Northern Puffer

Species Information

Scientific Name:Sphoeroides maculatus
Environment:Inshore, Surf
Ideal Temp:50-77°F (10-25°C)
Technique:Bottom Fishing
Lure Type:Bottom Rig
World Record:
Other Names:northern puffer, sugartoad, blow toad, blowtoad, sugar toad
The northern puffer is a club-shaped fish with a gray, brown or olive back and a yellow or white belly.

Adults have small spines covering the entire body with a tiny beak-like mouth. Its color is poorly defined black/dark green spots and saddles and a yellow to white belly. It has Tiny jet-black pepper spots (about 1 mm in diameter) scattered over most of pigmented surface, particularly evident on cheeks. Lower sides of the body have a row of black, elongate, bar-like markings. A small dorsal fin is set far back near the tail. Sphoeroides maculatus, like others in the puffer family, "puffs up" into a ball in self-defense by inhaling air or water into a special chamber near its stomach. The northern puffer usually grows to about 8 to 10 inches.

The northern puffer inhabits bays, estuaries and protected coastal waters. It lives in temperate climates from Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to Newfoundland in Canada.

Is also found in the Mid-Atlantic from spring to fall.

The northern puffer feeds primarily on shellfish, and occasionally on finfish. Using its beak-like mouth it can extract shellfish from their shells and sometimes break the shells to obtain a meal.

Latest Northern Puffer Fishing Reports and Spots

04/21/2022 - 4/21/2022 9:13:39 PM

Sea Mullet and Blow toads down at Ramp 55! Puppy Drum Sea Mullet and Blow toads at Ramp 38. Drum at The Point. Puppy Drum at Ramp 48 and Ramp 4 (View)

03/12/2022 - 3/12/2022 9:33:00 PM

Ramp 55 had reports of puppy drum and sea mullet Sharks at the point all day. Puppy drum yearlings and citation size drum at the point. Sea mul (View)

Northern Puffer - 9/16/2021 8:01:14 PM


Northern Puffer - 9/16/2021 8:01:11 PM


Northern Puffer - 9/16/2021 8:01:08 PM


Aug 30- Feed the Ferry Crew - 9/3/2020 3:16:07 AM

 While playing around this morning with a cast net I caught a jumbo Jumping  Mullet and app 75lbs of Menhaden. Impressive but a useless mess. A (View)

September/October Blow-fishing Barnegat Bay - 10/5/2018 5:41:11 PM

It’s a little late but recently I had return client Lou Sigilo with his college buddy John Murphy on a 4hr Bay & Inlet trip. We focused on Nort (View)

Hatteras Report for mid March - 3/18/2017 7:45:13 PM

The talk of the town has certainly been about Kenny Koci from Wasabi catching more Bluefin Tuna. He definitely has them figured out. He brough (View)

March 6- Ship of Fools - 3/8/2017 3:07:12 AM

Chasing Facebook Fishing Reports. I knew better. Armed with all the wrong stuff we found Red Drum and watched them swim. Never found our quarry. (View)

4hr Bay Trip - Will Whitesell - 12/26/2016 3:16:50 AM

With school starting and the wind blowing I was only able to run one trip this week. I had Will Whitesell his 9yr old son Thompson and 12yr old (View)