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

Sunday 4/11/21 - 4/11/2021 8:53:32 PM

There were many blow toads caught off Ramp 44 today.  That was all we heard.  Maybe the wind kept anglers from fishing. Have you heard about th (View)


Tuesday 4/6/21 - 4/6/2021 9:14:33 PM

Another sunny beautiful day here with temps in the high 60’s. Not much reported this afternoon…Blow Toads and Sea Mullet at Ramps 48 & 49. I ju (View)


Monday 4/5/21 - 4/5/2021 10:12:57 PM

Not much to report tonight. I think folks were too busy fishing 🙂 All we heard about were Whiting and puppies being caught in Frisco. More Whi (View)


Sunday 4/4/21 - 4/4/2021 8:30:05 PM

Bait: This afternoon we received fresh Mullet. North of Buxton: puppy drum caught jigging. Behind the motels here in Buxton: Whiting. North sid (View)


Fishing Report – Saturday 04/03/2021 - 4/3/2021 9:53:37 PM

Puppy drum caught behind the motels.  Blow toads off Ramp 55 and blow toads caught off Ramp 49. What do you call a lazy crayfish?  Slobster.    (View)


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)