The thornback ray has a flat body with its body is kite-shaped and browns into greys depending on habitat in colour on the back with thorny spines and it has a white underbelly. The thornback ray also has a light brown with sometimes an orange tint to it with a marbled pattern across its back.
Thornbacks are sometimes misidentified with some other rays but Thornies have a lot of spines some mature females also have spines on the underside.
Thornies can also tend to play with the bait before they actually take so don’t strike on the first pull of the rod as its likely you will miss the bite.
Just beware when handling thornbacks as the spines and teeth are sharp.
Running ledger rig: 60lb Rig body, 60lb hook length 3ft leading to a single 3/0 hook.
Up & Over rig: 60lb Rig body, 60lb hook length 3ft+ leading to a 3/0 hook.
Pulley dropper rig: 60lb Rig body, 60lb hook length 3ft leading to a 3/0 hook.
Sprats: Whipped on whole with a clear hooking point and tail snipped off.
Sardines: Whipped on whole again with the tail snipped off and a clear hooking point.
Mackerel: Cut into strips as long as your finger and as fat roughly hook through once and whip shank to the fish.
Bluey: Great bait cut a fillet off and half it use on its own or mix with squid strip to strengthen it whip together it can be a killer combo!
Thornbacks tend to favour sandy and muddy grounds but can be found on cleaner gravels as well feeding, Thornbacks also tend to be quite sociable fish travelling in small groups if you catch one rebait and put it in the same area s there is a good chance you will catch others as they will hang around due to a missing member.