Burr Fish (Chilomycterus schoepfi)

Burr Fish (Chilomycterus schoepfi)

Burr fish, IRI, indian river inlet, rocks fishing, southside rail
Burr fish caught at Indian River Inlet … photo by Mark Barry

Also known as … striped burr fish, boxfish, porcupine fish,

Description …

The Burr Fish has a short round body, covered in short sharp spines.  They are yellowish green in color with parallel dark brownish or blackish wavy stripes.  There are large spots at the base of the dorsal fin and another behind the pectoral fins.  Their maximum size is about 10 inches.   They can inflate their bodies by taking in water or air as a defense mechanism to scare off predators.  They have a strong parrot like beak they use to feed on mussels and other crustaceans.

boxfish, porcupine puffer, Burr Fish
Burr Fish

They show up in Delaware in the late summer, and actually spawn just off the coast in July.  They are readily caught in the surf, Delaware and inland bays.  Clam, fishbites, squid and cut baits on top and bottom rigs work well on Burr fish.  They are not edible but definitely an interesting catch.   They live near the bottom and are mostly solitary that do not swim very well.  They propel themselves by squirting water out of their gill openings.  It is recommended to take care handling them due to the sharp spines.

Delaware Creel Limit …



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