Smoothhound (Smooth Dogfish)

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.

Smoothhound (Smooth Dogfish) Illustration by Duane Raver, Jr.
Season 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 Abundant
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.
Did You Know? The smoothhound poses no threat to humans due to its small size and small blunt, pavement-like teeth.
Common 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 Length and Weight 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.