How To Identify A Pufferfish Bite (Vs. A Trout, Snapper, Or Pinfish Bite)


Are your lures getting torn up by pufferfish?

Or are hungry trout just short-striking your lure?

Depending on the answer, the solution is way different.

So how do you tell if it’s a pufferfish, trout or pinfish?

By the damage they do to your lure.

I’ll show you exactly what that looks like in this video, as well as:

  • What to do if pufferfish are destroying your lure
  • What a pinfish or snapper bite looks like
  • The big mistake I used to make that cost me a lot of money
  • And much more

If you’re sick of getting your lures torn up, you’re going to love this video.

How To Identify A Pufferfish Bite [VIDEO]

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I’ve gone through entire bags of soft plastics because I thought that everytime my lure came back sawed in half, I just barely missed a trout.

But the truth is, if your lure looks like the picture at the top of this post, and has a clean, concave rip through it, then it’s likely a pufferfish.

If just the tail is getting ripped off, then it’s probably a pinfish or a small snapper.

So what can you do to stop this?

If pufferfish are tearing up your lure, you need to do one of two things:

  1. Switch to a hard bait
  2. Move locations

If there’s one pufferfish around, there’s usually more, so if you start getting your soft plastics torn up by them, then it’ll probably keep happening.

If you know that your target species in the area, then I suggest switching to a hard bait, such as a gold spoon or a twitch bait.

On the other hand, if you’re unsure if your target fish are in the area, then it might just be best to move so you can keep using your trusted soft plastic.

But that’s only if pufferfish are the culprits.

If pinfish are ripping the tails off of your lure, the lure destruction won’t be as severe or frequent, so you can still keep fishing the area.

Plus, if there are pinfish around, then there are likely predator fish around, too.


pufferfish destroy lure

If your lure is getting bit in half and has a concave-shaped rip to it, then it’s likely pufferfish getting to your lure.

If you know your target species is feeding in the area, then switch to a hard bait, but if you’re unsure, then you might want to move locations.

Have any questions about identifying pufferfish bites?

Let us know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who is sick of losing lures to these pesky fish, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Mark McKinney
1 year ago

I lost a whole pack of your Slam Shadys with just the paddle taken. Pinfish ??? I thought maybe it was a bad batch ??? My other favorite is a 3″ white gulp shrimp on a 1/8 oz. Slayer jig head. About every time I fish this rig my shrimp will have chunks taken out from above the hook and below near the tail. At first I thought it was flounder, then I thought puffers ???? Thank you.

Sam Craparo
1 year ago

Consider using a buck tail , what us old guys used before soft plastics

Adam Bailey
1 year ago

Pufferfish have to be my least favorite fish too. Soft plastics destroyers, bait stealers…I just hope they get nasty stomach aches from eating my plastics. If you don’t have them in your area, consider yourself lucky.

Sam Pierson
1 year ago

Do you think lizardfish, puffer fish, pinfish, reds, trout, all congregate together?

Steven Free
1 year ago

We here in northeast fl are very lucky in that puffer fish are not in our inland coastal waters at least not that I have ever seen and while I have seen and caught a few pinfish they don’t really seem to be a big problem either thanks Luke for all you do


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