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Can You Use Puffer Fish as Bait?

Pufferfish are poisonous creatures. But if you’re feeling adventurous, it might be exciting to use it as bait, right?

Using baits is very important when fishing; it will increase your chances of catching a fish. But what will happen if you use a pufferfish as a fishing bait?

We’ll satisfy your curiosity and give you answers. Read along to learn whether you can use a pufferfish as bait and acquire knowledge of other uses of pufferfish. 

Can You Use Puffer Fish as Bait?

You can use a pufferfish as bait, but you shouldn’t do it; you can be poisoned while preparing to use it as bait. Pufferfish are poisonous, and poison is not exactly palatable for the fishes you’re trying to catch. You’ll catch a poisoned, dead fish, or you won’t be able to catch any fish at all.

Can You Use Puffer Fish as Bait

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Puffer Fish as Bait

Pufferfish can harm you while you are preparing bait. As we all know, pufferfish are poisonous creatures, the second most poisonous creature in the world. A pufferfish contains a toxin called tetrodotoxin, and it is a thousand times more toxic than cyanide. 

Some pufferfish are covered in spikes that have deadly toxins. Even if the pufferfish is not covered in spikes, the poison of a pufferfish is in its liver, gonads (ovaries and testes), intestines, and skin. So, it is advisable not to touch them as you could get poisoned.

When you prepare a bait, it will require you to touch it, and you can’t take off the poison no matter how much you rinse or boil it; you might even spread it instead. So that’s why you shouldn’t use a pufferfish as bait; it could be fatal, and there is no antidote for the poison that the pufferfish secretes. 

Dead pufferfish on a beach
Dead pufferfish on a beach

Pufferfish bait does not attract other fish because the wildlife has taught other fish to stay away from the pufferfish.

Because of its toxicity, other fishes typically steer away from a pufferfish. You will not catch many fishes, or none will take the bait because a pufferfish is not exactly a desirable bait. 

If some stupid fish eat your puffer bait. It is also unfortunate because the poison in the pufferfish will kill them.

Even if you caught a fish using a pufferfish bait, its chances of being alive would be zero. Tetrodotoxins are often lethal to fishes, so it is not wise to use a pufferfish as bait if you want to catch fresh and alive fish.

Needless to say, this is a lose-lose situation. You’re lucky and skilled if you did not get any poison while preparing the bait. However, you won’t catch a lot of fish, and if you do, the chances of it being poisoned by the pufferfish are high. 

There’s no good outcome from using a pufferfish as bait. In contrast, the bad result sure is a lot. Excluding pufferfish, you can use other better options as bait, such as worms or tiny, cut-up fishes.

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What Can You Use as a Fishing Bait?

Worms, leeches, crickets, and grasshoppers are great freshwater fishing baits that will surely not poison your catch. While saltwater fishing baits include eels, squids, and small fishes, you can cut up pieces of a fish to use as bait, which will surely attract fish and not steer them away. 

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Can You Use Pufferfish for Anything?

Pufferfish contains tetrodotoxin which is a highly potent toxin that induces paralysis. However, the exact mechanism of tetrodotoxin has the potential to be used as a local anaesthetic. Still, it is unsafe and hasn’t been tested on humans yet. 

On the other hand, pufferfish is considered a delicacy in some countries such as Japan. Chefs in Japan need to study for years to get a special license to prepare pufferfish for food consumption.

The chef must carefully remove the organs and other parts of the pufferfish that contain poison. One incorrect cut while preparing the pufferfish could be fatal for the consumer.

Others use pufferfish as an exotic pet, which is highly not recommended. However, if you wish to use a pufferfish, you should take caution and only get them from reputable sources as they are dangerous creatures.


Can you use pufferfish for anything?

The toxins of a pufferfish, which is the tetrodotoxin, have the potential to be a local anaesthetic. Pufferfish are also a delicacy in some countries such as Japan. While others keep pufferfish as an exotic pet.

Do fish eat puffer fish?

Most fishes do not eat pufferfish; they only have a few predators because of their toxins. Sharks, such as tiger sharks, do not mind the toxin presence, so they eat pufferfish.

Can you grab pufferfish?

Technically, you can grab a pufferfish if you wish to do so. However, it would be best if you remembered that pufferfish are poisonous, and touching their spikes or skin could lead to paralyzation or even death.

Are pufferfish poisonous to touch when dead?

It does not matter whether they are alive or dead because their bodies still contain poison. Their spikes or skin has poison that harms those who touch it. 

Can you touch a pufferfish with your hands?

You can touch a pufferfish with your hands, but you shouldn’t. The poison from a pufferfish is fatal, and their spikes and skin are highly poisonous. 


Overall, pufferfish are not suitable as fishing baits.  It is not worth the risk if you’ll use it as bait because you can also be harmed in preparing it. 

It is highly poisonous and toxic for the fish. It needs a lot of practice to handle a pufferfish to remove the poisonous parts. You will not be able to lure the fish using a pufferfish as bait because they avoid them for their toxicity.

There are tons of other options for you that are better and not poisonous. So, don’t use a pufferfish as fishing bait and use other creatures such as worms, eels, and non-poisonous fish instead.

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