think that should be okay.

Any tips, advise and the rest would be wonderful.


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Rays are edible and i believe legal to keep in NSW, however, I would not recommend keeping one unless you know how to prepare it.  I learnt ages ago from an aboriginal mate of mine - it is a long and involved process for not much reward so unless you are really hungry I would probably continue releasing them unharmed.


As far as crab bait, I have not tried but I would stick to either mullet or other oily fish frames or chicken frames, both work very well and are cost effective.


if you are catching rays you are likely fishing in the right area to catch whiting, bream, flathead and other "bread and butter" estuary species.  Try using fresh live bait such as yabbies or worms around sandbank edges or drop offs for best results.  Alternatively, have a crack with either soft plastic of hard bodied lures which rays avoid, you will occasionally hook an unlucky one by mistake though. 

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I have always wanted to try ray. I have never done it. Next time I will. 

I have used them as crab bait when I was a kid. It worked fine but I would not use them now. I use Chicken frames that are really cheap and easy to source and use.

The bag limit for stingray in NSW is 5 I don't think there is a size limit. 

The only time I have seen skate for sale in fish shops they cut the 2 wings off and skinned it. I assume they just pulled the skin off with pliers? 

If you place the ray on its back it will find it hard to sting you but be really careful handling them. They are really dangerous. A mate of mine was cut to the bone on his leg while handling one on a trawler. Justin Lions said that the wound that Steve Irwin got was so massive that there was no way he could have survived. He pumped Steves chest for over an hour. 

I'd be really interested to find out more about how you cook them. I know that first Australians like some species and wont each other ones. I don't know what ones. 

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See if you can find a show called Fishing the Wild.  Coupla blokes going out in the middle of no-where in the NT, fishing, hunting/gathering with indigenous communities etc.  They do a segment in one episode about how to cook ray which is exactly how my mate taught me to do it when i lived up in the kimberley.  The end result is very tasty for sure but the reward for effort is what turns me off.  Certainly if I needed food I'd go for it though. 


And if you have to binge watch the whole season to find that bit, that's not a bad thing.

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