Northern Puffer

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Northern Puffer

Species Information

Scientific Name:Sphoeroides maculatus
Common Names:northern puffer, sugartoad, blow toad, blowtoad, sugar toad
Environment:Inshore, Surf
Ideal Temp:50-77°F (10-25°C)

About 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.

Northern Puffer Fishing

World Record:
# Fish Caught:72333 documented in database.
Earliest Record:1/1/1800 12:00:00 AM and located at 40.37519, -71.48438.
Latest Record:12/6/2023 11:00:35 PM and located at 35.23387, -75.62553.
Common Techniques:Bottom Fishing
Popular Lure Types:Bottom Rig
Fishing Spots:4 Northern Puffer fishing spots.

Latest Northern Puffer Fishing Reports and Spots

11/30/2022 - 11/30/2022 7:09:35 PM

Reports of sea mullet and blow toads off ramp 44. Not much else to report today. Have a great night…………………….RDT!!!! The post 11/30/2022 appeare (View)

8/20/22 - 8/20/2022 8:59:21 PM

The Spanish have been hitting at ramp 43 44 & 45. Blues at ramp 43 and 44. We continue to hear about Speckled Trout and puppy drum in the sound (View)

Hatteras Island Fishing Report - 6/19/2022 10:53:41 PM

Today was a bit cooler the high only got up to 79. Winds have been gentle to light between 3 and 10mph. Currently it is 64 but feels like 62 wi (View)

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


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