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Northern Puffer

Duane Raver, Jr.
Open Year-Round
Size Limit
No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person
No Limit
Delaware Range
Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay, and Inland Bays
Abundance in Delaware Waters
General Habitat and Food Preferences
The Northern Puffer can be found in bays, estuaries, and protected coastal waters.

They feed on shellfish, and occasionally on small fishes.
General Description
Northern Puffers have a yellow, brown or olive body covered in small prickles with a yellow or white belly.

They have dark, vertical, splotchy bars (stripes) on the sides and small, black spots on the back, sides and cheeks with a tiny, beak-like mouth.

Like most puffers, the Northern Puffer "puffs up" into a ball in self-defense.
Did You Know?
The Northern Puffer has a beak-like mouth. It can extract the meaty part of shellfish from their shells and even sometimes break the shells to obtain a meal.

Most puffers are toxic, containing a very potent and potentially deadly neurotoxin that is concentrated in the liver, skin and gonads.

To err on the side of caution, extreme care must be taken when cleaning all puffers. Any fillets that could have been contaminated should be immediately discarded.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Northern Puffers are usually caught accidentally by anglers fishing for other species.

They can be caught with pieces of squid, clams, bloodworms, or pieces of peeler crab on bottom rigs.
Typical Sizes Caught
Northern Puffers are caught by anglers in the range of 8 to 10 inches in length.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Northern Puffers are not currently eligible for a Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament or Live Release award.
Delaware State Record
Northern Puffers are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.