Cownose Ray (Rhinoptera bonasus)

Cownose Ray (Rhinoptera bonasus)

cow nose ray, 3rs beach, eagle ray, sussex county, indian river inlet, masseys landing,assawoman bay, rehoboth bay, delaware bay, surf fishing,
JT’s big ray from 3R’s beach in Delaware Seashore State Park

Also known as …

Description …

The cownose ray is a species of eagle ray found all over the east coast.  A broad flat body with winglike pectoral fins.  A long whip like tail with a barbed spine at the base of the tail.  The front of the head has an indentation creating a similar appearance to a cow’s nose, hence the name cownose ray.  They are brown or brownish wiht a mustard yellow tint on their backs that fades to an all white belly.  They feed on clams ,oysters, and hard clams using a set of dental plates to crush the shells.  They will fan the bottom of the bays and estuaries stirring up sand to find clams.  They are a nuisance to clam and oyster farmers.  They will travel and swim in groups often swimming just below the surface of the water. 


cape henlopen state park, cownose ray, surf fishing,
Cownose ray front view notice the indented nose area

They will gather in large groups in the inland bays.  Many bow anglers will shoot them for their meat and sometimes just for sport.  They are often caught in the surf on cut baits, bloodworm, fishbites, crab, clam, and squid.   They can put up a serious fight and when they decide to lock their wings or pectoral fins into the sand are nearly impossible to retrieve.  Let them have a little slack and they will start moving again.  Trying  to  “horse” one of these in will result in a broken rod.

Delaware Creel Limit … None 







Comments are closed.