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Smoothhound fishing



Fishing for Smoothhound and Tope from the shore with light tackle is the nearest you can get to big game fishing in this country and can be just as exciting. These are probably the only fish you can realistically expect to catch from the shore where leaving your rod unattended could mean your tackle disappears into the sea never to be seen again!


The common smoothhound (Mustelus mustelus) is a member of the shark family, its upper body is pale brown, going to off white on the underside. Smoothhounds feed mainly at night, their crushing bony plates are specially adapted for its diet of crustaceans (hermit crabs, shore and edible crabs) on the sea floor. Most commonly found in coastal shallow waters.Dean and West Sussex smoothhound

The starry smoothhound (Mustelus asterias) is almost identical to the common smoothhound in appearance but is distinguished by small white spots (stars) on its back and sides. The starry prefers sand and gravel bottoms and is usually located near the bottom. Its numbers are not as threatened as other members of the UK shark population.


Packs of smoothhounds can appear along the south coast from May to the end of September. Like the tope the best chance of catching them is on a big full or new moon tide.


A pulley rig or single hook paternoster rig.


Peeler crab, hardbacks, spider crab, hermit crab, occasionally ragworm.

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