Ten minutes later, there was a scuffle down at the end of the canal, where some kids netted the skate and landed it. We went over to retrieve our treble hook, and they asked if we want to take it home for dinner. Of course we did: it was a seven-and-a-half-pound clearnose with perfect portion-size wings. I grabbed it with my gloved hand and it immediately curled into a ball. To put it out of its misery, we cut a 6 inch gash in its head, right between its eyes, the most humane way to end its life. After walking the skate to the car, it was still moving, so we cut a second line, this time forming a distinct X - like Charles Manson's infamous tattoo, only bigger and deeper. We threw the skate in a five-gallon bucket, placed it in the trunk of the car, and started the long drive back to Manhattan.