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The Smooth Butterfly Ray

Bunker up Fishin’ made our first trip back to Assateague Island, MD this year. It’s always a pleasure to reunite with our friends Mike and Kim. As usual, they rolled out the red carpet and fed us like Kings. It was my birthday weekend and my girlfriend, Sheri and I anticipated good things to happen on the beach.

The weather was sketchy to say the least, there was a possibility of thundershowers all weekend. Sheri and I drove up the beach early Friday morning to meet up with a new customer, Bill Watson, who purchased a caster a few weeks earlier and wanted me to meet him on the beach to give him a personal demo on the use of the Sand Blaster. The water was cold and we all thought that to be a little unusual due to the warm flow coming up from the south. Never the less we always anticipate a catch even when the conditions are extreme, so we blasted away!

It took a few hours to get our first bite. I grabbed the rod and fought something big for around 20 minutes. Just before we got to see it, the hook released. I thought it had to be a nice shark but you never know until you see it. We had another good hit later on in the day but it released as well. It was a good sign to get some hits in cold water so we decided to regroup back at the Ponderosa and bait up for the next day with Mike and Kim.

Kim had an awesome meal planned for my birthday; sausage pie and key lime pie for dessert! We watched the weather and it looked clear for the next day so we hit the hay and got some much needed sleep. The next morning arrived with pouring down rain. It was a surprise to us all and we almost decided to just pack up and head home. But Mike came down the stairs and said he thought it was going to blow out of there. So, Sheri, Kim and I said, “let’s go for it!”

On the way there, we saw the sky clearing up and were glad we stayed. It took a while for the first hit. Sheri grabbed the rod and said she thought it was something big as the line was just peeling off the reel. It was cool watching the battle and we all thought it was a nice shark for sure. It wasn’t acting like a ray, it never stopped fighting and moved back and forth very characteristic of a big shark. As it entered the surf I could see it was a ray. You get the usual sigh, “awwwww, it’s a ray,” but it’s still awesome when it’s a huge ray and this Smooth Butterfly Ray was the biggest I’ve ever seen. It was between 5-6′ across and weighing probably 175-200lbs.

We took a few pictures with my proud, exhausted girl holding the rod. I told her she had to handle a big ray before she tackled a big shark so it was a great test for her. We released the fish unharmed and blasted out some more baits. Soon after that, we reeled in a 50lb. dusky. Not a bad day of fishing considering we almost didn’t go due to the weather.

Like I always say, good or bad, with the Sand Blaster it’s always a mission and like any mission you feel a sense of accomplishment when you complete it to the best of your ability. That’s exactly what we do at BUF!

We’re going to try to get out to the beach this weekend and hopefully the water has warmed up so we can get into some monster sharks!!!! Come check us out we can always be found at Mile Marker 22.

Please make sure when using the Sand Blaster to respect the park rules and stay within the designated areas. As always, leave only footprints. Thanks.