Lophius Americanus

Lophiidae

Lophiiformes

Ocean Floor, Mud, Clay, Sandy Bottoms

35 - 32 pounds

24" - 28"

American Angler

Also Known As: Goosefish, Monkfish, Devilfish, Allmouth, Satchel-Mouth, Headfish, Molligut, Wide Gape, Bellowsfish

American Anglerfish (Lophius Americanus) Description

The American Angler is a flat fish with a very large mouth with strong teeth and spines on its head. The pectoral fins are like wide fans behind the head, and the pelvic fins are like small hands below the head. They are rocky colored – a mix of dark olive green and brown. Its large mouth and teeth allow it to trap any prey, even larger than itself. The sharp spines on its head are flattened to make it look like a small organism and uses that part of its body to attract its prey.

Diet and Size

The American Angler is what's known as an ambush predator. It will spend most of its time on the ocean floor partly covered in sediment waiting for its prey. It can swim slowly or walk with the help of its pectoral fins.

The Angler prefers squid and cuttlefish, however, they do sometimes feast on ray fish and occasional a carrion or two. There is also the occasional times after a storm that they will get pushed to the sea's surface and eat birds.

The American Anglerfish can grow up to 55 inches but their average size is around 39 inches. Their average weight is 26.5 lbs. however, a whopping 70.5-pound Angler has been recorded.

Interesting Facts

  • Unlike the typical anglerfish, the American Anglerfish doesn’t use a glowing lure.  Instead, it uses the spines on top of its head that fools its prey into thinking that it’s a smaller organism.
  • American Anglerfishes are known to “walk”.  Using its pectoral fins, it can slowly walk towards its prey and snatch them up before they can notice.
  • American Anglerfish are usually consumed for their liver and their meat.  They don’t have much meat on their shoulders and their cheeks.  American Anglerfish is known to have white, moist meat that becomes firm when cooked.  However, worms keep many away from eating them.
  • The American Anglerfish is often interchanged between Goosefish and Monkfish because of its close relation and that they’re from the same family.

Fishing Techniques: How to Catch an Americ