Monkfish are a rare catch for recreational anglers fishing in the Mid Atlantic region. Monkfish are caught around deep wrecks or other bottom structure. Bait and tackle is simple; anglers use standard wreck fishing rigs.

Large baits seem to attract monkfish as these fish have a huge appetite. A stout rod and reel combination is required to catch fish from 10-30+ pounds. Monkfish are somewhat difficult to clean but yield good tasting white meat with few bones.

Monkfish or anglerfish have a “lure”, a small appendage which they waive above their enormous mouth to entice small fish to swim within gulping range. Although monkfish sometimes “fish” for a meal, they will eat practically anything. Fishermen have reported finding waterfowl, tins of biscuits, pieces of lumber, and other foreign objects inside monkfish stomachs.

Along the mid-Atlantic coast, monkfish are caught commercially with gillnets and otter trawls. Monkfish are usually headed and gutted before arriving at the market to make them look more appealing.

Related Information

Fish Species

Saltwater Fishing