Barndoor Skate

The Barndoor Skate is a powerful fish that requires a heavy-grade saltwater fishing rod with a roller rip ring, along with heavy duty line and tackle. Barndoor Skates aren’t picky eaters but are best caught using live or cut bait, squid, ragworms. The best technique for catching Barndoor Skates is bottom fishing bait near the sea floor using weights.

Barndoor Skate

Region: Northeast
Habitat: Ocean, Coastal Waters

How to identify Barndoor Skate

Barndoor skates are a large, flat triangular-shaped fish with a distinctively pointed snout. Its pectoral fins are curved at the back and cup-like in the front. These fins look similar to the wings of an airplane, giving the skate agile swimming speed. The top of the skate’s body is somewhat rusty brown with dark spots that may have light halos around them. The abdomen side of the barndoor skate’s body is dirty-white to gray with inconsistent gray markings. The inward top of each pectoral fin has an elongated oval marking with a light border. There are a pair of lines extending from its snout towards each eye. Most skates have spiny tentacles on their tails; however, the barndoor does not. Its tail is short compared to other skates.

Where to catch Barndoor Skate

Barndoor skates can be found in the Atlantic Ocean from Newfoundland in Canada, down to northern Florida. They generally stick to close to the shore in colder weather, then head to deeper waters as it gets hotter. They are primarily bottom-dwelling fish.

Range: Northeast
Barndoor Skate Fishing Map

The following are habitats where you can catch Barndoor Skate:

How to catch Barndoor Skate

The best method to catch the barndoor skate is to bottom fish with rigs. Look for areas with sandy/silty/rocky bottoms at depths ranging from shallow to 1,500 feet. They are very strong fish, so once they are hooked, anglers should apply as much pressure as possible. Barndoor skates have been known to snap lines. Fishing equipment should be checked to ensure it has a good drag rating, which will help with adding pressure to the fish. Since barndoor skates often hunt near the seabed, anglers should use weights to present their bait near the bottom.

The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Barndoor Skate:

Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Barndoor Skate

Since these fish are strong, anglers should use a heavy-grade, saltwater rod. A strong rod and reel are also recommended. For bait, they aren’t picky eaters, so any type of fish works well. Good choices for bait include whole strips of herring or mackerel. Crabs, ragworms, squid and shellfish can be good choices as well.

The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Barndoor Skate: