I’ve just read through this thread, really interesting.
The first real fishing trip I took my boy on, was when we moved to Chch and he was about 7. It was an evening session to the fishing jetty at Lyttleton and we didn’t really know what to expect. I forget what else we caught that night – but Michael (my boy) got a bite and struck like his life depended on it. I presume it was a ray – because this fish just slammed the rod back down onto the wooden rail and then draged the rod and him along the length of the jetty Luckily the line broke because I’m not sure if he would have let go of the rod! But he has been seriously hooked on fishing ever since.
When I told my cousin of this, who grew up in Chch, he said that when he was younger, him and his mates used to fish for rays at Lyttleton using a winch!
I’ve only ever hooked a ray once – was in the Sounds and I thought I’d caught the InterIslander. Personally, I share ‘rockys’ opinion on targeting rays – they’re not sport because you can just sit on a breakwater at dusk and when one swims along, throw out something smelly with a hook in it, get (admittedly a big) thrill as your reel screams – then lose a lot of line and tackle and leave a fish to swim around with it.