St. Lawrence species


Lophius americanus

Type of resource

  • Bottom fish
  • Fish

Other names


Status of the resource

  • Not determined

In season

Fresh in summer and autumn.

SIZE : 90 cm, up to 140 cm for 22 kg.

LIFE EXPECTANCY : 11 years, up to 30 years.

LIFE CYCLE : Spawning takes place from June to September.
The females lay from 300,000 to over two million pink eggs in a translucent mucous ribbon floating on the surface. This veil can measure up to 12 m long and 1.5 m wide. The eggs hatch into swimming larvae. When they reach approximately 8 cm in length, they settle to the bottom.


The monkfish has a flattened pear shape, a large rounded head, and a small tail. Its back is a dark olive brown. The belly is white or light pink. Its skin is not covered in scales. Its huge mouth has sharp teeth that are bent towards the back. Its pectoral fins are carried on leg-like structures. They are used for swimming and to support the body when the monkfish is waiting for its prey. The gill opening is located behind the head, below the pectoral fins. The pelvic fins are located under the chin and allow the monkfish to “walk” on the seabed. The monkfish has a flexible lure on the top of its head, which it uses to attract its prey.

Close to the bottom, up to 800 m in depth, but more often up to 100 m.

Monkfish prefer gravel or sandy bottoms in which they can partially bury themselves to better surprise their prey.


Various fishes





A lure on its head, a flattened shape, and a color to blend in with the substrate*… As well as its monstrous appearance, the monkfish has a number of techniques for surprising its prey; its breathing cycle is another. It lasts on average 90 seconds and can go up to 3 minutes. That’s 30 times slower than other fish. This characteristic gives it an unrivalled immobility, which is the best way to create surprise…

MACHINES : No commercial fishing.

Monkfish are mostly caught as an incidental catch in fishing for bottom-fish.

Rich in protein (around 20%) and Omega-3 (0.53 g/100 g).

Fine, lean, rather firm flesh. Delicate, with a slightly sweet flavour.

The flesh is mainly found in the tail. The heads are excellent in soups. The fillets or medallions can be steamed, en papillote, or grilled. The liver is also edible. The little “plus” of this fish? It has only one central bone and therefore no smaller bones to remove.


  • The blood vessels in the fillet should be bright red, a guarantee of freshness. The flesh should be shiny.
  • Don’t hesitate to buy fillets that might be a little larger than usual, as they can shrink during cooking. Make sure you remove the translucent membrane before cooking your fillet, otherwise it will end up twisted.
  • Pan-fried, cook over a high heat for around 7 to 10 minutes for a fillet, 5 minutes for a medallion.
  • Monkfish goes well with sharp, acidic sauces.
  • Balsamic vinegar goes well with monkfish liver.