Lophius Americanus



Ocean Floor, Mud, Clay, Sandy Bottoms

35 - 32 pounds

24" - 28"

American Angler Game Fish Quality Decent
American Angler Meal Quality Excellent
American Angler Fly Fishing Quality Decent

American Angler

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 American Anglerfish

American Anglerfish have a preference for live bait and big ones too. Suggested fish include mackerel, herring, whiting, pollack, pouting, squid, and cuttlefish.

When fishing for the angler, you need to get your bait to the ocean floor. Make sure your line doesn’t get snagged on the rocks on its way down.  Let your bait sink to the floor of the ocean and lightly drag your bait across the seabed. Usually, the American Anglerfish will see that as an opportunity. From there, it’ll seize the fish and do its best to wrangle it from you.

When bringing this fish onboard, you need to be careful. The American Anglerfish has large jaws that can tear at your hands. Once onboard hang it up immediately with its mouth facing upward carefully not to come too close.

Habitat and Distribution

American Anglerfish can be found usually be found in waters that are at least 1,200 ft deep. They prefer areas that have soft and sandy bottoms where they can easily dig and hide while waiting for their next meal. 



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