Many anglers are uneasy about catching blowfish, or puffers, due to their reputation for being the second most poisonous vertebrate in the world. That reputation is only partly deserved. While Pacific blowfish do contain the dangerous and occasionally lethal tetrodotoxin, Northern puffers in the mid-Atlantic are mostly poison-free. In fact, in states like New Jersey, fishing for blowfish is quite common. The small fish can be found in the surf and coastal bays during spring and early fall. Experienced anglers use a variety of baits, but squid, clam, and blood worms are recommended. Officials still advise that anglers be careful in the handling or consumption of blowfish, as poisonous varieties can be hard to differentiate from the Northern pufferfish.
But the neat part about fishing for puffers? You get to see firsthand why it got its name.