The monkfish or anglerfish is an ambush predator which lives on the ground, waiting for its prey. It feeds on flatfish, rays, sea robins and other ground living species. It is easily identifiable by its large head, which makes up half of its length. With regard to depths, it is very adaptable, it can be found both in shallow waters at 20-30 m and at depth of 1500 m or even 2000m.

Seeteufel beim Meeresangeln gefangen in Nord-Norwegen
Da hat der Seeteufel seine "Angel", Meeresangeln, Nord-Norwegen

Informations about the monkfish


up to 120 cm

up to 79 kg

Latin: Lophius piscatorius
Norwegian: Breiflabb
French: Loup de mer
German: Seeteufel
English: Monkfish, Anglerfish

Where to fish for monkfish

The anglerfish lies lazily on the ground and has an "angel" on its head. That is its method to hunt without much effort. Because of its body shape, it is not a quick predator that can chase its prey around. Therefore, the bait must always be placed on the ground.

The most effective methods to catch monkfish

Monkfish are almost exclusively caught through pirking or natural bait fishing. Since it is a lazy demersal, the pirks or natural bait must always be placed on the ground.

When pirking, slow movements are recommended, the rig with the fish scraps should pause on the ground for a few seconds from time to time. If you have placed the bait in the immediate vicinity of the hungry fish, there’ll be a quick tug on the rod. Crank up immediately!

Since it is a lazy and untrained fellow, it’ll just open his big mouth during drilling. It’ll feel as if you raise an open plastic bag to the surface.

Da er ein untrainierter und fauler Geselle ist, begnügt er sich damit, im Drill nur sein großes Maul aufzureißen. Ihr habt dann das Gefühl, als ob Ihr eine geöffnete Plastiktüte zur Oberfläche zieht.

The most commonly used baits for monkfish fishing

Natural baits: fish scraps, pirks

The catch of a monkfish delights most fishermen, but you have to have a little bit of luck and be patient. By chance, you might place the bait right in front of its mouth and trigger it to bite. Pirking is the most promising method. Not because the monkfish is very picky, but because it enables you to fish out a large area.

Keep in mind when fishing for monkfish

Indeed, the monkfish is an ugly fellow, but it is an excellent food fish. Its flesh is white without fishbones and delicious. You can only use the two fillets on its back.

Our recipe suggestion for you

Monkfish with fettucine (4 persons)
400 g monkfish fillet(s)
260 g cream
330 ml stock, not too strong
53ml absinthe, Noily Prat
1 bell pepper, red
1 carrot
1 zucchini
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove
0.10 g saffron powder
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
Salt and pepper


Cut monkfish fillets into pieces. Season well, sear briefly. Set aside. Cut zucchini, carrots and pepper bell in fine strips and put in boiling water. Blanch for 3-5 minutes and refresh in cold water. Thus, the vegetables keep their strong color. Set aside.

Sauté onions and garlic in butter and fry until transparent. Add Noilly Prat and leave to evaporate. Add safran to the hot stock and let it dissolve. Bring to a strong boil. Pour in the cream and reduce by 1/3. Season to taste. Add dill, pepper bell, and zucchini, and cook while mixing. Put everything in a casserolle, add the fish fillets on it.

Cook “au gratin” under the grill.

Serve with homemade fettucine or spaghetti.


Monkfish, anglerfish, fishing, tips, fisch species, Norway