No doggie style for me!

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It’s getting to that time of year when dogfish start to make an appearance in The Solent…..and if last year is anything to go by they will be there in plague-like numbers. Like wild dogs they seem to roam in packs, eat anything thrown their way and quite frankly they become nothing but a pain in the proverbial backside. The only plus side, as I see it, is they can save a ‘blank’ session but other than that , rightly or wrongly, I consider them a pest.

It doesn’t matter what bait I try …..squid, mackerel, crab, worm – I’ve caught them on the lot. Big baits, small baits, big hooks, little hooks – makes no difference to the gluttonous dogfish. It wouldn’t be a problem if you set your stall at the start of a session to catch a dogfish but how often do you hear an angler say “I’ll be targeting the lesser spotted dogfish today?”….. hmmm…….thought not! The frustrating bit is every time you send a line down the doggies are there gobbling up your well prepared bait intended for a bass, smooth hound or ray ……….and that’s what really get’s my goat! For fish like bass you can change the method of fishing to stop the dogfish onslaught but for bottom feeders like the rays it’s difficult to discourage them from your bait.

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It wouldn’t be so bad if they put up a decent fight but a sport fish they are not – certainly when you compare them to it’s relative the feisty smooth hound which puts up one of the best fights an angler can get from a fish in UK waters…. especially from a kayak . With the dogfish they’re content to amble up to the surface and then usually curl up in a ball, just like a dog sleeping in a favourite chair, waiting for you to unhook them. The smooth hound on the other hand will put up a decent fight in the water before knocking seven bells out of you and your kit before it’s eventual surrender.

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Another problem with dogfish is rarely do they grow to any decent size, well, not the one’s I seem to catch anyway! The majority are usually up to a couple of foot long at best, in the 2-3lb bracket, and really something of nothing. Compared this to the smooth hound once again and it’s pretty poor…….after all it could be quite feasible to catch a 10lb plus smooth hound which would be a proper good fish in any anglers book.

My final piece of evidence for the prosecution is they’re not even very good to eat by all accounts. It’s a bit of a drag preparing them for the plate and there are mixed reviews at best on whether they’re actually worth the effort! Personally, I can’t say I fancy dogfish and chips for my tea.

So, there you have it, if you were in any doubt I’m not fond of the dogfish and  if anyone has any ideas on how to avoid them when bait fishing I’m all ears.

On the other hand maybe it’s my attitude to them that needs to change!

Until next time…………

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