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Rough hound, bull huss, nurse hound or common dogfish - whatever you call them, there are plenty to be caught.
Scientific Name: Scyliorhinus canicula
Maximum Weight: 5lb
Average Weight: 2lb
Maximum Length: 39inches
Life Span: up to 5 years
Although the dogfish lack the glamour of hard fighting, fast moving big sharks such as Tope, blue and porbeagle, they are important
to the British sea angler simply because they are so common. (curiously, we call them dogfish the
Americans call them cat sharks! - just be awkward I guess!?)
They have several features common to all sharks - blunt heads and long, tapering bodies with a skeleton made entirely
of cartilage. The skin is covered with hundreds of fine backward pointing teeth. This make for an extremely rough surface which must be handled with care.
(in days gone by it was used for polishing wood and copper and the name of rubskin).
Where to find Dogfish:
Dogfish can be found close to the shore. Most fish tend to come from the deep sea boats. They in most cases they will be on the bottom.
The dogfish tends to feed near or on the bottom, but in some cases will chase fry to near the surface. They hunt in packs and tend to grab at any bait which gets in their way.
Fish baits such as mackerel tend to be the best. The dogfish will also feed close to the shore, giving the beach , harbour and rock angler every chance of a good catch.
The hardest feeding of the dogfish tends to be on cold winter nights during an incoming high spring tide.
Reliable baits include whole small quid and large fish baits. A whole mackerel intended for tope, presents no problem to the dogfish.
The strike should be delayed to give ample time for the fish to be swallowed, for all dogfish have a habit of letting go at the surface.
Crab can also make an effective bait.
How to catch Dogfish - Techniques at a glance:
Fish hard on the bottom. Ledger tackle is best.