Called a Roker in the Thames and often just called a Skate this elasmobranch cousin of Dogfish is extremely abundant along the Sussex Coast - they're easy to tell apart from other Rays because of the sharp "thorny tubercles all over the top side of the fish. They can grow to over 10lbs but generally seem to be between 3lb and 8lb's on the marks off Eastbourne and Bexhill. Normally we would anchor for them and use squid or mackerel but a lot of specimens have been landed on spreaders while drifiting, usually just as the tide is slackening off. They can put up quite a dogged struggle and although not a great sport fish even a 3lb fish will put a bend in your rod.
The males and females are easy to tell apart, the male fish have large claspers. Be careful when you do catch one, their jaws are toohless but designed for cruching crabs and they would easliy give you a painful crushing bite so use pliers when unhooking them.