Mustelus Henlei



Onshore, Nearshore

10 - 15 pounds

18" - 39"

Brown Smooth-Hound Game Fish Quality Very Good
Brown Smooth-Hound Meal Quality Decent
Brown Smooth-Hound Fly Fishing Quality Very Good

Brown Smooth-Hound

Brown Smooth-Hound
Also Known As: Brown Smoothhound  Shark

Brown Smooth-hound (Mustelus henlei) Fish Description

The Brown Smooth-hound Shark is a small shark. Like any shark, it has two dorsal fins and two anal fins. As their name states, they’re brownish in color which also helps them hide in the sands. Unlike most sharks, however, the Brown Smooth-hound has a blunt nose and large eyes. It appears to be reliant on its sense of sight though it still retains the usual sharp smell that most sharks have. One of its other noticeable traits is on its tailfin. The tailfin appears to be asymmetrical with a slight notch.

The Brown Smooth-hound Shark, unlike it’s more vicious cousins, has smaller teeth. Their teeth also don’t appear as sharp as that of their cousins.


Diet and Size

Brown Smooth-hound Sharks are bottom feeders. They usually loiter around at the bottom of the ocean. Brown Smooth-hound Sharks usually feed on squids, shrimps and, crabs. They’re also known to feed on worms that lurk at the bottom of the ocean floor.

Brown Smooth-hound Sharks are quite small. They usually grow up to 3.2 feet but usually grow between 1.6 ft to 2.3 ft. Males and females are usually the same size and are considered mature by 1.6 ft. 


Interesting Facts about the Brown Smooth-hound

  • Brown Smooth-hound Sharks adjust well to captivity.
  • Although they don’t taste good, anglers still catch them as gamefish and as pets.
  • Brown Smooth-hound Sharks are known to live up only to 15 years.
  • Because of its small size, the Brown Smooth-hound Shark ends up being preyed upon by bigger sharks like the Sevengill Shark.
  • Brown Smooth-hound Sharks are considered harmless to humans.
  • They usually only have 3-5 pups.
  • Surprisingly, the Brown Smooth-hound despite its demure nature is not hunted for its fins.
    • Probably because it’s too small.


Fishing Techniques: How to Catch a Brown Smooth-hound

Brown Smooth-hound sharks normally swim around shallow and muddy bays. Usually, it’ll be a little hard to spot them but the best way to get them close is to bring in the bait. They love themselves some good squid and shrimp. According to anglers, however, the best bait they’ve seen work with Brown Smooth-hound is squid. 

Once you have your bait ready, now comes the equipment. The best one so far is medium tackle since they can be quite heavy. Also take note, just because they’re harmless to humans doesn’t mean they are not strong. Brown Smooth-hound Sharks will put up a bit of a fight which is why you need strong lines. 

Brown Smooth-hound Sharks don’t usually come out in the morning. Anglers recommend either during the sunset or during the night. Although in places like Mexico, anglers have shown that it’s possible to catch Brown Smooth-hound Sharks during the day time. In fact, some people even let their children try it out since they’re small and possibly easier to handle in comparison to other fish that have a feisty temper.


Habitat and Distribution

Brown Smooth-hound Sharks love shallow bays that have muddy bottoms. It’s usually where they find their daily meal of shrimp, crabs, and squid. They are also quite common in piers such as Fort Baker Pier Angel Island Pier, Port View Park Pier, and other piers in San Francisco.

However, their presence also depends on the months. They usually move out during the winter months though it depends on how salty the water is.