Bat Ray Weight and Length?

A bat ray from Newport Harbor

Can we measure the width of a bat ray and come up with a reliable weight? That was the question posed a few years ago, a question followed by a thread on Pier Fishing In California that tried to answer the question. I’m not too sure how accurate the charts are but they offer up at a look at some possible figures.

Date: June 20, 2007 — To: Pier Fishing In California Message Board — From: Northern Boy — Subject: Bat Ray Weight Graph

I have taken a scientific approach to try and settle the never ending bat ray weight controversy.

I plotted all the bat ray weights on Songlinger’s page, and that of the certified pier record bat ray (203 lbs, Stearns Wharf 04-24-04), against their wingspans. These are values I trust. I did change one of the values which Songslinger thought was a typo in an old post.

What you can see is that there is an excellent correlation between wingspan and weight (R-squared of 0.94 is very, very good), and that there is an exponential relationship: with really big rays, a small increase in wingspan gives a big increase in weight. With small rays, adding inches to wingspan doesn’t change weight very much.

 From the chart I have created a table so you can estimate the weight of a ray based upon its wingspan (see post below). 

It would be nice to have more data points for big rays.

A fat bat ray at Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara

Posted by Raidersfan1 — Subject: Bat Ray Weight Table

If I can remember correctly, the winning bat ray at this year’s MMD 07, was measured at 44 inches with a weight of 46-lbs caught by Rockfish. 

As well as the bat ray caught at the Pig Roast by SS23, measured 43 inches and 58-lbs. So the figures in the chart would still be off by at least 10-lbs or more.

Posted by Northern Boy — Subject: Updated Table

Adding those data in suggest that the MMD winner was skinny by average bat ray standards! The correlation is still good. SS23′s is bang on the line.

Anyone else got any reliable data points? Especially for big rays?

The more data we can add the more accurate it will become. Plus we’ll get a decent estimate of how much “error” is in the calculation. Ie., we can say with confidence that a ray measuring “x” inches is going to be “y” lbs. plus or minus “z”.

Posted by SturgeonSlayer23 — Subject: Updated Table

Nice table NB! It sums it up pretty close to the averages. I think there will always be a little bit of leeway with rays because of their thickness to length comparison. I pulled one ray outa BML a couple months ago, 29-lbs. 32-in. span to add a bit more real data to the table. He had a nice thick center mass. -SS23

Posted by Ken Jones — Subject: Mud Marlin Derby 2002 weights/width

Nufo:1 ray 16-lbs 28″; Mjonesjr: 1 ray 16-lbs 28″; Jim D.: 1 ray 27-lbs 34″; West Coast Dave: 4 rays — 34-lbs 37″, 28-lbs 34.5″, 12-lbs 25.5″, 15-lbs 27″; Stinkyfingers: 1 ray 10-lbs 26″; Dolphinrider: 1 ray 12-lbs 27″; Rockfish: 6 rays — 5-lbs 22.5″, 10-lbs 26.5″, 18.5-lbs 26.5″, 20-lbs 31″, 24-lbs 32.5″, 27-lb 32.5″; OregonGreen: 1 ray 10-lbs 26″; Ben: 5 rays — 37-lbs 37.5″, 7-lbs 33.25″, 17-lbs 29.5″, 16-lbs 28″, 21-lbs 33″; MartyMart: 2 rays — 14-lbs 28″, 55-lbs 42″; Prometheus: 2 rays — 10-lbs ?”, 13-lbs 27″; Redfish: 2 rays — 19-lbs 37.5″, 5-lbs 18″; Songslinger: 2 rays — 4-lbs 20″, 8-lbs 21″. Total of 29 rays.

Posted by Ken Jones — Subject: Mud Marlin Derby 2004 weights/width

Time — Name — “Pier Rat” name —Lbs. — Inches

7:00pm—Joe R.—Sportguy33—17.0-Lbs, 25.0-inches

7:10pm—Kevin L.—GrapeApe168—5.0 Lbs, 21.0-inches

7:20pm—Tim M.—Sturgeon King—17.5-Lbs,  27.0-inches

7:27pm—Jeff G.Jr.—Rockfish’s Son—16.5-Lbs, 28.0-inches

7:34pm—Helan L.—Mrs.GrapeApe168—19.0-Lbs., 28.0-inches

7:41pm—Dave V.—Lurker—10.0-Lbs.,  28.0-inches

8:00pm—Jeff G., Sr.—Rockfish—22.0-Lbs., 32.0-inches

8:10pm—Josh S.—Prometheus—20.0-Lbs.,  29.0-inches

8:30pm—Monte W.—Eelmaster—9.5-Lbs.  22-inches

8:56pm—Joe R.—Sportguy33—12.0-Lbs.,  25.0-

9:00pm—Kathy R.—Mrs. Battmann—16.0-Lbs., 25.0-inches

9:09pm—Kyle R.—HalibutBP—15.5-Lbs.,  29.0-inches

9:43pm—James N.—Twigger—70.0-Lbs.,  46.5-

10:00pm—Kathy R. —Mrs. Battmann—27.0-Lbs., 30.0-inches

Posted by Ken Jones — Subject: Mud Marlin Derby 2006 weights/width

It was a slow MMGT. A few good fish lost at the end, but otherwise quiet. And only 3 rays landed.
Throughout the evening, we heard loud “Whhhhooooaaaaa”s of disappointment occasionally come from the end with no confirmations of any fish landed.
At 10:23pm, HikingJay finally took the lead with a 12-lb. ray with 26 inches wing span. But that didn’t last long when Louisana Jeff landed a 36-pound ray with a 38-inch wingspan at 10:35pm. This still could have been anyone’s contest until Mel (who lost one earlier, one that supposedly broke off on 65 lb. braid) hooked up at 11:58 pm. The fight went past midnight, but the ray did get landed before the 10-minute grace period expired. Mel closed the MMGT2006 with a 9-lb ray with a 22-inch wingspan.

Posted by Northern Boy — Subject: Version 3

Here is version 3 of the table. I think the 2002 data are the same as those posted by Songslinger. 

In any case the other extra data all help. I suspect as we see more data on the bigger rays then the weight estimates are going to come down: that Stearns Wharf ray was a fat monster.

Posted by Ken Jones — Subject: The 180 pound fish caught in 1978 is still…

listed as the record fish. I don’t know if that means the Stearns Wharf weight was off or if there is another reason why it is not the champ.

Posted by: Red Fish — Subject:  Is this part of the legend of Mola Joe ???

Posted by Ken Jones _ Subject:  I don’t think we have a good weight for his fish.


Mola Joe and a large bat ray from the Hermosa Beach Pier

Posted by: Red Fish — Subject: My bathroom scale is conservative…

I had a 49 in” that I weighed at 80# — my weight… “Troy” had a 61″ that we both dead-lifted and guesstimated at 130#… go figure… ha, ha. I guess we don’t know our own strength;-) Phil, you lifted the one the gal had that was F.A.T. … what do you think that one weighed? I think you taped it at 41 or 43″?

Posted by: Northern Boy — Subject: My bathroom scale is conservative…

Ha, that was the ray that sparked this whole thread. I was guessing ~40-50lbs. My friend was saying 70-80lbs. I am feeble: I don’t think I could have launched 80lbs back over the rail so freely. We didn’t get an accurate wingspan measure, which is a problem, but 40-43″ seems about right.

Posted by: Sin_Coast — Subject: So what you’re saying is…

You trying to tell me that my 30-inch wingspan ray DIDN’T weigh 60lbs! LOL!

 Just kidding, this is an awesome chart/table. It really sheds some light on the exaggerated weights that are often awarded to ‘large’ rays. 

Good work NB!

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