Oyster Toadfish (Opsanus tau)

Oyster Toadfish (Opsanus tau)

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oyster cracker or toad fish

Also Known as … ugly toad, oyster cracker, oyster catcher, bar dog, mother in law fish, orange crush

Description …

The oyster toadfish is one of the uglier fish in our waters.  They have a broad flat head with a large mouth and lots of small teeth.  They have strong jaws they use to open or crush clams and oysters, it is recommended to not get your fingers near the mouth or stick them in its mouth.  They lack scales and have slimy skin.  There are spines and bony protrusions at the rear of the head.  The oyster toad is yellowish brown in color with hints of orange.  They can live in poor water conditions, surviving on very little food if necessary.  They can be a nuisance fishing for tautog and live on rock and structure at the Indian River Inlet, Roosevelt Inlet,  Masseys Landing,  inner and outer walls, and wreck and reef sites in the Delaware Bay.  

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oyster cracker or toad fish

Their common prey include crustaceans, mollusks, amphipods, squid and smaller fish.  They rely on their camouflage to ambush prey as they lie motionless waiting to attack.  They are found from Maine Miami.  They can open up oysters with their powerful jaws readily and are considered a nuisance by oyster farmers.  They are rather tasty to eat and  as far as we know are one of the few fish ever sent in to space to be studied by NASA.  Catching these fish is not very hard as they will eat anything but sand fleas and green crabs seem to be their preferred baits, they will even hit fishbites.

Delaware Creel Limit ..  None  

 

 

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