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Smoothhound (Smooth Dogfish)

Duane Raver, Jr.
Open Year-Round
Size Limit
No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person
No Limit
Delaware Range
Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Day, and Inland Bays
Abundance in Delaware Waters
General Habitat and Food Preferences
Smoothhounds are a common resident on continental shelves, bays, and other inshore waters, preferring shallow waters of less than 60 feet deep.

A scavenger and opportunistic predator, they feed on lobsters, crabs, shrimps, small fishes, and squids.
General Description
Smoothhounds are slender with a tapering, blunt snout.

The upper sides vary from gray to brown with the underside a yellowish gray to white.

Their eyes are large, oval-shaped and catlike.

They have two large spineless dorsal fins with the first dorsal fin slightly larger than the second. The upper lobe of tail has a deep notch near the tip.

Their teeth are pavement-like and non-cutting.
Did You Know?
The smoothhound poses no threat to humans due to its small size and small blunt, pavement-like teeth.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Often despised by fisherman, smoothhounds are usually caught accidentally by anglers fishing for other species.

There is hardly any bait a smoothhound won't bite. They can be caught with strips of squid, cut pieces of fish, or pieces of peeler crab on bottom rigs.
Typical Sizes Caught
Smoothhounds are commonly caught in the range of 24 to 36 inches by Delaware anglers.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Smoothhounds are not currently eligible for a Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament or Live Release award.
Delaware State Record
Smoothhounds are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.