Spotted Hake

Spotted Hake are a dull brown, darker above than below.

They get their name from the white spots that can be seen on the brown lateral line running the length of its body.

They also possess the distinctive barbel ("whisker") on their chin.

Spotted Hake Illustration by Duane Raver, Jr.
Season Open Year-Round
Size Limit No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person No Limit
Delaware Range Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay
Abundance in Delaware Waters Common
General Habitat and Food Preferences Spotted Hake live on or near the bottom. Juveniles prefer estuaries and adults can be found in nearshore waters to depths of over 2000 feet.

They feed primarily on small shrimps, crabs, fishes, and squids.
Did You Know? Juvenile Spotted Hake are a favorite food of striped bass in the Delaware Bay.

The Spotted Hake often buries itself in the sand or mud with only its head sticking out.

The chin barbel ("whisker") has taste buds that they use to detect bottom-dwelling food items.
Common Lures and Baits Spotted Hake are usually caught accidentally by anglers fishing for other species.

They can be caught on bottom rigs with pieces of clam, strips of squid, or cut pieces of fish.

Bigger fish are usually caught in deep water.
Typical Sizes Caught In general, Spotted Hake caught by Delaware anglers are less than 14 inches in length.
Citation Minimum Length and Weight Spotted Hake are not currently eligible for a Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament or Live Release award.
Delaware State Record Spotted Hake are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.