Skate is one of the few fish that should not be eaten as soon as it is caught. Gelatinous by nature, a gluey coating sticks to the fish for about 12 hours after it is out of the water. After that it can be rinsed off, though the fish will feel sticky and will smell slightly of ammonia. This however is quite normal, the smell does not mean the fish is off – but rather that it is ready for cooking – and the smell will disappear in that process.