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Species Profile: Soupfin Shark (Galeorhinus Galeus)

Author: Terra Firma Tackle

Species Profile: Soupfin Shark (Galeorhinus galeus)

Species Info:

                The Soupfin Shark (Galeorhinus galeus) is one of the largest houndsharks, a family that includes the Leopard and Smoothhound sharks as well. Easily distinguished from its relatives by its lack of patterned skin are larger teeth than other members of the family. Most Soupfin encountered South of Point Dume will be larger females, usually pregnant and around six feet in length. These are one of the larger sharks encountered in the Southern California surf and as a result are highly sought after by landbased sharkers in the region.

Nicknames For Soupfin Sharks:

                Tope, School Shark, Soupy, Vitamin Shark, Short-tail Twisty Thing

How To Catch Them Soupfin Sharks:

                Many Soupfin sharks are caught each year both from the pier and surf, with decidedly more fish coming on casted gear in the surf than on the planks. Finbait is the offering of choice, with mackerel and bonito being favored, but herring, smelt and even croakers are good options. Oftentimes the stomach contents contain skeletal remains of rockfish, perch, and flatfish as well.

              While Soupfin are not particularly powerful or large, they are capable fighters and can be a challenge to land on the lighter tackle. As far as line class, 50lb tackle is more than adequate, with 30lb being more sporting. These fish will not take much drag, preferring instead to swim side to side and occasionally reward the angler with surface runs and jumps.

     From the surf rigs like the Loop Rig, Pulley Rig, or even the basic Carolina/Fishfinder rig are all good options. These rigs should be made with wire to prevent the small but shar teeth of the quarry from severing the connection once hooked. From the pier slidebaiting is the best option, with many fish coming on floated and suspended baits. From the pier larger baits may help to draw the attention of a passing Soupfin and draw a strike. A favorite bait from the pier is a half bonito on a slidebaiting float.

                Another consideration when targeting these fish is their tendency to roll in the line when hooked. For this reason, a longer rig or even a wind-on “rub leader” should be utilized to prevent the loss of the fish. Usually 10-12 feet of heavy mono such as Bullbuster Leader Material ( is sufficient to mitigate the risk of a “twist off”.

Where To Catch Soupfin Sharks:

                Soupfin are fairly common all along the Southern California coast, but San Diego and North Los Angeles County both seem to have the highest concentrations of these hound sharks. When seeking locations to target these fish, search for areas with rocks and kelp close to the shoreline, as these structure filled areas will produce more fish than the typical barren sand beaches.

When To Target Soupfin Sharks:

Soupfin are around all year, but there are certainly more fish caught in the late Spring and around the holidays. These sharks also seem to bite best on the rougher days, so oftentimes it pays off to fish through the weather!

Thanks for reading! For more information and rigs for targeting these fish please check out our own website at!

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