December 4 2022

Have You Ever Caught a Roughtail Stingray on Cape Cod?


📸 Photo credit: Jeremy Clark

Did you know that the largest stingray in the Atlantic Ocean (the roughtail stingray) can grow to be 800lbs, and hunts along the beaches of Cape Cod during the night?

Roughtail stingrays will often bury themselves in bottom sediment. They are opportunistic predators that feed on a variety of bony fish and invertebrates. 

During the night on Cape Cod it is not unusual for these massive stingrays to come within 20-30 yards of the shoreline, in as shallow as 3-4 feet of water!

Pictured above is Joshua Smith (the creator of the survey) with a Cape Cod roughtail stingray.

Today I wanted to let you know about Joshua Smith, who is a member of My Fishing Cape Cod and a senior biology student at Suffolk University in Boston. Josh is doing his senior capstone project on roughtail stingrays. 

More specifically, he is trying to figure out the following...

  • Has there been an increase in them being caught around Cape Cod? Cape Cod is the the northern-most area of their distribution.
  • If so, then what factors could be causing this change? (water temperature, bait movement, predators).

If you fish for brown sharks during the summer and/or have caught roughtail stingrays before, then it would be a big help for Josh if you took a moment to fill out his survey. Josh has made the survey as concise as possible, and all the answers are anonymous. 

I'd also like to invite you to send the survey to anyone who may be able to participate. The direct link to the survey is:

Tight lines! 🎣

  • Just finding this post as I did a search for “sting ray Cape Cod”. A neighbor spotted one this morning in shallow water along a skiff line in Woods Hole, Vineyard Sound side He was stretching his arms as wide as he could go when describing it to me!

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