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.