Big Bone/Bad Ray

“Now that DIY is officially and wonderfully a great way to explore the worlds fisheries, there are a few things you need to consider when not paying a guide to keep you out of trouble.

The day started by picking up the Scott and Buff rep John Dobson for a little fishing trip down to Boca Paila. We made it to the bridge and decided that since we brought the SUP, he would walk out to the beach and I would blow up the SUP and paddle out. We met at the beach, set up camp, had a beer and rigged up.

Since the wind was out of the north northwest the ocean was relatively flat and clear. So, we decided to walk the beach in search of snook. Not only was the surf line full of baitfish but we started to see a few Stingrays.

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Since the sun was still low, we were walking out in the water on the turbid line looking for the big snook that cruise in and out of that line with the sun low behind us to our right.

About 15mins in, a very large object came out of the deeper water to our right and passed us. John, very casually, made a back cast behind his right shoulder to what we thought was a decent snook. After 2 strips the fish ate a big 2/0 white Clouser and the skunk was out of the boat.

A few pretty heavy runs later as the fish was reeled in closer, we noticed it was a huge bone.

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John landed what we estimated to be a 8 ½ to 9 ½ pounder. A monster for the Yucatan. We took some shots and let her go. After we celebrated being kings of the universe, we got back to wading the beach for snook.

Typically since the sand is hard off the beaches of Boca Paila you can usually see stingray’s easily and we were.

As we walked further we came upon several rays grouped together. Since John was inside of me in shallower water,  barefoot,  and I was in neoprene wading shoes we were shuffling very cautiously as I pointed out the rays to him.

I pointed out 2 more, shuffled my right foot and then put some weight down, BAM, I got hit.

I felt the movement and looked down to see the tip of the tail bounce off the outside of my right knee and felt the spine jab into the top of my right foot. As you might imagine, just the pain of being stabbed was horrible.

I hopped out over to John who had backed way out on to the beach when he heard me shout. Blood was already coming out of the hole on the side of the boot.

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I took the boot off and there was a centimeter wide slash into my skin and the blood was oozing. Just as I sat down the first light waves of pain came on. As I walked back to camp, those waves came on stronger and stronger.

It was time to go. Fortunately, we had the paddle board and my lovely girlfriend Liane paddled me to the car and drove me home. I had read and heard that hot water is the only way to dull the pain.

BELIEVE ME, IT WORKS. From the moment I put my foot into the water which was almost unbearable, the pain went away immediately.

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Oh, did I mention that on the hour car ride home and the 15 mins until my foot hit that hot water, I was screaming bloody murder in so much pain that cutting off my foot was starting to be an option?

Moral of the story, if you are DIY wading and you get hit by a stingray, get to the nearest hottest Jacuzzi you can find! Oh yea, and consider packing some ray guards. More on those later.”