Oyster Toadfish

Opsanus tauLast night as I watched the sun tuck behind the embankment of New Jersey, a fisherman beside me on the end of Pier 5 reeled this fish out of the dark water. He thought it was a Sea Robin, but I didn’t. It wasn’t that weird. Some research reveals it to be an Oyster Toadfish (Opsanus tau), a species with a high tolerance for hanging out in the bottom murk of polluted, junk-filled waters. Also known as oyster-cracker, ugly fish, mother-in-law fish, etc. It doesn’t have scales, but rather a slimy skin, hence the allusion to toads. The strong jaws are good for cracking oysters and other shellfish, but they will eat anything they can get. They are also known as a vocal species: males make “foghorn” like noises to attract females.

The bright yellow is the lure. Having maimed the 8″ long creature for sport, the fisherman extracted the hook and threw it back in.

1 Response to “Oyster Toadfish”


  1. 1 Kimberly June 8, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Eat it. It’s tasty. You’ll never know until you try it!


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