Like the lesser spotted dogfish, this fish has the word ‘dog’ in its name because of its tendency to hunt and scavenge in packs. This species has a powerful, slender body and will hunt in the mid water as well as the bottom. It’s usually caught offshore from boats, but can be caught from shore at sizes up to 15lb and 4ft long – which would make it a monster spurdog. Spurdog favour deep water and clean ground.
Should you mistake this fish for a smooth hound, you may be punished with a deep slice from the sharp spines which sit on both dorsal fins. These spines are the easiest ID method, and you don’t want to tangle with them.
Spurdog are very common in Scotland, and are sometimes caught in enormous numbers, due to their tendency to shoal with large numbers of same-sex fish. They are a popular sport fish in the Scottish sea lochs and are also caught in decent numbers from the South coast of Wales.
The best bait for Spurdog is an oily fish, like a mackerel, herring or garfish.