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Bull Huss or Greater Spotted Dogfish

The bull huss tends to favour deep water, feeding on crabs, cuttlefish and small fish. It grows much bigger than its cousin the lesser spotted dogfish and has larger spots and less of them. The easy identification point is the nasal flaps.

The Bull Huss has two separate nasal flaps while the lesser spotted has one flap. The skin is very rough and abrasive and was used as sand paper in years gone by. They produce dark brown egg cases between April and September know as mermaids purses, that contain a live young inside that hatch when they reach 16cm in length.

Fact File

Latin Name: Scyloirhinus stellaris

Distribution: Found all round the coast of the UK.

Habitat: Bull huss tend to feed more at night, spending the days hidden away in cracks and crevices in rocks, or seemingly ‘asleep’ on the seabed. They generally prefer deeper water and rockier ground but it will move into quite shallow water to feed if food is available there

Size: 5ft and 20lbs. Shore caught typically 3ft and 4 – 8lbs

Season: All year round

Staple food: Small fish, sandeels and cuttlefish, but will also eat crabs, prawns and marine worms and shellfish.

Angling tactics: Bottom fishing with fish baits crab or worms.

Bait: Fish Baits, squid, cuttlefish. Not fussy

British Record:
Boat caught; 19lb 14oz
Shore caught; 22lb 4oz

Caught requiring the use of hooks sized 2/0 – 4/0, although some anglers prefer to use larger hook sizes. Baits need to be fairly big so a single hook rig is usually used, and it is a good idea to clip the bait down to aid presentation and casting.

Bull Huss