Goosefish—commonly called Monkfish and Anglerfish—are known for the fishing pole-like extension on their snout that they dangle to lure prey in just close enough to attack. They live at depths from a few feet to nearly 3,000 feet. The best technique for catching Goosefish is bottom bouncing using large chunks of cut bait.
How to identify Goosefish
Their body is wide, flat, and tapered. Just above its snout is a fleshy upright extension that looks like a fishing pole with a fatty/fleshy bulb at the tip. Its large mouth is full of razor-sharp teeth. Three separate spines (dorsally) sit on their head. The first spine is what forms the fishing pole-like lure at the front. Goosefish can grow to six feet long and weigh up to 75 pounds—but most are much smaller.
Where to catch Goosefish
You’ll find these fish in the Atlantic ocean along the eastern seaboard of North America (Florida to the Carolinas and Newfoundland’s Southern Grand Banks.) Disjunctive populations can be found in north Florida. They prefer silty bottoms on the continental shelf/slope and can tolerate a large range of temperatures and depths, from shallow inshore waters to depths of nearly 3,000 feet.
The following are habitats where you can catch Goosefish:
How to catch Goosefish
The best time to catch these fish are May – September because come winter; they sink to the deep, making it difficult to find them. The best methods for catching Goosefish include bottom bouncing and drift fishing.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Goosefish:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Goosefish
Anglers know the best bait to catch a Goosefish is large/whole cut bait—such as Whiting, Pollack, Herring, Mackerel, or Pouting.
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Goosefish: