Smoothhounds

Smoothhounds are a member of the shark family as its easy to see why. They are the stereotypical shark shape resembling a mini version of Jaws. Moreover that is where the similarities end as these small sharks are far from man eaters.

Typically Smoothhounds will grow up to around 4-5 feet in length with the stamp of fish caught from the shore usually upto 9lb. This is particularly the case around coasts of the North West UK which incidentally has some of the best Smoothhound fishing in the UK.

When looking a the physiology of this species of fish you will notice that they have no teeth. Similar to Rays they have what is in effect two grinding plates to crush prey. This leads us on to their primary source of prey and what the plates are for, grinding Crab. If you are looking to catch Smoothhound then the number one bait has to be Crab, ideally Peeler crab if you can source them. They will take other baits as Squid works well as do Prawn, they are occasionally caught on Ragworm and Lug but not often. I think this is more to the fact they have come across the bait rather than actively seeking worm baits out.

Targeting Smoothhounds from the shore is a fairer weather target is as during the colder months they head into much deeper waters. In the Northwest they tend to arrive in late April and thin out in October. In the warmer waters on the south of the UK you will have a slightly longer opening for then due to warmer waters. Its is surprising how as little as 1-2 degrees can have such a big effect on certain species and their migratory patterns.

If you are in the Northwest a good spot to target Smoothhounds is the end of the river Mersey, in particular the Rock Channel. Though this fishing mark in my opinion one of the best places to find them it however dangerous. Never attempt it without studying the tides and never leave it too late to walk back, always go with an experienced angler if possible.

A picture showing a smoothhound caught in the river Mersey
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