Northern Puffer

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.

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

Latest Northern Puffer Fishing Reports and Spots

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)

Thursday 10/29/20 - 10/29/2020 9:27:00 AM

In Summary:Send all questions and pictures to Surf Fishing Report:There was a report of some Sea Mullet Bluefish and Blow Toa (View)

Thursday 10/22/20 PM - 10/22/2020 12:11:21 AM

Today there was a citation pompano weighed in as well as Blow Toads and Blue Fish being caught at ramp 44.Ten puppy drum were caught in the sou (View)

Tuesday 10/6/20 - 10/6/2020 9:31:04 AM

In Summary:Send all questions and pictures to Surf Fishing Report:We are having beautiful weather on this sand bar. Surf fish (View)

Friday 8/14/20 - 8/14/2020 9:33:35 AM

In Summary: Send all questions and pictures to Surf Fishing Report: There was a report of some Sea Mullet and Blow Toads caug (View)

Sunday 4/12/2020 - 4/12/2020 10:44:19 PM

Reports of blow toads and sea mullet at the point today. The sharks are still hanging out! Some kayakers caught some drum this morning between (View)